As I watched my neighbors pulling their garden weeds, it reminded me of past days spent in my own vegetable gardens. Whether it rained or not, weeds seemed to grow an inch every night. When the soil was dry, they pulled hard, making for sore muscles and taking more time than I wanted. But after a nice rain, weeds could be plucked out almost as easily as picking berries. That's when I truly enjoyed pulling weeds—when there was little or no resistance. They popped out of the soft, moist soil—roots and all— allowing more room, nourishment, and sunshine for the desirable plants to grow. What satisfaction I experienced in enjoying a clean, healthy garden filled with growing veggies.
We humans are like tender plants, growing unwanted weeds in our lives—all the sins and wrong behaviors we carry around in our minds and hearts. Common weeds are pride, selfishness, and an unforgiving heart. There are hundreds more; we each could come up with our own list.
How do we pull out those weeds? The best way is through the rain of the Holy Spirit. That unseen person of the Holy Trinity is often referred to in the Bible as rain. God says, in the book of Joel, that He will "pour out" His Spirit on all people. Isaiah prophesies that the Holy Spirit will be "poured upon us" from on high. Jesus tells us, "When He [the Holy Spirit] comes, He will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness …" (John 16:8).
When we allow the Holy Spirit's presence to convict us of our sins—our spiritual weeds—so we know when we've done wrong, then His power will help us pull out those weeds. We feel His presence in church when we worship with our whole heart and soul, and that often begins the process of removal. But a weekly trip to church isn't enough. How many of us would take a drink of water just once a week? No, we get thirsty and need refreshing often. That's why it's so vital to stay in the presence and power of the Holy Spirit every day. The more we fill up on Him, through daily study of God’s Word and constant prayer and praise, the less room there will be for our sin-weeds to take root and grow in our hearts. A heart that is well-watered and has soft soil will result in fewer sin-weeds, and those that remain can be pulled out much more easily. We all need to rely on the rain of God's Holy Spirit every day.
Lord, cause our hearts to thirst for Your Spirit's presence and power. Help us to weed out the sins from our lives. In Jesus' name, amen.