It seems that one of the main things that grow and flourish during the winter are weeds. Over the last 2½ weeks, I sprayed Roundup Poison on the paving weeds twice and the weeds still flourish. Either someone took some of the poison and watered the rest down or the poison is “past its usable date” (I don’t think it’s the later as I purchased it a few months back).
I chatted to my neighbor yesterday, and he directed me to a Obaro, a Farmers Cooperative, out on the Old Warmbaths Road. I needed to go through the normal procedure … temperature test, hand sanitizer and trolley handle being cleaned and into the shop. I chatted to two different sales people. Both helped me most professionally and I got everything I needed and wanted. Standing in the checkout queue, I saw about 15 people behind me. I looked at the entrance door and saw about 20 people queuing to enter.
Spiritually, there is such a dirth or famine. Very few people seek entrance into the Kingdom of God and very few seek God in intimacy with passion and spiritual desire. Sadly, this is true across the world, even in places that knew “spiritual awakenings” such as England, Scotland, Wales, various states in the USA and across Europe. Even in our country, Gospel passion flourished in the past, with many being added to God’s family, but today, many church buildings are being sold for storehouses, pubs, mosques, businesses and even homes. Very near where we live, a church has become an estate agent’s office. Across the city, a church is now a mosque. Nothing happened to the Gospel. The Gospel is the same … it does not change! So what has gone wrong? Rather, we need to ask: “what has happened to Gospel fervency?” Gospel fervency has been lost throughout Christianity for a variety of reasons.
Getting back to weeds … weeds not taken care of don’t just grow and mess up an area, they return regularly. Eventually, left to themselves, they over run the lawn, paving or garden. A good example could be many of our pavements. Ride through the suburbs and see the state of pavements, open land and even some streets. Spiritual weeds not dealt with also grow and take over your heart and soul. Consider the lack of Christianity in countries we received the Protestant Reformation from. So little Gospel work is being done. The spiritual weeds have been ignored and have taken control of the hearts of people, especially the clergy!
I want to use an illustration few people are aware of. There were widespread awakenings in the USA. The Gospel spread like wild fire. People like George Whitefield could have 80,000 plus people listening to him preach the gospel. Jonathan Edwards was his peer in the 1730-40s. Even then, there was a belief system known as deism that they preached against. Many of the Foundering Fathers of the United States were deists. They rejected the doctrine of original sin, the deity of Christ and His resurrection. They castigated them from their belief system as irrational beliefs. They believed in a God of Creation, but said he was not involved in His creation at all. Their belief was that Jesus was a deist. He taught two laws … that life comes from God and that man must live according to the Parable of the Talents. Prayer was not for divine intervention, though some used it for meditation, self-cleansing or spiritual renewal. Today, many people in the USA and across the world are Christian deists. As soon as you remove the essence of the Gospel, your Christianity is useless and irrelevant and without any spiritual power. Spiritual weeds left unchecked ruin the garden of the soul!
Look at Paul’s testimony about “knowing” Jesus as Lord:
Phil 3:8 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. 10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
The greatness of knowing Christ personally leads to losing all things. The “all things” become rubbish (“dung” in the original language) because Christ is gained and you are now found in Christ and don’t need or want “all [those] things”. That is the transition from spiritual deadness to spiritual life. Now, the attempt to make yourself righteous through works becomes useless. Through faith in Jesus Christ, a righteousness from God is applied to your personal account and then the gains … the passion to know Christ (v10) coupled to knowing the power of His resurrection and knowing the fellowship of sharing in His suffering … with the assurance of the resurrection of your soul to glory! If the deist believed this, he or she would not be deist! When spiritual weeds start growing and are neglected, they slowly but surely possess a huge part of a nation, followed by the rejection of Jesus’ lordship, of personal intimacy with God, of understanding of the resurrection and of Jesus experiencing the terrible agony of the Cross … followed by a loss of focus when you become your personal god … in whom you trust! When spiritual weeds take possession, true Christianity dies, and you become like John says in Revelation 3:15-16!
Dear Almighty, Living and Eternal God, please prevent me from ignoring spiritual weeds so that I may never lose the glorious hope and joy I have in knowing you personally as Lord, Saviour, Master and King. Amen.