Who is Tending Your Garden?
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9).
Who is Tending Your Garden?
Good day to you my dear brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus Christ. In Him our faith stands each and every day. He is our Lord and Savior, our High Tower in times of need. Greetings and hello to each and every one of you that are continuing to feed your thoughts in His Word. I continue to pray that you will have unending revelations of His Word. Welcome back! I want to give you some more thoughts to ponder this week.
Just close your eyes for about 30 seconds and say to yourself, “Self, I want to remind you that death can never kill an idea!” That is a truth that you have to remember. Ideas are more powerful than death. Ideas outlive men and can never be destroyed. The most difficult thing to fight against is an idea! Ideas can be transferred and live on for generations. We see this even from the beginning of the earth. Everything began as an idea and is the result of the conception of an idea.
Here are some quotes that I came across: “Great ideas often receive violent opposition from mediocre minds.” - Albert Einstein
“A man may die, nation may rise and fall, but an idea lives on. Ideas have endurance without death.” - John Fitzgerald Kennedy
“In the face of unbelief, you must stand strong when you know that God has moved in your life. Don’t let the enemy or even well-meaning people defeat you! They will confuse you to doubt yourself and God.” - Leigh Valentine
“The idea of saying, ‘Well aren’t you like me?’ is no longer a question in our hearts. We realize that we need each other to be exactly who God created us to be. We no longer pick on each other’s weaknesses. Instead we partake of our strengths and enjoy one another.” Joyce Meyer
And so we begin. My friends, we need to stop allowing the wrong person to tend our garden. We must wake up and be alert, for it is time to change both our thinking and our behavior and bring them in line with who we really are.
It is Christ who sets us free through His death and resurrection. He came and cleansed us of our sin and our rebellion against God. He gave us access to His Kingdom. Not only that, but He also gave us the Governor to teach us how to live as Kingdom citizens. Hear me, please. The Governor, the Holy Spirit, ensures that the gardens of our lives produce good fruit that are appropriate and pleasing to the King, to Whom the gardens belong. Here is the question: Could there be any greater freedom or any greater destiny than this? Think on that thought before we move on.
The question of who tends our garden is vitally important, because whoever tends the gardens controls the fruits. Do you see my point? Whoever tends our garden determines our culture, our values, our beliefs, and our behavior. If we try to bring in wrong chemicals to mix with the fertilizer, it could affect the outcome of the trees, cause the fruits to taste bitter, or even produce fewer fruits.
Hear me this morning, or whatever time frame you are in. God is the One who created us. He fashioned our bodies from the dust of the ground and breathed His life into us. In other words, we belong to Him - we are His house. Now the devil wants to take up residence in us through demonic powers, because he knows that once he is inside, he can work through us to wield his evil influence at home, at school, at work, at church, around our neighborhood, in our community, and even in the nation.
Just look around everywhere you go. We see the enemy working hard in all those places I have mentioned above. You see, we were created to be filled with the Spirit of God and to live in perfect harmony and fellowship with Him, not to be under the thumb of a demonic pretender exercising illegitimate authority.
Moreover, this is why, whenever Jesus encountered a demonic spirit possessing a human being, He cast out the spirit because of illegal residence. So as believers, we have a choice as to who we allow to tend our garden. One choice leads to a wasted and unfulfilled life while the other leads to great abundance and fullness of life.
Let me tell you this. We have been trained by religion to be scared of the devil. A lot of our churches have taught us to regard the world’s situation as hopeless and to prepare ourselves to leave, all the while praying for the Lord to rescue us out of this world. We feel that all we can hope to do is circle the wagon and defend ourselves as best we can until Christ comes back and takes us away. I call that cowardice. We have become holy sissies. Not only is this an unnecessarily pessimistic and defeating mindset, it also runs contrary to the expressed will and purpose of our King.
Let’s return to some thoughts concerning our vision. I like what John Mason says, “Mediocrity is a region bordered on the north by compromise, on the south side by indecision, on the east by past thinking, and on the west by a lack of vision.” What a statement!
You see, understanding the source of vision is the first step in the process of fulfilling it. The next step is to be aware of potential obstacles in your life that can derail your vision. If you are aware of those obstacles ahead of time, you will be prepared to recognize and overcome them. There are three major obstacles to fulfilling our vision:
1: We do not understand the nature of our vision.
2: We do not recognize the cost of our vision.
3: We do not know the principles of our vision.
These reasons are why most people live in mediocrity, which again is a “region bordered on the north by compromise, on the south by indecision, on the east by past thinking, and on the west by a lack of vision”.
Let me start with the first point above, of not understanding the nature of vision. I want to reemphasize that the main thing about vision is that it is specific. One of the greatest causes of failure among people who are pursuing their visions is that they don’t identify their objectives of success. That may sound simple, but it is very true. There are so many people who fail in life because they do not know what they want to succeed in.
So much of our frustration and depression comes from not making any headway toward achieving our vision, even when we know we are working very hard. We come face to face with this inability to reach our visions when we do not aim at a specific target. We end up shooting all over the target area and accidentally hitting a rabbit behind a bush somewhere.
Now suppose I came to you and we have this conversation:
Me: “Can we meet today?”
You: “Okay, let’s meet. Where?”
Me: “Oh anywhere will suffice. But well, where do you want to meet? Anytime and anywhere.”
So, what do you think are the chances that we will actually meet?
Well, zero! There is my point. Vision must be specific rather than general or vague. You see there is a very big difference between vision, goals, and mission, which can lead to a misunderstanding. I have learned this in over twenty years in the military and so on serving in different organizations such as churches across the world.
I have asked many people, “So what are you going to do with your life? What is your vision?” The most concerning thing is that I usually get the same responses over and over again, such as these: “I am going to build a big house, own several cars, and with God’s help, have a good family. Also, I want to get married, and I want to open a restaurant someday.” Right away I think that these are not visions, but more like goals. But the person does not know the difference.
So to my point, too many people fall because they do not know what they want to succeed in. What is sad is that some in churches where I have served before answer the above question the same way. They generally give me one of the following answers: “Well, my vision is to win my city to Christ.” “My vision is to spread the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15).” “Brother, my church vision is to equip people for the work of the ministry.”
The problem is that none of the above answers are visions. They are missions. Now, why is this? Because they are too general for visions. Vision and mission are related, but they are not the same thing. A mission is a general statement of purpose that declares the overall ideas of what you want to accomplish.
It is philosophical and abstract, not practical and concrete. It is open-ended so that you can spend hours, even days, talking about its many aspects and applications. To contrast, a vision is a very precise statement and has a specific emphasis and definable boundaries. My thought sometimes is wondering how some people have made it as far as they have without understanding their vision.
It is essential that we learn the difference between vision and mission because God is not vague about your life. Why am I saying this? Because you were designed to be unique and to fulfill a particular purpose. Now if you are to carry out this specific purpose, your vision has to be very specific. Otherwise, you will be no different from those that are around you.
Just remember that your vision is like your fingerprint, which is meant to distinguish you from every other person in the world. You have your own identity. Let me close with this and give you a real good example.
This is the assignment that the young Jewish rabbi, Jesus, gave His followers two thousand years ago: “Go into all the world and preach the good news (Mark 16:15).” This assignment is called the Great Commission. It is the co-mission - the joining or corporate mission of the church. It is every Christian’s mission. What sincere church does not want to preach the Gospel to every person, bring people to God, and equip people to minister to others?
Throughout the next couple of weeks, we will revisit this, and I will show you how to leave behind the region of mediocrity and move to the realm of the exceptional. Is that okay with you?
Have a wonderful week and remember to keep running toward what God has for your life and be consistent in what you do.
My prayer for you: Father, I thank You for the opportunity to share with Your wonderful people and remind them of the great ways You have prepared for them who love You. In all our ways we acknowledge Your love and Your grace and mercy. In our hearts we run after our Father’s heart and try in everything to please You. There is no one like You, our God and King. As we meditate in Your goodness and Your mercies, we want to please You and glorify You this morning. Thank You for reminding us that not many words, but our hearts, are what You are looking for, and truth in the way we worship You. We meditate in worship and give adoration to You, our Lord and Savior. You are God! There is none like You! We give glory to Your name, oh Lord! For Your name is great and greatly to be praised. Glory to Your name. We give worship to Your name, oh Lord! For You are God and there is none like You! You are my dream come true, just to be with You. Each day is renewed with the power of Your presence. Let that be the reality for those who are in need of Your touch. May they know the power of Your might and ways, and not just the act. Oh my God, I love You with so deep a passion that my words are not enough. Come, Lord Jesus, come. Oh, my soul longs to be in Your presence always. Even so, even so come, Lord Jesus, come, and sweep my heart that is filled with joy as I worship You! You are the lover of my soul, and I bow before Your throne to worship You. I came to worship You. I came to sing Your praise. I came to love You, Lord, Your holy name to raise. Hallelujah, hallelujah. Oh, how I worship You. You are my Lord. As we ended this week’s encouragement, may You reach each person and lift them up from their disappointments. In Jesus’ wonderful Name, amen and amen.
Thought: Learn and understand your vision!
Living Large to Dream