Faith, Personal Growth

Principle 8: Flourish in the garden where you are planted.

Comments Off on Principle 8: Flourish in the garden where you are planted. 14 August 2010

Principle 8: Flourish in the garden where you are planted.

On the rail on the front porch we have flower boxes carefully placed to enhance the aesthetic appeal of our home. When it was time to plant them, we went to a garden shop and carefully chose the impatiens we planned to use as the bedding plants. I prayed for God’s blessing on the planting and the productivity of each of those plants. I have always enjoyed a beautiful yard, and I have always asked the Creator of all that is beautiful to bless the work and to make the portion of His creation for which He has made us responsible pleasing to Him. I chose the placement of each of those plants very carefully.

It occurred to me as I planted each one that we are like those plants. God is the Gardener who plants us in the garden of life. Like me, when I was planting those impatiens, God expects us to flourish where we are planted. Wherever you are today, God placed you there. It may not be a permanent placement of your life, but it is His present placement of your life. He has made you for that spot in His garden. You are to flourish in it! If you are struggling where you are and think you’d rather be somewhere else, you need to look for an answer in these lines.

God knows who you are and He knows how He has put you together and He knows the variety of personality you have and the kind of philosophy of life you have and the kind of relationship you have with Him. He knows all about you, and He has decided that you will grow best and adorn His garden of life best where He has placed you. He places you in situations that will allow you to be productive and fruitful.

God is looking for people who will be willing to allow Him to make an impact through them on their piece of the garden. He is not asking you to travel to the ends of the earth to make a difference. You can and should support God’s mission into all the world with His Word. But, He expects you to flourish right where He has planted you.

Each of those impatiens I planted in the flower boxes has produced beautiful blooms that bring comments from passers by. God has planted you where you are so you will flourish and bring comments from onlookers that give glory to Him because He is the gardener who placed you there. You didn’t choose me! I chose you! I appointed you to go and produce fruit always… (John 15:16 The Living Bible). As with His early followers, God expects us to produce a harvest of souls through the witness of His Spirit and His Word in our lives.

Part of the flourishing God expects through your life is the amazing fruit of His Spirit. But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23 The Living Bible). you will notice that the fruit of the Spirit will only be produced in your life when you are controlled by God’s Holy Spirit. You will be controlled by the Spirit when you desire it, ask for it, and believe for it with the same kind of faith that you exercised when you received God’s gift of eternal faith and your personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

So, how can you live this flourishing life? We will look at some key ingredients. I planted the impatiens in the flower boxes, and I have tended them since their planting. God plants us carefully and He tends our lives to insure that we have what it takes to flourish where He has planted us.

In order to flourish where you are planted you must:

1. Be grounded in the garden. It is important for a plant or a tree to have a good root system that runs down deep to hold it and to provide nourishment to it in its growing process. In the same way you, being planted in God’s garden need to be grounded (firmly rooted) in your faith in Him and His plan for your life. Paul said it like this, Let your roots grow down into him and draw up nourishment from him. See that you go on growing in the Lord, and become strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught. Let your lives overflow with joy and thanksgiving for all he has done (Col. 2:7 The Living Bible). Those plants I planted were not to be moved. I didn’t plant them and move them to another place in the yard. You are the same way. God plants you in a place where He wants to grow you. That place is in faith in Christ. In order to flourish in your Christian life you must be well grounded in your faith in Him.

2. Be grateful for your place in the garden. God wants is to be grateful for His blessings of providence. That is, when He places us in His chosen place in His garden, we are to show gratitude for that providential placement and not complain about where we have been planted. Be grateful for the good things that the Lord your God has given you and your family… (Deut. 26:11 GNT). God loves and rewards a grateful heart. So, when God blesses you with a place to serve Him and serve others and enjoy success, show Him your gratitude. It will cause you to flourish.

3. Be groomed by the Gardener. God is the Gardener who tends everyone He plants in His garden. He is not willing to leave us as we are. He loves who we are, and He wants us to grow up and produce fruit for His glory. Every branch in Me that does not produce fruit He removes, and He prunes every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce more fruit (John 15:2, HCSB). God waters, weeds, prunes, fertilizes, and cares for those He plants in His garden. If you are experiencing a little discomfort because your branch has been pruned, relax, it means you are about to bloom and be fruitful for God.

4. Be growing in the garden. This is the reason for the grooming of the Gardener. God wants us to be growing. I have planted seeds before and watched as they germinated, took root, and started to grow. Some of the resultant plants really grew nicely. They became big, healthy plants and produced many blooms and even fruit where that was appropriate. Others of the seed never grew normally. They wilted and some even died. It is the will of God that you grow. Let your roots grow down into him and draw up nourishment from him. See that you go on growing in the Lord, and become strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught. Let your lives overflow with joy and thanksgiving for all he has done (Col. 2:7 The Living Bible.) God loves plants that are growing and He plans for you to grow in His garden.

5. Be giving to the garden. Some people are takers and others are givers. God wants you to be a giver. The beautiful flowers I planted in the flower boxes have bloomed, we have enjoyed them, the neighbors have enjoyed them, we have plucked some of them to enjoy, and they have been given more beautiful blooms in their places. That is the way God’s gardening and our lives work. he says, “Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back–given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity (Lk. 6:38 The Message).”

6. Be glowing from the garden. God’s will and plan include our getting so in touch with Him and letting Him live His life through us so that others see Jesus in our daily lives, the way we talk, act, think, and respond to them. All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transformed much like the Messiah, our loves gradually become brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him (2 Cor. 13:8 The Message). As God grows you up in His garden, are others seeing Jesus’ life reflected through the fruit of God’s Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23)?

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