So, I was sitting in my aptly named La-Z-Boy in the living room the other day.
The weather was hot and humid, and I sure didn’t feel like doing anything.
I never had air conditioning installed in my home because I felt the cost outweighed the number of really hot days we have in the South Bay.
I was now paying the price for that misguided thinking.
As I sat in my La-Z-Boy doing absolutely nothing but whining and wiping sweat off my brow, I was looking out the door at my neighbor’s beautiful, large maple tree.
I couldn’t help but admire it.
It was majestic in its own right.
It was tall, and its green leaves were lush.
Then I looked at the two holes in my front yard where my trees used to be.
Ravaged by neglect and insects, they dried out and eventually died.
The gardener got so tired of looking at them that one day he just chain-sawed them into oblivion.
Uh oh…I felt a modern parable coming on.
OK, Lord, I get it. Forgive me.
Are You Neglecting Your Walk With God?
You may be like me in this regard.
There are just too many times to count.
Are you always saying:
- I will water my walk with the Lord another day.
- I will prune my walk with the Lord so that it will grow stronger … another day.
- I will feed and nurture my walk with the Lord another day.
Before you know it, instead of having a majestic maple tree, you have two dead trees and a hole in the ground.
And that can easily happen to our walk with the Lord.
Neglecting something is easy.
Giving something the attention it deserves, even demands are quite another.
God has a wonderful way of reminding me of these golden precepts:
Are You Anchored In His Word?
To be anchored in “His Word” is, literally, to be anchored in Jesus Christ.
His Word is the breathing, living embodiment of Jesus.
His Word is the sustenance that feeds our tree…us!
Here is what John 1: 1-5 says:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him, nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
It is absolutely vital that we are “in the Word” … because the Word is in us.
Are You Anchored In The Lord?
Let’s start with Jesus.
He is our foundation.
We grow in Him.
We branch out in Him.
As a tree grows in strength, its roots stretch deeper into the ground.
When the storms come, it won’t be blown away.
It will be anchored.
What is your soil like that anchors this tree?
Planted in Jesus, we grow strong roots so that we will not be moved or shaken in the storms of life.
Otherwise, we are like chaff that blows away.
So, then, how much is Jesus is like a strong tree?
Are you “feeding” your walk with the Lord?
Trees need sunshine and water to thrive.
Our sunshine is the light of Jesus that has overcome the darkness.
You need water. Jesus is the Living Water so that no one may thirst anymore.
Are you constantly “pruning and trimming” your walk with the Lord?
When a tree is pruned and trimmed it grows stronger.
Nutrients are no longer diverted to stems and branches that keep the tree from prospering and reaching its full potential.
How do we prune?
We cut away the things of the world that are of evil intent, that divert nutrients to our walk with the Lord.
Things that are not needed or are merely a distraction.
Thus, we grow stronger.
We prune the things of this world.
God prunes us!
John 15: 1-5 offers another look at Jesus’ “spiritual gardening”:
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the Word I have spoken to you.
Remain in Me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me. I Am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.”
Is your walk with the Lord like the Sahara Desert or the Garden of Eden?
Will you grow your walk with the Lord by being attentive?
Or, see it dry out and wither from neglect?
Light, water, and sustenance are all there.
We just need to stop neglecting it.
Because only Jesus Christ will ever truly satisfy.
Take to heart Jesus’ answer to the Samaritan woman at the well as described in John 4: 13-14:
“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
For those who don’t know Jesus or have tasted of His water of eternal life, a water that will keep you from ever thirsting again, I leave you with this profound scripture from John 6:40:
“For My Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”
With a reminder like this, why on Earth would I ever allow myself to neglect my walk with the Lord?