“So get rid of all uncleanliness and the rampant outgrowth of wickedness, and in a humble (gentle, modest) spirit receive and welcome the Word which implanted and rooted (in your hearts) contains the power to save your souls.” James 1:22-23 (AMP).
Tired of 10 and 12 Step Programs? Here's a shortcut. This has only 4! So, let's talk about gardening.
When I wrote this my garden was in full bloom. Winter rains kept plants hydrated and ready to blossom at the first hint of warm temperatures. New arrivals added in last fall needed to be monitored. Their immature root systems left them more vulnerable than their well-established counterparts. So, you wonder, what does this have to do with the 4 Step Program? Everything.
My heart is God's garden and residence of The Word, Jesus Christ. Want Him to feel at home there? Here are the 4 steps to successfully make this happen:
How would you feel if I invited you to my home, let you in and then promptly disappeared only to pop in on occasion to check up on you? You were received, but you definitely weren't welcomed. Any argument I'd present to the contrary would be drowned out by my gross lack of hospitality.
Christianity and a relationship with God is often condensed to, “Come to Jesus, He has a wonderful plan for your life.” To receive Him, however, is only the tiny first step. He must be welcomed, implanted and allowed to take root.
Gardeners have a saying about new plants. “First year they sleep. Second year they creep. Third year they leap.” Good, strong, healthy root systems take time to develop. When weeding, offenders can be stubborn and hard to dislodge. Often their roots encapsulate a large portion of good soil that needs to be discarded in order to prevent further contamination of the bed. This is a perfect picture of the Word in our heart. It should be so pervasive that any attempt to remove Him would rip it out.
The Word, Jesus, needs to be received, welcomed, implanted and rooted in our hearts. This takes time just like establishing new plants does naturally. Jesus applied the three year rule to his disciples and they became unstoppable.
How about you? What is the condition of the Word in your heart? If you've gone past Step One – receiving – how's your progress toward Step Four? If you've not received Him yet, can you think of a good reason why not? Is there any reason why God's Four Steps to Success Program won't work for you?
FYI. For those of you who read my post Burn Baby Burn and remember the reference to a Dead Cat bounce, if you look at a daily chart of the S&P for the past few weeks you will see sharp downdrafts followed by snapback rallies and subsequent movement back to the downside. Those are dead cat bounces. Remember, no felines were harmed in this market action.