Saturday, May 21, 2011

Cultivating



The chilly temps have pushed off our gardening plans. Even local professional gardeners were warning against planting seeds too early, given our late frosts this year. (We had snow on 4/27.) But when the time comes, I’m going to need two things: fresh potting soil and a chance to cultivate the ground.

There are seasons in our spiritual walk with God. Seasons when we’re gearing up for a productive time, but are seemingly unproductive at the moment. Seasons when we’re taking things in, preserving energy, soaking in good worship atmospheres, teaching, and prayer. Not only does God not disdain these seasons, He ordains them. Rest was His idea.

Then there are seasons of high output. We’re serving in the areas He highlights. We’re giving, sacrificing, bearing fruit.

Then, He prunes—points to laying some responsibilities down so we can be super-productive in other areas.

Then, it’s time to rest. Responsibilities are winding down.

What about cultivating? If you’re feeling distant from God, it might be time to cultivate your heart’s soil (or ask Him to—He is the Gardener). How do you do that?

~ Pray. If you’re not praying for a block of time every day, begin that discipline again. You may not experience an immediate result. But God rewards those who diligently seek Him.

~ Read. Be a student of the Word, a lover of the Word of God. Ask Him to show you where to read and make a daily habit of not only reading His Word, but also meditating on His Word. Don’t be in a hurry. Let Him kiss you with revelation. The kisses of God (fresh insights, fresh applications to your specific situation, etc.) bring wonderful joy—like sunshine on prepared and planted soil. New life will come.

~ Worship. He. Is. So. Good. Worship Him. Delight in Him personally. Be specific. “God, I praise you for showing me that in Your Word,” or “God, I prayed about this/that and You answered!” Whatever’s personal. What has He saved you from? Where would you be without him? Those are all reasons to worship Him with gratitude and an open heart.

And as you do those things, you’re cultivating.

Cultivating isn’t just for the first planting, but comes later as well to mix in fresh fertilizer and break up the soil for better water absorption, introduce oxygen, let roots expand. So, keep the cultivation going.

How will you cultivate your growing relationship with God?

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