There is a strong spiritual application between gardening and a vibrant testimony. Let me explain…when I first began to cultivate a vegetable garden, I was amateurish and inexperienced. I consulted a number of professionals (i.e. neighbors who farmed, garden/nursery workers) and once informed, was eager to begin. I purchased and I planted; I watered and I waited….
When the early signs of life began to sprout, I was so thrilled! Success at last! The fruits of my labor were abundant and delicious! The following season, I planted an even larger crop, expecting another healthy harvest; however this time, much of my produce was lacking in quantity and quality. What had I done wrong? The result was minimal growth, because I had neglected to fertilize!
Fertilize means “to make able to produce much.” We have the potential to be productive for the Lord during our time on earth. At the moment of our conversion, we receive all the essential elements for a Christ-centered testimony, but, too often, we fail to nourish and maintain it properly. We neglect to fertilize our spirits.
How would you describe your spiritual walk? Has your relationship with your Heavenly Father continued to thrive, or has it been in a state of idleness? Below are ten questions, which will help you assess your level of spiritual growth. Under each question, at least one Bible reference is given to support the action or attitude described. This list is intended for use as a guideline or resource tool. Be honest with yourself as you evaluate your personal relationship with God, then commit to “produce much” and strengthen those areas of weakness or apathy!
1.) Am I rejoicing in the Lord daily? Do I reflect a joyful and thankful spirit?
Psalm 5:11 “But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice; let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them; let them that love thy name be joyful in thee.”
Psalm 92:1 “It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High.”
2.) Am I living a life of obedience, pleasing the Lord in all that I do?
John 14:21 “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”
3.) Are my motives pure and God-honoring? Am I seeking God’s approval and not man’s?
1 Corinthians 10:31 “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”
1 Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”
4.) Is there any unconfessed sin blocking my communion with a Holy God?
Psalm 32:5 “I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.”
Proverbs 28:3 “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”
5.) Is my attitude one of servant-hood?
Deuteronomy 10:12 “And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee but to fear the LROD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul.”
John 12:26 “If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.”
6.) Do I recognize what God is doing in my life and share it with others?
1 Samuel 12:24 “Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you.”
Psalm 77:12 “I will meditate of also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.”
7.) Am I spending time, on a daily basis, reading and meditating upon His Word?
Joshua 1:8 “This book of the Law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou whalt have good success.”
Psalm 119:16 “I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.”
8.) Do I pray according to His Will?
1 John 5:14 “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us.”
Psalm 143:1 “Hear my prayer, O LORD, give ear to my supplications: in thy faithfulness answer me, and in thy righteousness.”
9.) Do I allow myself to be used of God? Is my response a humble one?
Philippians 2:13 “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”
James 4:10 “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”
10.) Do I spend time praising/worshipping Him?
Psalm 7:17 “I will praise the LORD according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high.”
Psalm 111:1 “Praise ye the LORD. I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.”
*Taken from Is Your Fruit Sweet or Sour? A Teen Girl’s Guide to Christian Living; Chapter 11-Ferlizing Your Spirit
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