One of the most destructive creatures to a garden is the gopher. These little suckers can tunnel under a garden and pull down plants from above and into their storage bins. Gophers are vegetarians and if it’s green they’ll eat it. They come to steal your edible plants, to kill and devastate your garden, and to destroy your work.

Have you ever noticed that without fail, every time you plant a seed, it germinates, and begins to grow; what rears its ugly rodent head? Just like the gopher, the devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy [1].

v10a The thief cometh not, but that he may steal, and kill, and destroy. . .: [John 10:10a KJV]

Who comes on the scene without fail when you plant a seed into another soul about Jesus? Who comes on the scene when you do a good deed for someone or if you make advancement in your faith? Who tries to steal your joy [2] when you want to live by the Spirit [3]? Satan comes on the scene immediately to try and discourage, ridicule, or condemn you because of your faith in Christ. If we give Satan a foothold, he’ll try and steal your whole garden from you.

However, John 10:10b and verse 11 reassures us in whom we should place our faith and trust.

v10b . . .I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly [John 10:10b KJV].
v11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd layeth down his life for the sheep [John 10:11 KJV].

Christ came so that we might have life and to be able to live it to the full. Jesus told the Pharisees in verse 11 that He was the Messiah and making reference to Psalms 23:1 [4] when David was praying to Him.

So like the gopher, when the devil and/or his minions roams about looking for whom they may devour [5], stop them immediately dead in their tracks with the Word of God [6]. When he wants to pluck your fruit from your garden of faith, paralyze him with the Word [7]. Submit to God and resist the Devil [8].

The best way to submit to God and to resist the Devil is to know God’s Word and speak it to the enemy [9]. Satan hates this and he must cease and desist [10].

Happy gardening!

[1] John 10:10
[2] 1Peter 5:8; Job 1:7; Second Corinthians 4:8, 9; Nehemiah 8:10
[3] Galatians 5:23, 24
[4] Psalms 23:1 states that “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. . .
[5] 1 Peter 5:8
[6] 2 Timothy 2:26
[7] 2 Timothy 3:16
[8] James 4:7
[9] Romans 10:17; Mark 16:17
[10] Mark 16:17; Ephesians 6:11; James 4:7

Do all and Stand

I was sitting on a couch yesterday when my stomach began to gurgle. It was time for a sandwich. Therefore, I prepared to stand up. Now I’ve been standing up for a little over 70 years without much problem. Question? Have you ever tried to stand up and you fell back down into the furniture from which you were trying to exit?

Oops, let’s try that again. (At least I was by myself. LOL.)

I nudged myself a little closer to the edge of the couch this time and leaned way forward to center my weight over my legs, and pushed. Ah-h-h, SUCCESS! Who would have thought that a mere act of standing up would be such a challenge? Who would have thought that I would have to center my weight over my legs to do so, let alone feeling triumphant when I achieved success? I didn’t make a winning shot at a basketball game nor did I score the winning touchdown in a football game. All I did was try to stand up (and on a second try at that).

I knew this day was coming but I didn’t think that it would be so soon. Of course, 72 years isn’t what I’d call real soon. My parts have been wearing out now for a while; my eyes, my ears, my muscles, my libido, my mind. In fact, I had to reread the last couple of paragraphs to remember where I was going with this. LOL.

I have learned that all truth is parallel; for every natural truth, there is an equal and corresponding spiritual truth. I have also learned that if we do not stand for faith in Christ daily, then like our outer man, our inner man can wear out as well and we can fall down [1]. After we have done everything we can – we stand [2]. However, if we fall back down on the couch of our spiritual life [3], we but only have to wait on the Lord [4], and be strong in Him [5].

v30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:
v31 but they that wait for Jehovah shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint [Isaiah 40:30-31 KJV].

The Bible says that even the youth can grow weary, stumble, and fall. Therefore, I don’t feel so bad. So what if I need to use the strength of my left arm against the door jamb to lift myself out of my car. So what if I need to start using a cane so I don’t fall on my face when standing or walking. The faith of my inner man is as strong as it ever was when my body was young and virile.

In fact, human strength will never be adequate for facing all of life’s challenges and difficulties. Second Corinthians 12:9 declares that His grace is sufficient for us and that His strength is perfect in our weakness. Therefore, when I am weak, then I am strong.

So. . .if you can’t stand and/or you fall down trying, center yourself on Jesus and get back up under the power of the Holy Spirit [6].

[1] Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23; 1 Corinthians 10:13 and others
[2] Ephesian 6:13, 14
[3] 1 John 1:9
[4] Isaiah 40:31
[5] Ephesian 6:10
[6] Zechariah 4:6

You have left the planned route

Have you ever made a wrong turn while driving? I know I sure have. All I can say is, “Thank God for GPS (Global Positioning Satellite).” If I am unsure of the way to go, all I have to do is punch the destination into my GPS and it will softly speak to me, “In 100 feet. . .turn right.” However, if I still happen to get confused and make a wrong turn, it will again speak to me that, “You have left the planned route. Directions will resume when you return to the planned route.

God operates much like a GPS, for He has a planned route, destiny, and destination for every living soul.

. . .For I know the plan I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. . .” [Jeremiah 29:11 NIV]

Just like a GPS, God will not give up on you. He will constantly continue to recalculate for you from the beginning of your journey to the end. When I start out on an unknown destination in my car, the GPS calculates my trip and then informs me, “This is the quickest route to your destination, and the way is clear.” God’s Word also clears the way for my journey as seen in John 14:6.

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father, but by me [John 14:6 KJV].

When driving, road signs along the way give us warning as to the hazards and travel options up ahead. We’ve all seen them, dangerous corners, bump, sunken grade, detour, chain-up area ahead, merging traffic, next rest area 40 miles, right turn only, no left turn, and etc.

Along the way on our journey with God, His Word gives us prophetic warnings that will guide us through the minefield of wrong turns, all the while, forgiving us for our wrong choices and chosen paths. However, God’s guidance and recalculations still continue all the way to the end.

Finally, like our GPS, after we’ve returned many times to God’s planned route for our lives, one day we will hear, “You have reached your destination – and reward.”