Tending Your “GARDEN”

Hope, Healing & Freedom Podcast : Ep 21


Why is it that I can easily grow the most beautiful crop of weeds yet it is so difficult to grow beautiful flowers in my garden? In this podcast I want to talk about tending your garden.

The verse for today is Isaiah 55:13 “Where once there were thorns, cypress trees will grow.

Where nettles grew, myrtles will sprout up. These events will bring great honor to the Lord’s name; they will be an everlasting sign of his power and love.” (NLT)

Cindi and I have the privilege of traveling to different places representing Restoring the Foundations. We had a recent trip to Orlando, Florida to represent RTF at a new church, and to do some personal ministry with a couple of members of the church staff. Orlando as in Disney World and Universal Studios you say. Sounds wonderful to get to go to Orlando, you say. Well we were there for 8 days and other than visiting the church on Sunday, we did not leave our hotel except to go get meals. We stayed about three miles from Universal Studios but did not even drive by the entrance. 

So while we were gone for those 8 days the weeds took over my flower beds in the front of our house. I mean these weeds got to be so big and so numerous that I could hardly see the flowers or shrubs. How did that happen? How could the seeds take over my flower beds so quickly? Because I neglected to pull the weeds when they were small. The little weeds went untended while we were gone. The week we were gone the July heat and humidity in Tennessee were perfect for growing anything, including weeds.

It is the little untended weeds in our lives that grow up to become big issues. I am talking about the little compromises we make in our integrity that end up causing us big problems. I am certain that the ministers we all know of who have fallen prey to sin did not start out flirting with the big sins. No, I believe they started out flirting with little compromises, the little untended weeds, that eventually grew into the big weeds, the big sins that eventually took them out. 

In this podcast I am going to talk about where we can go wrong in our walk with Christ that can cause us problems when these issues are not dealt with. In my illustration, when the little weeds are untended, they grow into big weeds that can ultimately choke out the things that God is growing in our lives. 

Lets start by talking about how these little weeds get started by looking at this issue through the grid of RTF. What is the grid of RTF? The RTF grid are the four ministry areas of RTF. When you look at an issue through the grid of RTF you first look for the generational iniquity that has come down the family line. It is very easy for people to overlook the generational pressure that is on them from their ancestors because it has been with them their entire life, so it is easy to accept as normal. 

For example take the generational sins and curses of rejection. Someone who has the generational iniquity of rejection on their life has grown quite accustomed to these feelings. In fact since feelings of rejection have been with them literally their entire lives, they might not even recognize that they are there. Yet they experience the effects of rejection on a regular basis and don’t give the feelings or thoughts a second thought. That is just the way I am. I have always been that way. When they walk into a new or even existing relationship, they consider being slighted something that is normal. As a child they were always one of the last kids picked when choosing sides for a game. They didn’t try to make new friends because they already knew that the friendship would not work out. Rejection is drawn to them and they are use to it being that way.

When the curse of rejection is working on a person they actually draw rejection from others. As weird as this may sound, the demonic working in other people is stirred up by the demonic working in this person causing them to be rejected. When it happens it causes a person to believe he or she is unappreciated, devalued, dismissed, violated and/or victimized. They don’t have to do a thing in order for this to happen. It is the generational curse at work in their life causing this.

Let’s take another example. Some people are living with the generational curse of failure. It seems like everything they try eventually fails. Oh, they might have success for a while, but it always ends in failure. Eventually they end up giving up and stop trying anything new because it might fail. 

There are many, many others generational curses that people accept as normal and simply tolerate. They tolerate them because they have been living with them their whole life and they don’t either know they can be removed, or they don’t believe it could be any different for them. These generational curses, when left undealt with, are the weeds that can take over a person’s life and cause them trouble they don’t want. Tolerating these little weeds causes us to live below the abundant life that Jesus die to give us.

The second part of looking at life through the grid of RTF is to find out what lies someone is believing that is allowing the weeds to grow in their garden. The generational curses are the door that is open allowing many of these lies to be part of our life. The lies, however, give feet to the generational curses that cause the weeds to start and grow in our lives. 

The person with the curse of rejection might start out struggling to make new friends in school and begin believing the lie that “I don’t belong” or “I don’t fit in”. The problem is that we have an enemy who will take that little weed and cause it to grow into something that takes over their thinking. Under the right conditions the lie can grow into a big lie like “I am not worth knowing. I would be better off dead.” These type of lies rob this person from the life that Jesus came to give them and keeps them from fulfilling the purpose and destiny designed for them from their conception. 

Many of the lies that rob us most often have to do with our identity. The believer’s identity is maybe the area that is under the most attack from our enemy because he knows that a believer who knows who they are as a child of God is a major threat to the kingdom of darkness. When you know who you are, and the incredible authority you have as a child of God, and the devastating weapons you possess as a Kingdom warrior, you will do great damage to the gates of Hell. That is why there is such an attack on your identity.

The same things happen with the person under the curse of failure. They will begin believing that it is impossible for them to succeed, so why try. “I am going to fail so it is less painful if I just don’t even try.” And in so doing they rob themselves of something extraordinary that God might want to do through them and in the process they rob the Kingdom of God. It is 100% certain that if you don’t try, you will never succeed. One of the enemies most successful tactics is to keep believers on the sidelines by keeping them afraid to try because their efforts might not be successful. 

The third part of the grid of RTF is dealing with wounds that are holding us back. Many times the wound is just a little weed that we don’t deal with that grows into something much bigger. I can’t tell you how many times when doing RTF ministry with someone that God will first take the ministry receiver to a small seemingly insignificant memory. We always ask them if they would be willing to walk through the memory because there is a reason that the Holy Spirit brought this memory to their awareness. Almost without exception God uses that insignificant memory to lead them to something more significant.

We ministered to a guy not long ago that this very thing happened. The Holy Spirit brought an insignificant memory to mind. As we began to process the memory with the Holy Spirit, this memory was actually the starting point of one of the major traumas of this man’s life. He had known about this memory for many years, yet because in his mind it was a minor hurt, he never dealt with it. The little weed opened the door to a major healing in this man’s life. And we all know of believers who have wounds that they have not dealt with that are hindering their relationships with other people and with God. These unhealed wounds, even the little ones, are another place where the enemy can gain access to our lives to steal, kill, and destroy. 

The fourth part of the grid of RTF is getting rid of the demonic oppression in our lives. This is another area that people often do not realize the amount of oppression they are under. We have heard people say, “I didn’t know how much demonic oppression I was under until it was gone.” Why is that? Because the oppression has become normal for us so we learn to tolerate and live with it instead of getting fed up with it and get rid of it. I can guarantee this, if you allow the enemy even a little place in your garden, he will not stop until he has taken over the entire garden. His hatred for you and the Kingdom of God is so great that he will take whatever little weed he can and cause it to choke out all of the good fruit from your life. 

The key to tending your garden is to consistently and diligently deal with the little weeds that spring up. Don’t tolerate the little weeds. Pull them up by the roots while they are small so they don’t take over and kill the good fruit in your life.