Ever see an old western movie and in it a scene with tumbleweeds rolling aimlessly across the dry and dusty, barren ground?
According to Britannica.com, “a tumbleweed is a plant that breaks away from its roots and is driven about by the wind as a light rolling mass, scattering its seeds as it goes.” A tumbleweed looks like a nature hair ball.
Although tumbleweeds are said to be good for something like uranium clean up, food for cattle, or as props or decor for a production or event, these primarily dead plants are quite hazardous and can result in fires and cause allergy symptoms.
But how interesting that a tumbleweed is a plant that breaks away from its roots and is driven about by the wind! Read it again. Ever see a leaf fall off of a plant? What happens to that leaf? Can we attach it back to the plant? It often withers away, right? And we know we can’t just put it back on. Things detached from the root of something that provides it life does not survive. And in the case of the tumbleweeds, it rolls aimlessly around.
Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. (John 15:4 NLT)
In the Windy City (Chicago), there are times when the winds are so strong, you get pushed forward, pushed back, or thrust to the side. There are times you may feel like you are being picked up. The wind tosses you back and forth like a little rag doll.
And that is how life can be when you are not living according to your purpose. When you are riddled with doubt and incoming idealogies of the world and your heart is not guarded. When you are bombarded with many opinions and values and things that come along to make you doubt God. Ever had someone try to convince you that you should do x, y, z when you were just sure of the direction God was taking you in? Ever heard something someone claimed was Biblical but you like “wait a minute, is it or is it not? Has your prayer life been dry like a desert? Are you discouraged and full of doubt? Is everyone’s voice louder than God’s voice and your own? Are you wishy-washy and unfocused? Are you struggling with fleshly desires, feelings and old ways you thought you resolved?
Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. (Ephesians 4:14 NLT)
Jesus died and God raised Him from the grave so that you can have life and life to the full. He not only wants us to have eternal life but to be able to live and survive here and now with confidence and faith in Him who is sovereign and involved in every detail of our lives. We don’t have to be tossed around in the wind like the tumbleweed or little rag doll.
And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.
(Hebrews 11:6 NLT)
Jesus told this simple story, but they had no idea what he was talking about. So he tried again. “I’ll be explicit, then. I am the Gate for the sheep. All those others are up to no good—sheep stealers, every one of them. But the sheep didn’t listen to them. I am the Gate. Anyone who goes through me will be cared for—will freely go in and out, and find pasture. A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of. (John 10:6-10 MSG)
To conclude, remember this: things detached from the root of something that provides it life does not survive. And in the case of the tumbleweeds, it rolls aimlessly around. And we don’t want to be tumbleweeds do we? We don’t want to be hazardous to ourselves and others, do we? So, how do we refrain from turning in to tumbleweeds spiritually?
- Don’t detach from God. Remain in Him. “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5 NLT)
- Don’t leave our spirits thirsty, dry and famished. Saturate in the Word of God. Talk with God daily. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. (Ephesians 6:11 & 13-18)
- Guard our hearts. Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. (Proverbs 4:23 NLT) Protect our hearts and faith by staying close to our Lord & Savior and remain in Him. What are we listening to, and watching, and feeding on spiritually? What are our distractions and diversionary battles? Also, many people are following their flesh and own desires. They are pursuing things God never intended for them. For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. (2 Timothy 4:3 NLT) There are false teachers and wolves in sheep clothing. The spirit of deception has been operating heavily in the world. Moreover, many people want to serve God on their terms as well as package and shape Him into their own liking and ideaology to justify their lifestyles and mindsets. So, let’s guard our hearts and pray for the wisdom of God and fear of the Lord to fill our hearts. And let us make our calling and election sure. “God wants us to have assurance of our salvation, and the best way to do that is to be pursuing godly virtues and actively growing in the Christian life” (gotquestions.org/make-calling-election-sure.html).
- Lastly, grow spiritually mature. Salvation may be instant once we accept Jesus Christ as our savior, believe with out hearts and confess with out mouths that God raised Jesus from the dead. We sincerely repent and acknowledge that we need Him as our Lord and Savior. We continually hear His Word for faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. However, one thing that is not instant is the renewing of our minds. We have a new nature thanks to Jesus but our minds need to be renewed daily and our flesh need to die daily. This is a process and it takes full surrender to God. Surrender is a process. Can we get an Amen from someone on that?! Pursue God greater than anything else. Seek Him for your purpose and daily living. Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. (Ephesians 4:11-15 NLT)
Read also Jeremiah 14:1-22
What is stunting your spiritual growth? Who or what is getting in the way of you believing God confidently. Are you making your calling and election sure? Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?