"An Inside Perspective"

June 2008

My dear family in Christ,

Ever-precious greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! As I shared last month, by the grace of God, I am working daily. One of my main chores on the grounds has become weeding. It is a never ending, back-breaking, tiring and dirty job. Oddly enough, I like it. (smile) I simply love to work.

I am constantly in many awkward positions and often on my knees. The Lord has a way of keeping us on our knees. Years ago, while I was still in Trenton, the Holy Spirit impressed a thought upon my heart of which I will never forget. It was as if He said, "Stay on your knees Philip---and you will never need to be brought to them again." It echoed in my heart and stung me as an arrow hitting the mark. It was so true of my life. I was such a cantankerous rebel before Christ brought me to Himself. I was a weed and I needed to be "brought" to my knees.

I find that my job affords me much time to work on my knees in a two-fold sense. I am now able to get my earthly work done with much joy, knowing that I can also get my heavenly work done at the same time. As I weed, I am able to pray for my co-workers, our families and whatever other Body business the Lord may bring to my mind. The Lord is great in his goodness and He always affords us many opportunities if we look for them!

Did you ever consider that our perspective determines our actions. If I viewed my situation in the flesh I would murmur. I would say, "Why do I have to weed these grounds here in this prison! Nobody sees them or even cares!" Or, I can view my situation by the Spirit knowing that the Lord is always at work. By faith, I choose to view it as an opportunity to do Kingdom work. Nothing in a Christian's life is by chance, contrarily, it is all by design. Everything in your life is designed by God to bring about His Kingdom purpose within the sphere that He has placed you. Do you have that perspective in your own life? Either you are walking in it or you are murmuring. Which is it?

A gardener has many enemies and one of them is the weed. The weed is a rebel. It wants to be where it wants to be. It is not interested in the will of the gardener. Every time I turn around there is a new weed sprouting up somewhere! Not only that but they are real serious about God's command to "bring forth and yield seed" after their own kind! The weed is the enemy of the good plant. It chokes them off and draws all the nutrients away. Also, the weed distracts the gardener by causing him to focus on weed problems, instead of the good plant.

In the course of my short weeding career, it has been my observation that it is often very difficult to differentiate between a weed and a good plant. This is especially true while the plants are forming in the springtime. I find myself calling my experienced co-worker Tony all the time. I ask him, "Is this a weed or a good plant?" I'm learning much as I work with creation for the first time as a Christian. I wonder with great fascination at the glory of God in creation! He is everywhere I look!

The other day I found a weed right at the base of a beautiful flower. As I sought to pull it I realized that it was so close to the flower that their roots were actually entangled. I could not pull the weed out without damaging the flower. I could only clip the weed on the surface but the root would have to remain. At that very moment, I had a spiritual epiphany as the Holy Ghost brought the parable of the wheat and the tares to my mind.

It is written, "He said unto them, An enemy has done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while you gather up the tares you root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest . . ."

The Church today is full of weeds. The Lord said it must be. Weeds are put there by the enemy and they are enemies to God's Kingdom purpose. Weeds just want to be where they want to be. They are not interested in being called. Maybe it's an elder or a choir director. Perhaps it is a family member who professed Christ but remains fruitless. Weeds are not interested in the Gardeners will. It seems I have been battling them for my entire walk. New ones just keep popping up and they are often very hard to up-root. They also love to bring forth after their own kind. You can recognize them because they choke and drain off much needed nutrients from the good plants. They distract the Pastor with their constant godless shenanigans so he cannot focus on the good plants.

Maybe your roots are entangled with those of a weed right now. Maybe you see no way of separation. Do not be discouraged. Remember beloved that weeds do have a good side. They keep you on your knees. Right? Consider that what the enemy intends for evil, God uses for good. Wait on the Lord and rest in the truth that indeed . . .

"The Harvest is Coming"

Joyfully in Jesus,