INTIMACY WITH GOD JOURNAL
WRITTEN BY LINDA SCHREURS
Linda in Los Angeles, Calif.
In this issue:
Well, here it is June, and already we need to weed our flower beds diligently and consistently. With all the ups and downs of our weather systems these days, you can hardly catch up on a lot of things. Even the rocks do not prevent the weeds from peeking through. They just seem to find new little holes to burrow through and go right around them. It’s constant work if you want a beautiful garden. And you know, it’s like tending to the garden of our souls. It takes care, diligence, fortitude, commitment and so much more. In fact, it’s a life-long gardening process!
Life began in a garden, the Garden of Eden. Satan comes sneaking in on the scene to tempt God’s beautifully created humans and began throwing rocks. Mankind took his focus off the beauty of God’s Word and His lovely garden and was felled by the biggest rock of all – a lie, as satan threw out the words: ‘You surely will not die!’ and therein was The Fall.
Dangerous and devastating weeds of degradation sprang up from there in various ways of self-focus, greed, jealousy, envy, murder, etc. Rocks were strewn everywhere and things looked bleak. Even today, people are being stoned to death either physically - as I just read of today in Pakistan, or emotionally, and spiritually. Satan is the accuser of the brethren who does his stone throwing dirty deeds day and night as Revelation 12:10-11 testifies.
So who are you and I listening to? Who or what is in the garden of our hearts? “O you who sit in the gardens, my companions are listening for your voice – Let me hear it!” Song of Songs 8:13. The voice we need to hear is that of our Saviour, Jesus.
Garden of Gethsemane
Our arch enemy is definitely a stone thrower from the beginning, so we must be on high alert for these treacherous weeds of infiltration into the gardens of our hearts. We’re looking for that ‘garden locked, a spring sealed up,’ as spoken of in Song of Songs 4:12b, where refreshing Living Waters pour over our souls restoring us to higher realms of glory on life’s journey.
The knock-down-drag-out fight for eternal life began in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus was there alone doing horrific battle for all humanity. So let us remember that oftentimes, our personal gardening issues may very well be things no one else is even aware of, things hidden in the deep recesses of our hearts because they’re too painful to deal with. Or it could also be an attitude, disposition, resentfulness, anger, bitterness, unforgiveness – all kinds of things that may be more apparent to others than we’d care to think!
Have there been situations in your life where there have been ‘waste places’ or ‘dry places’ and you’re crying out for relief and you want more? “There’s got to be more!” you say. Maybe you’re one of those who’ve felt like you’re not making any headway at all. Have there been things trying your soul? Then Isaiah 51:3 would be of great comfort to you. “Indeed the Lord will comfort Zion; He will comfort all her waste places . And her wilderness He will make like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and sound of a melody.” Wow, who wouldn’t want the Garden of Eden in all its beauty and stature?! Likewise, Jeremiah says in 31:12, “They will come and shout for joy on the height of Zion, and they will be radiant over the bounty of the Lord – over the grain, and the new wine and the oil, and over the young of the flock and the herd; and their life will be like a watered garden, and they will never languish again.” [My emphasis] What a wonderful promise from God’s Holy Breath in Scripture!
But we have to keep in mind that it’s not just reading the Word of God. It’s so much more than that. There are those who read the words, but are still unchanged because there’s no surrender to it. Isaiah 58 is a good chapter to read on this topic, as it shows how a ‘religious spirit’ or a Pharisee type spirit…one who is fasting and do all kinds of ‘spiritual things’ can be prideful and unfruitful if it’s not producing godly character. It says in part to “remove the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness…” etc. In order to see change, we need to trust God’s Word, obey it, love it, savor it! A few chapters later in Isaiah 61:11 we see this more clearly: “For the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes the things sown in it to spring up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations.” Let’s be those who bring the fresh waters of God Word to dry and thirsty souls.
Just as we need to fertilize our earthly gardens so they can grow, it’s the same with the garden of our souls. If we’re not producing fruit, if we’re not producing purity, holiness, righteousness, love, humility, etc., then the opposite effect can be devastating. In Luke 13:6-9 we’re shown how the good gardener produces good fruit, but if not – it’s cut down. It’s good for nothing except kindling wood and fire! So we need to be careful in fertilizing the garden of our hearts by daily reading God’s Word, obeying it with diligence, along with praise, adoration and worship of Him. That will produce some really good, long-lasting, generational fruit!
So each one of us must get to the Garden of the Lord and lay our burdens before Him so we can see clearly what weeds may be cropping up and chocking the life right out of us! He brings revelation and insight. He also brings deliverance and joy! Song of Songs is alive with the sound of music when it says in 4:16, “Awake, O north wind, and come, wind of the south; make my garden breathe out fragrance, let it’s spices be wafted abroad. May my beloved come into his garden and eat its choice fruits!” [My emphasis] Oh the wonderful aroma of a blooming garden full of big bouquets of flowers and fruits!
Amazingly, wonderfully, and powerfully, Jesus paid full price for our sins at the Garden Tomb where He rose from the dead. How odd that those who were not ‘of’ Him, or believers of Him, were thrown to the ground ‘as dead men’ because they had refused His saving blood. Man, they ate dirt! And it wasn’t pretty. They were terrified. I would be too if I saw a dead man walking! [Matt 28:4] But we’ll also bite the dust if we don’t hand over our gardening tools to our Divine Gardener who appeared to the women that glorious morning! [John 20] We need to let Him be the one to dig down deep within our hearts searching and tearing out destructive weeds because we may be too soft on ourselves. He sees what no one else does. Even a cluster of tiny rocks, when thrown together can really hurt! So-called, ‘little sins’ can add up to big boulders and do a lot of damage in our lives. We need to give permission to our Heavenly Gardener to do as He pleases. He’s the Divine Surgeon and can dig out those things that have hindered our walk with Him.
Garden of delights
In God’s final chapter to humanity in the book of Revelation, for all those who’ve received Him as Lord and Savior, they’re given an everlasting Garden of delights! This is “the river of water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb in the middle of the street. On either side of the river was the tree of life bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants, will serve Him; and they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads.” [Rev. 22] Ezekiel 47 is another imprint of these Living Waters. It’s beyond human comprehension to understand that our entire being will be drenched with the vibrancy of everlasting, blissful life with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Let’s purpose in the days of our journey here on earth to pursue good and godly spiritual gardening of our souls. It’s imperative for our eternity! We can start right now according to Deuteronomy 11:10-11. “For the land, into which you are entering to possess it, is not like the land of Egypt from which you came, where you used to sow your seed and water it with your foot like a vegetable garden. But the land into which you are about to cross to possess it, a land of hills and valleys, drinks water from the rain of heaven, a land for which the Lord your God cares; the eyes of the Lord your God are always on it, from the beginning even to the end of the year.”
Let’s get gardening from God’s perspective!
Women of Fire Fellowship – Praise and Prayer. Join us for a time of sharing with one other, as well as with the Lord, as we praise Him, seek Him, adore Him, and encourage one another in His power and strength. It all begins with a mid-morning brunch by our lovely hostess, Mary Lou Ziebell. Let’s testify to all that God is doing in our lives and all He’s about to do as this year of 2014 unfolds. It’s being held the first Saturday of each month. Start time is 10:00, at the Ziebell home, 8401 Ridgemont Dr., Urbandale, Iowa, 50322. Contact Mary Lou at: 554-5461 to RSVP.
Women's Fall Hermitage - Oct. 2 - Oct. 5, 2014
Men's Fall Hermitage - Oct. 31 - Nov. 1, 2014
Linda’s Books: These can be purchased on the website or ordered directly from the address below:
- Armageddon Bride
- Word’s Aptly Spoken
- Holy Communion! Holy Invasion!
- Linda’s CD: Holy Communion! Holy Invasion! (Spiritually intimate prayers set to music)
INTIMACY WITH GOD MINISTRIES
Mike and Linda Schreurs, P.O. Box 1294, Johnston, IA. 50131-1294, Phone: 515-270-0231. E-mail: LindaSchreurs@intimacy-with-God.com. Website: www.intimacy-with-God.com
*All gifts tax deductible. *Member of Morning Star Fellowship of Ministries, Charlotte, NC