I can smell it in the air, and I can hear it too, Spring is approaching! As the days get longer and Winter gives way, we feel the warmth of the sun in the morning, and we hear the birds chirping in the trees, and see the daffodils coming up through the soil, and this is when I start making plans for our garden. Simply cannot wait to start sprouting seeds on a table by a large window while waiting for the last frost to come and go so I can put the tender plants in the ground. We prepare our garden so the ground is loose and filled with the nutrients so the roots can dig deep. We also cover the ground with garden fabric to keep out the weeds so our plants can grow to full potential. We make all these preparations because we desire a bountiful harvest. Not just for us but also for our children and friends that visit. I love to hand them a grocery bag and say, get you some tomatoes and cucumbers and if you like squash too, and while you are at it pick some beans and pull some onions, just get whatever you want. I love to see the smile on their faces when they come back with the harvest. Also, if anyone wants to learn about gardening, I can talk all day long. Just FYI, there is friendly bacteria commonly found in soil that can activate brain cells to produce serotonin which keeps depression in check. I call it my dirt therapy.
However, none of this goes without challenging work and some disappointment. Like the time we set up on a Saturday so we could shuck our corn to prepare it for winter. The corn was plentiful as we checked it the day before. My husband went to the garden and came back with just a few scrawny ears of corn. I looked at him in shock and then he said, the coons got it all!!! He told me they got every ear except what is in this wheelbarrow. I said, it had to be a whole army to get it all in one night!!! My husband said they even dragged corn stalks down to the creek for breakfast that morning. At that moment I envisioned these fat raccoons at the creek on their backs, with one leg propped on the other, picking their teeth with a twig rubbing their belly full of our corn!!! We learned a valuable lesson that year. We must be better prepared. The next year we put up a fence, however it was not high enough. Raccoons TWO, Melton’s ZERO!! We have decided we will not relinquish our garden to those varmints, and we will take back what is ours!!! We needed a better barrier to do the job right. This year we will electrify our fence. Whatever it takes!!!!
When I think about how hard we work to maintain that small patch of ground, it reminds me of something I started telling myself a while back. Denise, take care of your ground. The Lord has impressed upon my heart for the last few months to take back what belongs to me. When I say this, I am referring to what has been given to me. I am not speaking of material things, even though we are to take care and be good stewards of those things God has provided. What I am speaking of is spiritual dominion over what is mine by birth right of Jesus Christ. As I have thought about this, I am seeing confirmation by what I feel in my spirit, what I hear from others, and what I see in scripture. Dominion, what does that mean for a Christian? It means to have authority over, to rule over, and to take it even further in a spiritual sense. What we remember first about dominion is the dominion God gave Adam over the animals in the garden, the fish, the fowl, and everything that creepeth upon the earth. It was understood that Adam would be over and a protector of what was given for him to enjoy. If we fail to take seriously the responsibilities and authority God has given us, we simply lose out on the abundance of all God’s blessings he has in store while on earth.
You see, satan may have free reign over this world, but the only power he has over a Christian is if we hand over the reign to him. He cannot forcibly take it from us. Job proved this to be true by keeping his eyes on the Creator, nothing touched his relationship with God. That creeping varmint has no power over us, or to come into our patch of ground and consume. We often act like he was uninvited, but we are the ones who ushered him into a wide-open gate, or we may have no fence at all. We have let our guard down and we have failed to equip ourselves. This has nothing to do with our salvation, however the little varmint would like for us to think so. Just as our works cannot get us into heaven, our works cannot keep us out of heaven since we are a child of God. Unless our works are by God’s direction, they are not fruit, they are simply works. We wither away spiritually and have forgotten the dominion God initially gave to us. Adam gave that authority away, and then came Jesus and made it right by His blood, to offer salvation and victory over sin and the grave, but it can only be obtained through Jesus Christ through repentance and acknowledgment that Jesus is the Son of God, came to earth as a man, was crucified and rose again on the third day so we may be forgiven and have everlasting life.
When we are saved, we should abide in Him to live our fullest life on earth as a Christian.
4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
We can be saved, but not understand the power we have through Jesus Christ and the Spirit. Do we hand over the dominion, that power to walk in the spirt? Do we just let satan walk in and give it to him? Do we only do works and bear no fruit and deceive ourselves and others as well? What do we give up when we forgo the dominion God gave us over satan?
We give up these things as in Galatians 5:22, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.” That my friends is heaven on earth to stand firm and in peace.
Metaphorically, if we tend to our patch, our own back yard, our garden, whatever you want to call it, God will bestow upon us all that is needed for the good times and the not so good times. We who are in Christ are gifted with the Holy Spirit which enables us to bear fruit, but it is our choice to do so or not. So, tell me why as children of God would we cower in the garden God has provided? Why would we freely relinquish to that which is powerless over us, and that which is powerless in the presence of our God? Jesus gave us the power to call upon Him and satan has to flee. We forget who we are in Him.
We have a choice, either walk out of the garden with a few scrawny ears of corn that were the cull of what the varmints leave, or we roll out with a wheel barrel full of the first pick. It is up to us. So, do we stake our claim and choose to be a blessing, bring forth abundance, encourage others to do the same, or do we surrender and put down our armor that makes us impenetrable and hand over our deed and forgo the fruit of the Spirit it speaks of in Galatians 5, which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…” , or do we hold fast to the authority over the darkness of this world that God has given us, and do we equip ourselves with the necessary armor of our God Almighty to protect our patch of heaven on earth. I, myself, am on a journey to reclaim it in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Be prepared brothers and sisters in Christ with the full Armor of God and stand firm and increase your fruit on the ground you were freely given.
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.