Page 104 was another beautiful spring day so I began it early so I could get my inside work done before sunrise. After cleaning, sweeping, and taking out trash, it was a little brisk outside but I started up the Kubota tractor to continue the clean-up work in the woods. After setting all winter, the tractor started right up and seemed eager to get back to work. In addition to cleaning up the tree tops from the recent timber harvest, I continue to work at clearing the undergrowth and invasive brush so the building is more visible from the road. I began this project a couple years ago and it will need to be an ongoing task if I want it to remain clear.
Sometime in the last 10 years or so, a group of guys put a lot of work into clearing the brush and undergrowth from the wooded are on the south side of the church drive. While it looked wonderful when they were finished, no one took it upon themselves to keep it maintained. Last fall I spent several days going back through it and I still have more to do before it is cleared again. It is a beautiful grove of trees when the ground is cleared but it quickly becomes an eyesore when allowed to become overgrown. On the positive side, the fact that it had some attention given to it over the years made it easier to clear than the other side of the drive where I’m working now — which doesn’t appear to have had anything done to it for multiple generations.
Some of my best thinking and praying times come on the seat of a tractor or mower. As I worked on some of the more stubborn vines and brush, I thought about the invasive brush and vines that we often allow to grow up in our life that strangle our spirit. Sometimes the strangling of our spirit happens so gradually that we don’t even realize it has happened until something happens that causes us to realize we are struggling for air in the midst of a life that is overgrown with the cares of the world. Many times people reach that point of realization and the work necessary to clear away the brush seems too great to even attempt. The good news is that God has given us all the equipment necessary to clear away everything that “so easily entangles us” so our spirit is free to show His Spirit to the people around us.
Yes the longer we allow the entanglements of life to grow, the more effort it will take to remove them but it is not a task we have to do alone. Once we allow the blood of Jesus to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, remaining in Christ and allowing Him to daily keep our lives free from the overgrowth of the world helps us remain clear before Him. Living a life that is clear before God is not a “once and done” thing. It requires a daily, deliberate decision and set of actions to keep it clear. While the tractor makes clearing the wooded areas much easier than trying to do it with simple hand tools, God’s Spirit is the heavy equipment that has the power to cut through the heaviest of entangling growth that has overtaken our lives. But the tractor doesn’t start itself and go out and clear the woods any more than the Holy Spirit works at clearing our spirit without our invitation and involvement. It is our choice to seek God and allow Him full access to work in our life. But it also must be our choice to daily deny our self, pick up our cross, and follow Him.
I pray that you and I would evaluate the condition of our spirit and see how much work still needs done to clear it. I pray that we would daily turn to God for His help in removing the entanglements of the world from our lives. I pray that we would daily spend time with God in His Word and prayer as part of the maintenance of keeping our lives free from the undergrowth that can destroy us.