Imagine your heart is a garden, what type of garden is it? Is it like my backyard… dead, overgrown weeds, pricklies, rarely taken care of, rarely watered, OR is it like a Botanical Garden… big trees, flowers in neat rows, variety, colorful, well tended to.
If your heart is a garden what plants are there? And how well do you tend to it? I know for me sometimes in the daily routine it is easy to forget to water the garden… I forget to spend time in the word, I forget to take time with God, and the garden of my heart can begin to wither. Or I can let negativity linger, allowing it to take root in my heart, or I dwell on that rejection from a friend, or not being invited to something and I feed myself lies that take root in my heart.
The question is WHAT ARE YOU ALLOWING TO TAKE ROOT? Are you letting just anyone plant in your heart? Are you allowing untrue words, negative thoughts, and mean actions take root in your heart? Are you dwelling on those facts and letting them take over?
Negativity, mean words, harsh actions, betrayal, rejection, and trials are all weeds in the garden. They don’t belong there and if you don’t get rid of them they take root and begin to take over. They will start to kill the blooming flowers, the lavish trees, and the beautiful bushes that God has planted in your heart.

Hosea 14 says
“He’ll burst into BLOOM like a crocus in the spring. He’ll put down DEEP
oak tree ROOTS, he’ll become a forest of OAKS! He’ll become splendid –
like a giant SEQUOIA… from now on I am the one who answers and satisfies
him. I am like a luxuriant FRUIT tree, everything you need is to be found in
me… God’s paths get you where you want to go. Right-living people walk
them easily.”

When you tend to your heart, when you let the word of God, the character of God, the actions of God, take root in your heart then God will “get you where you want to go” (Hosea 14). When you take on the will of God, when you want to please him, then living right is easy… it is what you want to do, and God will reward you. Don’t you think that if your goal is to glorify Him, that God will help you with the means to fulfill what you want to do.
But… you must tend to the garden, you must be the gardener of your own heart, making sure to plant flowers and trees with deep roots, water them, and get rid of any weeds. You can do this by spending time in God’s word… don’t just read it and allow it to just pass through your brain, but instead dwell on the word of God, planting takes time. You can tend to your garden by surrounding yourself with encouraging people, people who will speak life and not death over you, people who bring out the God characteristics in you. You can do this by declaring what God says about you and by changing your own vocabulary to be more inline with Jesus’, words of love, kindness, goodness, honor, truth, and hope (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
My hope is that you would recognize the weeds in your garden and take the time to get rid of them, and spend the time to replace them with beautiful flowers and trees. My prayer is that your heart would look much more like a Botanical Garden than something like my backyard.

By Maddie Reasner (Freshman College Student at Hillsong Bible College in Sydney, Australia)

Check-out her blog about her Aussie Adventures: