Romans 10:17 (NKJV)
17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
I hope I have not lost you between the title of this devotional and the opening verse. I do have a plan here though so stick with me. I was driving through a coastal town and something stuck out to me as I was making my way down a residential street. It is summer in Maine, so homeowners are busy trying to take advantage of the three months we have to maintain any semblance of a lawn. This street was filled with nice landscaping until I came to a home that was clearly abandoned. The grass was at least knee-high and useless in every way. I thought about this for a minute and realized this is symbolic of our walk with the Lord when we fail to maintain it.
Fertilizer Of Faith
1 Peter 2:2 offers us wonderful symbolism of our desire to grow in the Lord… (2) as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby… We have to be continually seeking nourishment in the Word. As the baby needs milk to grow, we too need to take in the Word to allow ourselves to grow in our understanding of God’s commandments.
Our relationship with the Lord is a lot like the lawns I passed the other day. When we are consonantly in the Word, if we are constantly praying, constantly putting Him first, our faith looks like that nice healthy lawn. If we are constantly ignoring our relationship with the Lord, our walk can quickly look like that abandoned property. On one hand, you have a nice lawn you can be proud of, it is useful, on the other hand, you have a lawn that is not only dismal looking, but very difficult to get back into usable shape.
The Envy Of The Neighborhood
There may be something wrong with me, but I love having a lawn that looks better than my neighbor. There is one neighbor I will never be able to compete with though. There is always that one neighbor, can I get an amen? Regardless, each year, I definitely put in an effort. How do we maintain faith that the outside world can be envious of? James 1:22 encourages us… (22) But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves… We can have all the book knowledge in the world, we can memorize large portions of scripture, if we do nothing with it, it is absolutely useless. We need to go out into the world and be doers of the word, let them see what a well-maintained relationship with the Lord looks like. Is your walk with the Lord the envy of the neighborhood, or do you have some catching up to do?
Our relationship with the Lord takes work, it is not going to grow magically. Like that perfect lawn, we must work to perfect our walk with the Lord. Strive for that deep, strong, committed relationship with the Lord, it is well worth the effort!
Ephesians 2:8 (NKJV)
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.