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Summary: Holiness involves making God’s priorities your priorities.

Cultivating Holiness

(Removing Weeds from our Spiritual Lives)

Leviticus 11:44a

Introduction: As some of you know, I used to work for a lawn-care company here in town. Our company was pretty well respected and we had a contract with Phillips Petroleum Company to take care of the lawns and flower beds around their office headquarters downtown. Now the people at Phillips are very Image oriented and they wanted their flowerbeds and lawns to look picture perfect. When I first started with Hadco, my job was to take care of the flowerbeds around the Phillips Plaza downtown. How hard could that be? I thought I knew how to take care of a flowerbed. Water the beds, pinch and prune the flowers and pull the weeds, no trouble at all. However, I soon discovered that I only thought I knew a lot. One day while I was there taking care of my flower-beds, Wes, my boss, came up and told me to pull a weed. He then pointed at a very pretty purple flowering plant, a plant that I knew we had put in other clients flowerbeds at quite a cost to the other clients. So in my knowledge of the business I informed Wes that this plant was not a weed. However, I soon discovered that by our company’s definition of a weed, that beautiful and expensive plant was indeed a weed. Wes said that plant is a weed because it is growing in a flowerbed where it doesn’t belong and I don’t want it there. So I promptly pulled this very expensive weed and deposited it in my trash bucket.

You see some weeds are very easy to spot. A dandy-lion, or a ragweed I would have pulled without ever being asked. I knew that they were weeds. No matter where they grow they are weeds. What I didn’t know was that even a beautiful expensive plant is a weed if it’s growing in the wrong flowerbed. It wasn’t a bad plant; it was just out of place.

Our Spiritual life can be alluded to as a sort of flowerbed or garden, and this flowerbed is not immune to the problem of weeds. Whether it be weeds that are weeds regardless, or whether it is good things in life that are simply growing in the wrong place. We all must deal with the problem of weeds.

If the Holy Spirit is to cultivate holiness in the soil of our lives, then we must rid the garden/flower-bed of weeds. To experience God’s true holiness we must be "Weed Free" as it were. Today I would like to address the how’s and why’s of being "Weed Free" in order that we might allow the Spirit to cultivate holiness.

I. Identifying the Weeds in Your Garden.

First of all, we must know just what a weed is. There are two kinds of weeds, as I have already stated. There are those things that are weeds because they are destructive and useless, and there are those that are weeds because they are simply in the wrong place.

A. Some Things Are Weeds No Matter What.

The easiest ones to spot, are those that are weeds because the are destructive. As a novice gardener I knew these weeds on sight. In our lives it is much the same. Some weeds are easy to spot simply because of their nature. These are easy to spot. In Galatians 5:19-21 Paul gives us a clear view of some spiritual weeds that are easy to spot. READ GAL. 5:19-21. These are east to spot weeds. Any Christian can see the acts of the sinful nature in their own life as well as the lives of others. Some are more easily seen than others are. But the obviously negative, destructive nature of these acts causes anyone with Christ in their lives to see these acts as the weeds they are.

Again in Colossians3:5 Paul describes some acts of the sinful nature, some obvious spiritual weeds. READ COL. 3:5. Here again Paul gives us some blatant descriptions of spiritual weeds. In gardening, destructive weeds such as this have no place in the flowerbed. They are destructive. They choke out the good plants, they rob the soil of its nutrients and they stunt the overall growth of all of the other plants in the flowerbed. So it is with these spiritual weeds in our lives. Such things as rage, envy, jealousy, sexual impurity, etc. not only are called sins by God, but when these are present they rob your life of the energy and nutriance necessary to grow the fruits of the spirit. These spiritual weeds choke out the areas of your life that are too be healthy and beautiful. Love, peace, joy, kindness, gentleness etc. are choked and stunted by the destructive presence of weeds in your spiritual garden.

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