Summary: This sermon emphasizes the importance of personal time with God to our spirit-man. How to feed the spirit by the time we spend in fellowship with God.
We feed our spirit by the time we spend with God in fellowship. Prayer, God’s Word and the exercising the fruit and gifts of the spirit are all body-builders to the spirit man in us.
The more you feed the body, the stronger the body gets and the weaker the spirit gets.
But the more you feed the spirit, the stronger the spirit man gets, placing the body in submission.
When I first moved into our new house, the backyard was just a wasteland of dry dirt. But I worked the soil. I built a rock wall, planted bushes and trees. I went to the store and purchased a big bag of hybrid Bermuda grass seed and carefully spread that seed through the backyard and down the side yard…
Every day, I watered those seeds by hand and after a few weeks, I noticed the tiny, fragile shoots of grass coming up in patches. Eventually, the whole yard was full of beautiful new grass.
Then one day when I was admiring the newly forming lawn, I noticed some weeds trying to grow up among the new shoots. In order to keep that new lawn perfect and pristine, I had to get down on my hands and knees, and painstakingly pull every weed by hand all the way up and down the yard.
But when I finished, the lawn looked beautiful: like a golfing green. The reward was worth the work to me, because I invested so much in that yard, I expected much from it.
As the years passed, new weeds tried to spring up in different areas of the lawn. And I’ve learned since then, that having a beautiful yard is an ongoing process. You don’t just pull the weeds one day, and they’re gone for life. You have to make a regular habit of checking for weeds. You have to work at it daily, a few weeds at a time. If you let it go, what you end up with is a nightmare in the backyard that takes hours of painstaking work to clean up. But the reward of a beautiful yard is worth the work, because it’s such a pleasure to sit back, to relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
You can learn a lot from gardening. Jesus often related the Kingdom of Heaven to us in stories about gardening. And from all the time I spent working the soil in that yard, I learned more about spiritual life than ever before. In fact, our spiritual life is much the same as that lawn in my backyard. Before we knew Christ, we were all dry and barren, without any life: Like a dirt lot, full of weeds.
But when Jesus came along, He planted seeds of life. He brought beauty to a barren spirit when He rescued your soul from sin. He planted the seeds of eternal life in your soul.
Did you know that God takes great pleasure relaxing in the garden of your life? He likes to fellowship with you and observe the beauty that your life produces on a daily basis.
That’s why spending time with Him every day is vital in the renewing of a right spirit. As you stroll through that garden together, He’ll point out the beauty of the new growth in your life and He’ll help you to pull up the ugly weeds that sprang up since your last time together.
So, if we neglect our time of fellowship with God, then we’re neglecting the need of our spirit to be renewed and refined, and as a result, the weeds grow up in our lives and choke out that beauty. If we neglect our fellowship with The Lord long enough, our spiritual life will become a mess of tangled weeds and the garden of our lives will be in need of much more difficult, laborious and backbreaking work to become beautiful in the eyes of God again.
I: FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD is step 1 for spiritual renewal.
Our spirit is in constant need of fellowship with God for personal renewal.
When we compromise that fellowship with Him, when we neglect our spiritual life, the weeds of sin come in and choke out the beauty God planted there. When we’re weak and tired, sin goes unchecked and the spirit man goes unfed. That gives the flesh opportunity to corrupt and weaken the spirit.
We can learn about the power of sin to hinder our spirits through the life of David in Psa 51:10-12.
In this Psalm, King David is pleading to God for mercy and forgiveness.
Psalms 51:10-12, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”