God loves to teach me things when I am working in our garden. Today, our tiller would not work. Consequently, my mom, my friend, and I pulled the weeds out of our garden by hand. As we were working, God said, "I am going to tell you something in a minute." Unaware of what He could possibly tell me, I agreed. A few minutes after God said that, His promise was fulfilled. My mom said, "Let's look on the bright side. If we would have used the tiller, it would have just turned up the weeds and then let them go back where they were. Now that we are pulling them out by hand, we are doing a much more thorough job." I smiled and whispered, "Thank you, Lord." Let's take this thought about the tiller and weeds and apply it to our lives. It is so much easier to just use a tiller to get weeds out of the garden, just as it is so much easier to just apologize to God for our sins and then promptly forget about it. However, it is better to pull the weeds out by hand. We can then make sure all of the roots are pulled up and that they never grow back, and we can even get the weeds on the edges of the garden (We have a fence around which they like to grow.) We can do the same thing with our sin. Yes, it is hard to get rid of each sin individually, but it is so worth it. After we pull out our sin (pride, selfishness, self-pity, etc.), we may enjoy the fruits of our labor (gentleness, peace, joy, and many more!). However, those weeds of sin keep coming back. Since their primary goal is to attack our fruit, we must continue to get rid of them. Until the day our Lord Jesus comes back for us, we must keep pulling the weeds of sin from our life. Only we do not have to do this alone. He longs to pour His strength, mercy, faithfulness, and love onto His children. He delights in standing by our side and helping us pull up our sin.
"That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: neither give place to the devil." (Ephesians 4:22-27)
"For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness." (1 Thessalonians 4:7)
I realize that getting rid of our sin is way harder than just telling God our sins and then forgetting. However, our fruits of the Spirit will grow much more abundantly and beautifully if our life is not overgrown with sin. As you go about your week, I encourage you to ask God to show you the areas of sin in your life. Then, with His tremendous strength and wisdom, start removing those areas! Our Lord promises that, "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." (2 Corinthians 6:17-18) Let us be separate from this world!