One of my favorite things to do each spring is to plant flowers. However, around this time of the year I look at what had been a beautiful flowerbed I’d labored to plant in May and now see a flowerbed ravished by deer and overgrown with weeds. And yet, looking over my yard reminds me that all of God’s creation “declares the glory of the Lord” (Psalm 19:1; Romans 1:19), so I also see a yard that reveals principles of God’s kingdom.
Although sometimes they can appear harmless and I even enjoy gazing upon them, the deer that descend upon my yard—like Satan’s attacks in my life— come to “rob, steal, kill and destroy” (John 10:10). They usually come at night, just like Satan comes when I’m “not tuned” into him. He longs for me to be unaware of his tactics but the Word cautions me not to be ignorant of his schemes. (2nd Corinthians 2:11)
This year the deer have been so brazen to come nibbling on my plants even during the daytime. I assume that’s because I’ve not done anything to counteract their feasting on my plants and they’ve come to feel at home in my yard. Similarly, the more leeway I give to Satan the more I find he moves in and takes over more and more of my life. If I don’t do anything to stop the deer, they’ll keep coming back and keep devastating my yard. If I don’t do anything to ‘kick’ Satan out of my life— by confessing to God my sin and turning away from it— Satan also will not go away. He will seek to get more entrenched in my life— which always leads to destruction for me.
The deer go after the flower heads, or the fruit of the plants. Where does Satan want to attack me first? He desires to eat away at the fruit of my life by destroying my faith in God and His promises and obedience to His commands.
The weeds in my garden always make me think of my sin. Just as I need to pull weeds out by their roots or else they’ll come back with a vengeance, I need to daily confess my sin so it does not take root in my life and have a stranglehold on me.
As a child did you ever blow the “dead” tops of dandelions that were full of seeds? I sure did! I had to be taught by my parents that blowing them led to their rapid reproduction in our and our neighbor’s yards. Of course, I thought they were pretty and didn’t realize that even though they had a flower, they too were weeds. I’ve come to realize that often weeds can appear to the untrained eye to be flowers, and sometimes even flowers can look like weeds. Unless you are trained to know the difference, you can be fooled. Similarly, unless I’ve been trained by God’s Word, I too won’t be able to distinguish the difference between truth and Satan’s lies.
And yet, the intricate beauty and splendor of the flowers, trees, and shrubs that remain in my yard far outshine the destruction caused by the invasion of the deer and weeds. This reminds me that the glory of God always surpasses Satan’s ability to wreak havoc on God’s creation. God’s creation of even the pesky things like deer and weeds is also a blessing because they declare His glory by providing a lesson in kingdom living!
Are you aware or ignorant of Satan’s schemes to destroy your life? Are you allowing him to rob you of your faith, which is necessary to produce a fruitful life? Are you daily confessing your sin so it doesn’t take root and overtake your witness? Are you regularly in God’s Word so that you can recognize the lies of Satan?
Written by JVG