Anyone who enjoys gardening has probably spent a considerable amount of time “weeding” that garden. It can take a lot of time and effort to rid your garden of weeds, those undesirable plants that not only grow in places where you don’t want them, but also can overrun and even ruin your garden. In order to make sure that a weed does not regrow, you need to pull it up, roots and all. Sometimes that may mean using a spade to remove it completely. This can require a lot of work but, in the end, it is worth it as you save that garden that you cherish.
In His parables, Jesus used the imagery of weeds as a way to illustrate sin and worldliness. In the parable of the weeds, after a man has sown good seed in his field, his enemy comes at night and sows weeds in that field. The enemy that Jesus was talking about here is the devil, who loves to sow his weeds of sin into the hearts and lives of God’s people (Matthew 13:24-30). In the parable of the sower, some of the good seed that was sown grows but then gets choked by thorns. The thorns, or weeds, represent not just the cares of life, but also worldliness and sin (Matthew 13:3-8; Mark 4:1-8; Luke 8:4-8).
Our hearts are the garden in which God sows His good seed. That seed, of course, is God’s Word. Because God’s desire is to “sow” that Word in our hearts, we need to treat our hearts with the same care with which a gardener treats his garden. Our enemy, the devil, is always looking for opportunities to destroy our hearts and our lives through sin. When we have sin in our lives, just as the gardener rids his garden of weeds, so we must rid our hearts and lives of that sin. In our own strength, we may not be able to do this, but God is there to help, using the “spade” of His Holy Spirit to help us to remove the “weeds” of sin completely.
Just as weeding has the ability to save a garden, so God’s Word has the power to save our souls. We need to be diligent in ridding the “garden” of our hearts of all that is evil, instead cultivating that garden with the Word that God plants in our hearts (James 1:21).