Because I’m Italian, some may think I automatically know how to plant and care for tomato and zucchini plants, but not really. When we lived in Montreal, we rented a home from a wonderful Italian family who definitely had green thumbs. They helped us set up an amazing garden with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini and even fruit trees – some days we felt like the local farmers market. We learned a lot though about planting and tending a garden. To this day we are still close friends with this awesome family.
When it comes to the presence of God, the same is true. It must be cared for and cultivated to grow and produce fruit in our lives. Here are a few things I’ve learned about gardening that can apply to cultivating God’s presence:
1) Take care of the soil
Before planting or sowing seed, we have to take care of the soil by turning it, fertilizing and make it ready to receive the plant/seed. In Hosea 10:12 we are exhorted to “Break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers his righteousness on you.” Plow the ground so he can shower…sounds like the perfect verse for cultivation. If we want to grow our sensitivity to Holy Spirit’s presence and voice in our lives, we need to soften our heart, break up misconceptions and those hard stony places that the cares of life have left us cold and indifferent. If we are struggling to interact with and know the presence of Holy Spirit in our lives, we will need to “Break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD…”
2) Give it plenty of water
You cannot grow a plant or seed without watering.. In John 7:37-39 “On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.’ By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive.”
The prerequisites here are an active belief in Jesus and to be thirsty for him. It has been said that we become who we worship. So when we are thirsty for Holy Spirit and we worship Him, streams of living water flow…which is what Jesus said would happen. As we worship, we invite the presence of Holy Spirit, and as water flows to a plant, it will cause growth and fruit not only in our lives and on our seed, but also love will flow toward others, because God will cause us to be a channel of blessing.
3) Pull the weeds
Jesus said that thorns and weeds can choke our seed, I have seen weeds strangle beautiful flowering plants, because they were not tended to when they were small enough to be plucked. What weeds are hindering the presence of God and intimacy with Holy Spirit in our lives? Are worries, fears, disappointments and disillusionments blocking the flow of the presence of the Lord? “Holy Spirit point out things that hinder us, we want to enjoy your presence and worship you all our days.” May this be our prayer.
4) Pruning is a necessity
Tomato plants produces tons of little yellow flowers, but as the plant grows there are stems that grow large leaves and look beautiful but do not produce flowers which in turn produce new tomatoes. Pruning these flowerless stems allow tomatoes to be produced in greater quantity.
Our lives are similar. We can become busy with things that do not produce “luscious tomatoes”. We take on more projects and responsibilities, things that are not fruitful but just keep us busy. These superfluous things in our lives may look good and give temporary satisfaction, but they need to be pruned because God is working His will in us for us to “be” not to “do”.
God’s presence is an absolute necessity – I cannot live without it. Fruit of any value typically will not grow from a plant that is uncared for. In the same way, God is calling us to nurture His presence, learn to sit and enjoy Holy Spirit as He reveals more of the heart of the Father in our lives.
I desire his presence more than anything.
Davide has a unique communication style that has given him a platform in the marketplace to use his “get the job done” skill set.God has instilled in Davide a passion to equip the body of Christ through teaching, mentoring and speaking life through experience and wisdom of years.He is deeply passionate about pursuing and cultivating the presence of God. He currently lives with his wife of 31 years, Lois in Charlotte, NC. They have 3 amazing children with their married spouses.