(Fictional) One day I got a small plant in a flower pot as a gift. Feeling much gratitude of the gift, I decided to give my best in making sure that this plant grows to its fullest stature and maturity, bearing much fruit and good fragrance for many to enjoy.
It seemed to grow somewhat by itself for the time being, but I noticed that the plant stopped growing. In fact, I noticed that the plant was shrivelling, slowly losing its vitality and strength – sadly hunching down towards the earth as if it was ready to die.
I had no idea why my plant was this way, so I sought a help from my friend to help me revive this plant back to its full vitality.
My friend, who is not a botanist
I told my friend about my situation. He said, “Well Richard, I am no botanist, nor have I ever grown a plant before, but since we are good friends, I will regardless try my best to help you out as much as I can. First things first, let me take a look at this plant”.
With haste, I took my friend to my house, into my bedroom where the curtains were fully shut. At the corner of my dark room was a closet which was covered with multiple layers of large bed sheets.
I quickly uncovered the bed sheets, opened the closet and there was a box inside, locked with a key. I unlocked the box with my keys and Wa-lah! There was the plant, nearing its death.
“This is the plant?” my friend asked.
I replied “Yes! This is it! The lack of growth of this plant has been stressing me out, sometimes even giving me near-depression-like feeling!! You gotta help me my friend!”
My friend was dumbfounded, being paralyzed in speech for a good minute or two. As he recovered and regained his senses, he said,
“Richard, I am no genius, nor a botanist, nor ever grown a plant myself before, nor am I in any way qualified to be the person who knows something about plants – but I think you gotta get that thing out into the sunlight!!”
Seriously Richard? How dumb can you possibly be!!?
Yes, I know you find me quite stupid, dumb, idiotic and irrational indeed! But isn’t this what we do in our spiritual life?
“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me” (John chapter 15, verse 4)
Many of us complain “I am stressing over my lack of faith; I really don’t know what else to do! I have done everything I can but my faith never seems to grow but rather even the little faith that I seemed to have seems to be dying off!”.
Are you struggling right now and asking these questions yourselves? Well you strugglers, let me ask you some questions first.
How much of his word are you reading these days? Do you discipline yourself to get up early in the dawn and get on your knees to pray and wrestle with God until He would give you the strength you need to fight today?
Are you daily crucifying yourself and taking up the cross and following Jesus – Resisting and fleeing from things that may take your eyes off of Him and steal your heart away, rather than gorging yourself with YouTube and Netflix and wasting your life away instead of separating unto God?
Are you in prayer asking God to fill you with the Holy Spirit yet the second you turn around you grieve the very Spirit you just invited with your sins?
Well… I am no pastor, nor have I been in charge of any ministry, nor am I a theologian or a man known for my great piety – but you have to get yourself alone with God and cut off everything that might harm your relationship with God, even it is your right eye or your right hand, make sure you gouge it out and cut it off.
Stop complaining about your lack of faith whilst you haven’t read a single chapter of the bible for the whole week, nor even properly prayed except for saying grace before meals, and you are bombarding yourself with idiotic worldly and temporal things that will burn in the fire when Christ returns.
Why you are not bearing fruit? Its simple. You are not abiding in him, and his word is not abiding in you. It seems simple enough, but the way we act? Oh, you certainly won’t be amongst those who call me out as stupid for being clueless about my plant.
Richard Kwon is from Auckland, a regular lay person who just loves the Lord.