I was just looking out onto my garden and my attention was drawn to a small potted rose plant that a dear friend had bought me. I don’t have a good track record with roses but because this was a gift, I wanted it to survive and grow so that when my friend visited, she would see that I’d taken care of it. It came in a small pot originally and sat on my garden table for several days. I was procrastinating, I’m not green fingered in anyway, but I like my pots! I found a larger pot, got some compost, placed the rose into its new home and watered and fed it. I began to feed and water it weekly along with my other plants over the summer months.
I can’t say that I pay much individual attention to any of my plants, but I love to look out on my garden and see the wonderful colour variations, sizes, and shapes of the plants despite the fact that I have no idea of their names or species! However, when autumn arrives my gardening days cease as I’m a warm weather gardener!
As I looked at this small rose, the Holy Spirit began to speak to me. He drew my attention to the various sizes of the stems that had grown. One stem was growing tall, one was smaller but had two off shoots that were opening into three heads. One was tiny but ready to bloom. All of the roses were reaching upwards to bask in the glorious sunshine which was highlighting their glorious shades of yellow. The smallest buds were the deepest yellow. I so love the smell of yellow roses.
Holy Spirit was reminding me, that had I not put the rose in a bigger pot with the right soil and feed and had I not continued to water and feed them, then this rose would have gone the way of so many of my other plants in past times!
Life is in the seed, but when we neglect to care and protect those seeds, they don’t produce the abundance that lies within them and sometimes they die! There is a man in the Bible called Shammah he’s mentioned in 2 Samuel 23:11 “One time the Philistines gathered at Lehi and attacked the Israelites in a field full of lentils. The Israelite army fled, but Shammah held his ground in the middle of the field and beat back the Philistines. So, the Lord brought about a great victory.”
What seed do you need to defend? What’s your lentil patch? Your marriage, health, finances? Shammah was one of the men that joined David in the cave of Adullum broken and desperate. But he aligned himself to David, a man who had intimacy with God, who fought the lion and the bear and defeated Goliath with a slingshot and stone! Our enemy is an unseen demonic force that materialises in many forms, sickness, anxiety, anger, disappointment etc. He is a thief who only comes to rob, kill, and destroy. But God has given us mighty weapons to fight with and defend our lentil patches with.
In this story the Philistines launched a surprise attack, they lay in wait in the lentil patch. I believe most of the attacks we experience in life often take us by surprise and we can be caught on the back foot! The army ran away but Shammah held his ground!
We will have to decide to fight or flee, to take our stand and find our voice! Shammah took up position right in the middle of the of the lentil patch with the enemy surrounding him on all sides. The Philistines were about to encounter an unseen army. One man decided enough is enough, put his trust in God, stood his ground, right in the middle of the field of lentils and supernaturally destroyed his enemy! It wasn’t his power that destroyed those Philistines it was his faith in Gods ability to give him the victory!
You might ask, ‘didn’t he destroy the lentils as well?’ Lentils produce a lens-shaped seed, and although the lentil patch was trampled over by the feet of the Philistines, and the weight of their dead bodies, those seeds were life giving. A seed that could still produce life as long as it was planted in good soil. As long as we protect the seed, there’s life. The seed that was planted in Shammah’s heart enabled him to take his stand! That lentil patch represented freedom from oppression, freedom from an invading army, freedom from fear!
My rose will give me many years of pleasure if I nurture and protect it! Our lives and relationships are so more important to God than plants and birds, yet even those he takes care of. If your lentil patch is important to you then it’s important to God! Sow seeds of life, words of encouragement, growth, love and destiny over yourself and others. Watch how God supernaturally waters those seed and gives you results that far exceed your expectations. As I look at my small rose bush and see it flourishing, even though the stems look weak, I’m expecting by this time next year that with the proper care and attention that I will have a well-established rose, that will need an even bigger pot! Do I have the same expectation for my lentil patch? You bet I do!
Written by Chris Finn