One of the nice things about our yard is the trees. One of the frustrating things about our yard is the trees. See, every fall we have to spend a whole lot of time raking up all the leaves from all of those trees. We appreciate those leaves most of the year, but there is a little month there where they’re not much fun at all.
I think back to one afternoon, typical of many, when we conquered the whole yard on the side with all the trees. Got up the next morning and we discovered that the yard that had been totally clean the night before was covered with leaves once again! It was depressing! So, we got back out there with our rakes and went at it again. Of course, it should be no surprise. Leaves fall every day.
Today I want to talk to you about “Dealing With the Leaves of Life.”
Notice with me Psalm 4:4 where David reflects on his own daily lifestyle and says, “In your anger, do not sin. When you are on your beds search your hearts and be silent.” David here seems to be saying that at night – at the end of each day – just kind of lie there silently on your bed and evaluate what’s happened during the day and listen to what the Lord wants to say about it. And then the next verse says, “Offer right sacrifices and trust in the Lord.”
Psalm 139:23-24 , we hear David with this familiar prayer, “Search me, O God, and know my heart. Test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there’s any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” I believe David’s saying here that every day he deals on a 24-hour basis with the sin that may have fallen into his life that day. That’s why at the end of the day he’s searching his heart; he’s listening to what God wants to say about his day, and he’s asking God to regularly search him.
See, sin is like the leaves in our yard in the fall. More leaves fall every day, and they’ve got to be cleaned up shortly after they fall. Now, we like to clean up our lives in one great binge of spiritual raking. You know, “I went to the altar several years ago.” “Well, I had a great spiritual experience several months ago and really got right with the Lord.”
It’s got to be a daily experience. David says here, “Every night I reflect on that day to see what happened.”
Every day we have new ways that we miss God’s mark. So how often do we need to confess our sin? Daily. How often do we need to repent? Daily. How often do we need to visit the cross? You know. Daily. God blesses purity. He blesses clean yards, and purity involves daily clean-up. It involves specific clean-up; reviewing this past 24 hours and laying it before the Holy Spirit. Letting Him show me where I have not been like Jesus.
Oftentimes we need to repent right at the moment when we know we’ve done the wrong thing, and then going to the cross with those specific transgressions and then getting clean again. So many of us, I think, live powerless lives because of all the leaves that we’ve allowed to accumulate. They choke out the life that comes from a life that’s totally exposed to the sun – the Son of God.
When it comes to spiritual yard care, you’d be amazed how many leaves can fall in 24 hours. So clean up daily and start each new day with all the dead leaves of yesterday raked, and bagged, and left at the curb.
Have a “Wonderful Day in Christ.”