by Pastor Tim Burt
As I write you this morning, I am in what my grandchildren have named, Papa's Secret Garden. I am sitting by the edge of our creek praying for many people—my family, our congregation, all of you, and individuals that are presently going through difficult times. While I was praying, an image came to mind that I know was from the Lord. In the Fall, before I tear out the garden, I cut off flower heads. As they dry out, I am able to extract the seeds to grow new flowers. Toward the latter part of winter, I plant a few of those seeds in vermiculite to make sure the seeds are good and will germinate so that I can plant them in the spring. If they are good, they germinate in about ten days or less. This was the image I suddenly saw while I was praying.
As the Lord showed me this image and I got quiet before Him, He immediately began to speak to me about all the seeds Renee and I had planted in obedience to His Word over the past 33 years. We have never not tithed ten percent of our income. On top of that we have always given offerings. We have planted the seed of God’s Word in people’s lives. We have done many things for people. These are all “seeds” according to God’s word. If it weren’t for the Lord and His grace, we would have never had that seed or strength of spirit to obey him to begin with.He alone gets all the glory for anything we've done right! 2 Corinthians 9:10-11 (NIV) says, “Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.”
As the Lord was speaking to me about all this, He reminded me of those dead flower heads containing the seeds. He said, They are just sitting there and that’s all they will do until you extract the seeds and plant them. Planting them is still not enough. You have to water them. If you hadn’t, they would not have germinated and grown. He continued, You’ve planted much seed in your life including those you are praying for now. Pray for the rain of Heaven upon those seeds so that they can sprout and bring forth fruit. That was such a powerful image to me because I could so easily see it in terms of gardening. I am a gardener and I get gardening and seed time and harvest. Harvest is the beautiful footprint of your labor of sowing and tending the seed!
This is how you gave your life to Jesus. Someone shared God's Word with you. The Bible calls the word of God incorruptible seed. It was the seed of the gospel of Jesus Christ to you. Someone was also praying over you and that was equal to watering that seed. It eventually germinated in you and took root as you opened your heart to God. And when that happened, it sprang forth and began to change your life! 1 Peter 1:23 says, “For you have been born again. Your new life did not come from your earthly parents because the life they gave you will end in death. But this new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, incorruptible seed of God’s Word.”
The Bible says God’s Word is incorruptible seed meaning seed that it will always grow when the heart is ready to receive it. Many people have it planted in their heart, but they need someone to water it through prayer and they need to open their heart to God.
God gives us seed—the Word of God, the tithe, offerings, good works, and more. Each of these seeds bear different kinds of fruit and bring blessing to us and to others when we are faithful to plant, water and tend them! Rain—the watering of seed—is critical for germination and growth. The rain God is talking about is prayer. He was saying, Pray over those seeds you’ve planted in obedience to me.
Your prayers cannot manipulate someone else's heart or will. But you can pray for hard hearts to be broken up! Hosea chapter 10 talks about the fallow (hard) ground of a heart being broken up. If you continue to pray, most people hit those places in their life—some from hardship and others out of thanksgiving—where they open their heart to God. Knowing this, have faith that your prayers avail much!
I’ll end with these verses from Isaiah. They paint the picture of prayer resulting in rain upon seed. Today I have begun to pray over all the seed Renee and I and all of you have planted. I will remember that seed first germinates, then sprouts, then grows over months, and then begins to bring forth fruit. That means I need to be consistent in watering by continuing to pray as a prayer assignment for a season of months and months. We will then see a bountiful harvest! I am excited and as you read the verses from Isaiah and catch the vision!
Isaiah 55:10-11 (NLT) "The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt