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Meditations by John Dean

Monday, September 28, 2015

Clearing the Land

(Joshua 17:18 Message)  You also get the hill country. It's nothing but trees now, but you will clear the land and make it your own from one end to the other…

This scripture is a true picture of what all of our minds look like in the beginning. In other words our land (our mind), is capable of growing and producing most anything because God has made our minds to be fruitful.

Because one usually starts off in life without any self control or boundaries, Satan feels free to plant his seed in our field (our mind). That would of course suggest that digging those trees up later on in life is a requirement if we intend for our minds to be as productive as the Lord intends. This is certainly true when our life is dedicated to the purposes of God.

The trees that Satan has planted in our minds seem to be fast growing trees that have very deep roots. As a matter of fact our text says that our land is “nothing but trees.” That would seem to say that in the beginning our minds are not our own until we start clearing our land, or as the apostle Paul says, “the renewing of your mind.”

God not only intended for each of us to be successful, but he also intended for us to be dedicated to Him. I have come to the conclusion that clearing the land and keeping the trees (Satan’s growth) out of our mind is a lifelong effort.

There may be different things that can help clear the trees from one’s field, but the most powerful of all is a relationship with the Lord. Without that relationship Satan has the right to keep returning and planting new trees. The fact is, the only restrictions and boundaries there are to keep Satan from invading our land and planting those new trees is the Lord.

Case in point, when I was a young man growing up in East Texas we had a large wooded area (about fifteen acres) that needed to be cleared and made into a productive field. My job was to start chopping down trees and bushes with an ax. Even though I worked hard it was a slow process and I could see very little results. It seemed as though the bushes and trees grew back faster than I could cut them down.

I eventually went off to the military without having finished clearing the land. However, when I returned home after four years of military service the land had been cleared. A man with a bulldozer had been hired to come and clear the land. He was able to do in days what I was incapable of doing in months.

The point is, it is impossible for one to clear the trees out of one’s own land (mind) by themselves…they need the bulldozer of the Holy Spirit. It is only Him that can dig the deep roots out of one’s life and give them a fertile field that has the potential of being productive.

Over the years I have seen many well-meaning Christians who have struggled to keep themselves pure in mind before the Lord only to fail. The fact is, all of us will have our land (our minds) overgrown with the trees and bushes of this world apart from the help of the Lord.

Father,
Thank You for sending the Holy Spirit to help clear our land (our mind) and maintain it for Your glory. We also thank You for giving us this scripture to remind us of our need for You, and the potential that You have placed in each one of us.

Amen

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