Lesson 1, Topic 1
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Weeding the Garden

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What do you look like FULLY ALIVE in Jesus?

In John 10:10, Jesus told us that while we may have an enemy who wants to “steal, kill and destroy,” He came to “give life to the fullest, abundant and overflowing!” His heart is that you and I would be “fully alive,” in His infinite, resurrection life that springs from the everlasting well of God — right now and into eternity.

As a church community, we set aside the first 12 Sundays of each year to explore what we believe are the three foundations of a “full life” in Christ.

Our INTIMACY with God through the indwelling Holy Spirit.

Our new IDENTITY through the resurrection life of Jesus Christ.

The INHERITANCE we carry and release because we are reconciled to our Good Father.

Our INTIMACY with God through the indwelling Holy Spirit.

Growing up for me I was taught in a church that it was the Father, the Son and the Holy Scripture. That was the environment I grew up in. The indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit and how He interacts with us was something I had to get used to. 

I don’t what religious background you grew up in but one of the first things we need to address with intimacy is that it’s not about knowledge. By its definition, intimacy is about affection and knowledge together. In fact, you can have a lot of knowledge about something and not be intimate with it.

If we take this in the realm of spirituality, you can have all the knowledge in the world about God and the scriptures and still not love Him or be intimately acquainted with Him. Scripturally, we know even the demons know the scriptures. Satan quoted scriptures back to Jesus that doesn’t mean he had a loving relationship with Him.

Knowledge is not intimacy.

Our new IDENTITY through the resurrection life of Jesus Christ.

In our world, identity is often established by so many different things whether it’s you’re known for what you do or you’re know for who you’re connected with or you’re known for your failures or your successes. Identity can be built on so many different things. 

When we talk about our identity in Christ, it has nothing to do with us. It has everything to do with what He has done. So our identity is found in Him alone and not in any of those other places.

The INHERITANCE we carry and release because we are reconciled to our Good Father.

On my own I don’t have a lot of resources. I don’t carry a lot of authority in the name of Drew. But in the name of Jesus, I carry a lot of authority.

In my own ability to produce or to give something out, I don’t really have a lot. But in God’s redemptive nature and what He’s done for me, I have so much to give because of what He’s poured into me and because of my reconciled relationship with a good Father. 

The Glory of God is Man Fully Alive

Why this is foundational to us.

“The glory of God is man fully alive; the life of man is the vision of God. If the revelation of God through creation gives life to all who live upon the earth, much more does the manifestation of the Father through the Word give life to those who see God.”

St. Ireneaus

Those of us who are called by His name that are in relationship with Him, that are image bearers of God, how much more will we reveal the glory of God when we are fully and completely His and submersed in His presence and guided by His word. How much more will we reveal Him to a world that is dying to know Him? 

If creation itself reveals it how much more the image bearers who are connected in intimate relationship, who know who they are and know what they carry? 

Cultivating our Garden

As I was praying and wrestling about this message asking God what He wants to say and do and the work He wants to do in us, I got a picture. There is a lot that the Lord wants to plant in our hearts and minds over the next several months in this series of Intimacy, Identity and Inheritance. 

If you guys are familiar with gardening; say you want to plant something. You find a spot and then realize, you’ve got to clear the ground in order to make it ready to receive seeds or the things you need to plant. You need to cultivate the land to get it ready to receive the thing that needs to grow.

That’s what I feel what the Lord is doing in us. We are getting rid of rocks and weeds and making space in the garden of our hearts and minds for what God wants to plant in his next season.  

Some of us don’t want to discover the rocks that have been piled up or hidden in our garden, or the weeds. But this isn’t about an exposure to shame or condemn but a revealing to free and make space for what the Lord wants to do in us. 

The Tension With Intimacy

When start talking about intimacy it might bring fear and comparison in your heart and mind as it did to me. Growing up relationship with Jesus turned into a religious duty and religious obligation.

It turned into demonstrating to God that I was doing the right things to be in right relationship with Him. Unfortunately, that replaced relationship with empty religious practices. 

The Dynamics of Relationship

Relationship is about pursuit and its dynamic in nature. 

Relationship is also very individual.

God came to fill us up which means He knows us intimately and the way that we best understand Him. He know where we’re at in our maturity level and our understanding to be able to communicate with Him best.

Be free to understand God the way He made you and how He purposed you to connect best with Him. And this is why we need each other to come fully alive, because we bless each other with our relationship with God when we come fully alive in those places that we connect with Him. 

Don’t Get Stuck in Complacency

Complacency begins to get into our hearts and minds when maybe we’ve settled into a place of interacting with God or a place that we thinks is the only way to interact with God. It starts with feeling stagnant and we get to this place of just settledness. 

Complacency relies on us to have a lower view of who God is. It relies upon us to think that when we’ve reached certain place of relationship with God that that’s all there is to it and that there’s nothing more to be experience. 

God is eternal. He no beginning, He has no end. He has no limit to who He is. So if we think we are ever going to get to a place in relationship with Him where we figured Him all out or there’s not more to understand or experience, we are believing a lie. 

God is much more bigger, so much more beautiful and so much more nuanced that we could ever know. We will never run out of opportunities to know Him and to get to know Him better,.

Why We Might Become Complacent in our Relationship with God

1. Disappointment with God

We might be afraid to say it because we grew up in an environment where God is not to be questioned or God is not to be doubt. We ascribe everything that happens into our life to God’s will which is not okay and not good. It leads us to believe some really bad conclusions about God. 

For example: I grew up in this kind of an environment, so as kid and a teenager when I’m trying to process my physical, emotional, spiritual, and sexual abuse, I am looking at it through the lens of “Well, God intended this to happen to me because God is in control.” 

Why would God purpose these abuses to happen to me? The answer in that environment is that “God wants you to have testimony to praise Him.” This mindset will breed disappointment with God because it’s a misappropriation of His character.

All of us our carry these things in our lives where we get disappointed with God for some reason or another whether we misunderstand what He’s doing or we’re on the other side of the redemptive experience. The only thing we’re seeing is the pain and the brokenness and when we don’t see redemption on the other side. It’s reasonable and understandable because we don’t understand what He is doing. But when we get disappointed and we let that settle into a place of agreement about His character or what He can do or what He will do, then we start limiting our relationship with Him and we get stuck.

2. Paralysis

Sometimes in our life we get paralyzed by our disagreement with God’s character and we get stuck in a position and the life of Christ is cut off from that place in our life because we’re not willing to move.  Sometimes it can be laziness or about just not knowing that you need to move. Sometime it can be that we have this belief that we are unrigidly unwilling to submit to to the hand of God and His life cannot flow into that place.

Paralysis needs to be undone by a dynamic encounter. We need a revelation of God where we have been wrong about His character. Something that removes the roadblock, that thing that’s keeping us stuck so we can begin to move again.

3. Conditioning

This is where we condition our expectation or because of our previous environment, we’re conditioned to believe that isn’t true. Ryan said something a couple of weeks ago that undid me. He said that, “Some Christians believe more in satan’s ability to speak directly to our hearts, than Holy Spirit’s ability to speak to us.”

I grew up in an environment where we the only way God speaks to you is through the scriptures – It became the Father, the son and the Holy Scripture – but the enemy can speak to your heart all the time.

“The enemy was tempting me today.”
“The enemy was speaking lies over my heart today.”

Let’s confront the fact that our environment might have conditioned us to believe something that isn’t true and limiting our relationship with God.

4. Chaos and Disorder

Chaos and disorder has an illusion of freedom but it’s actually a different form of bondage because it doesn’t allow God to work within a structure. 

Too much freedom sometimes get us in into a place where we don’t steward our lives well. Structure can actually be a very good, powerful thing because it helps us to hang out experiences. It helps us to know how to cultivate forward.  It isn’t God, but it helps us to know God because God is a God of order. 

5. Apathy and Ambivalence

It looks like hopelessness. It looks at a situation or a context of a situation and it views it through the lens of “there’s just nothing better here. There’s no hope for the future. There’s no vision for something better.” Sometimes that’s partnered with complacency, sometime that’s just a result of a lot of pain and hurt.

It’s okay to acknowledge places in our lives where we’ve been disappointed, where we have reached a point of wondering if this is it; but I want to challenge us to never to settle there. That ultimately God can prove better, bigger, more amazing than we could ever imagine. 

Gentle Repentance

All of this is a starting point for our series to get us to look at the garden we want to implant some of things we’re going to learn in the next several weeks and ask ourselves whether we have some rocks or weeds that we want to uproot. 

Let’s invite the Lord into a gentle repentance. Repentance presents this idea that you are on a path, and that you have had an awakening about the path you are on and where it’s taking you. So you decide to turn from that path to face the Father and you pursue Him. 

What’s the path you’re on? Is the path being ruled by disappointment? Is it ruled by paralysis? By conditioning, chaos and disorder, or apathy?

Asking the question is your acknowledgment that you don’t want to be in that path any longer and you want something fresh and new and dynamic relationship with God. So that gentle repentance just means “I agree, this is not the path I want and I want to face You and pursue what You have for me.”


Abba, I surrender my life and will to you today without reservation and with humble confidence for you are my loving Father. 

Set me free from all self-consciousness and from anxiety about tomorrow and from the tyranny of the approval and disapproval of other. That I might find joy and delight simply and solely in pleasing you God. 

May my inner freedom by a compelling sign of your presence, your peace and your power love. And let your plan for my life, and the lives of all your children gracefully unfold one day at a time.

I love you with all my hear and I place all my confidence in you for you are my Father, my Abba.