Have you ever planted anything? Maybe you have watched someone carefully placing seeds into the soil. Plant life is such an amazing journey. As a former third grade teacher, I can remember studying and teaching inquisitive little people all about the plant life cycle. Now, trust me, I am far from a gardener. In fact, I have absolutely no desire to start a garden at any point in life! Oh, but the spiritual lessons we can learn from plants are endless! During my private times with God He will often speak a word or phrase to me, in turn, I begin to pray and study it. Imagine my surprise the day God whispered 'germinate' to my spirit. Certainly God was not calling me to be a gardener. He must have wanted me to apply the word 'germinate' to my life in spiritual terms. I was intrigued so I needed to investigate.
Webster's defines germinate as to begin to grow. Other definitions share that it is the process by which a plant grows from a seed. Anything expanding into greater being from a small existence. I sensed God trying to tell me that my spiritual 'seeds' had fully developed and popped up through the soil; it is my season. (The exciting news is that it may be your time too and you did not even notice it!) That immediately led me to Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 (NLT) For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven...A time to plant and a time to harvest. It must be time!
How do you know if you have 'seeds' in the ground? Great question! If you have been walking with Jesus for any amount of time, then I'm sure you have 'seeds' buried deep down in the soil. Remember that God sees, hears and knows everything! Every time you pray, fast, give tithes and offerings, those are 'seeds' in the ground. The times you help others, serve in church, and read your Bible are all times you have planted 'seeds'. When you forgive people, love people, invite people to church, and activate your faith, 'seeds are being deposited in the ground!
You may be wondering how you know when it is time because you have sown 'seeds' and it feels like nothing is taking place. I know exactly how you feel. Well friends, if could be one of two things going on: a period of dormancy or dealing with empty seeds. There was a time (months even years) when it seemed like nothing was happening. This is not at all unusual because most seeds, whether natural or spiritual, go through a period of dormancy, where there is no active growth. Seeds cannot and will not germinate until internal and external conditions are appropriate. Sadly enough all 'seeds' do not germinate. There is a term, empty seeds, which refers to those seeds that lack embryos and never germinate. Some examples are when we give up on God, live in unforgiveness, refuse to help others, live with anger and unbelief, or willingly live in sin with no thought of repentance, then we are placing empty seeds in the ground and we cannot reap a harvest.
There are some requirements for germination to take place:
Seeds require water for germination. If our seeds are going to begin to grow and peep up through the soil then we must experience rivers of living water. John 7:38 talks about when we are filled with His Holy Spirit then rivers of living water will flow through us. Seeds also require oxygen. Genesis 2:7 explains that God breathed the breath of life into man's nostrils. If we are ever going to germinate then God must breath on us. Our lives should be a reflection of who He is. Along with water and oxygen, seeds need the proper temperature to grow. Some seeds flourish in cold temperatures while others in hot temperatures. Did you know that your spiritual temperature affects whether or not you grow? In Revelation 3:15 God says I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other. God wants us to make a decision to live for Him and not change our minds. He is encouraging us to choose Him and stick with it! Lastly, some seeds need light and other seeds need darkness to grow. In this life, we have choices. Will we choose sin and evilness and hate the light or will we do what is right and come to the light. The choice is completely up to each of us. Jesus said in John 8:12 (NLT) I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of the life. When we choose to follow Him and walk in the light, germination can occur.
In order to grow from a seed to a plant we must be filled with His Spirit so He can flow through us, allow Him to breath on us, shape our lives, be committed to Him, determined to live for Him and faithful to follow Him. As believers, we will not always get this just right, but we should strive for it. Once we have fulfilled the requirements of germination our seeds will sprout up into plants. Just as we are able to see the plant peeking through the soil for the first time we will also be able to see all of the promises of God come into our lives. So, get excited your seeds have become little plants and it's time! Let Him heal your soul!
Your Sister in Christ,
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we thank you for the creative ways you teach us. I pray that each reader will hang in there and trust you as the 'seeds' in their lives are being developed. We believe that when it is time you will bring every promise to pass in their lives. In Jesus' Name, Amen.