Today I thought of this preach letter I wrote in 2013 and wanted to take another look at its message. I updated it and I think you’ll like it too.
DIG AND DUNG?
God often compares people to trees. And sometimes we need to do some spiritual digging and dunging to those trees. What does that mean? Jesus tells us about this in Luke 13: 6-9:
“He spake also this parable; ‘A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.
“Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?’
“And he answering said unto him, ‘Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.’”
If our lives are spiritually dull and not producing the kind of fruit we desire, then it’s probably a good time for us to do some digging and some dunging.
I have a fig tree in my yard that I’ve had for 17 years. I started off fertilizing it every year, but for the past three years when I thought about doing it, I remembered how hard it was to dig up the ground around the tree to even be able to put some fertilizer in there. After a period of time, the ground gets so compacted that it’s a difficult job to put anything new into it.
That’s how our spiritual lives get sometimes—compacted and hard. We need to stir things up, breaking up some of our old ways of thinking and old ways of spending our time. We need to ask some questions as to why do we think the way we do? When a person digs around a tree, he or she aerates the ground and gets things moving. That’s what we need to do spiritually. Paul tells Timothy:
“Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Tim 1:6-7).
We can never be afraid of digging; stirring things up a bit. It may be exactly what’s required to get rid of old thinking and boring, routine patterns. I just told my roommate this morning that I want to go to see a young Christian worship leader who’s coming in May to a church down the street from us. I may be one of the oldest one there, but I don’t care. I want to see what the 20-year-old Christians are up to and I’m excited.
Then there’s the matter of dunging. I thought about what it means to dung a tree. Dung is manure, a type of fertilizer. It’s organic, alive, not watered down, not genetically engineered, but good, rich, hot manure. The dictionary defines “fertilize” as “to make fertile; make fruitful or productive; enrich.” Fertilizer is “any material put on or in the soil to improve the quality or quantity of plant growth.”
Fertilizing a tree gives it an extra boost. The process of digging and dunging often requires one to get down on their knees.
Right now is the time to give our lives that extra spiritual boost of the Word of God, whether in study or application. The burdens of the world will always be there. If they are bringing us down, we definitely need some super fuel of what the Lord is trying to tell us; we need His extra energy to make a positive difference in our world.
The Lord gives us hope and He is the deliverer physically, emotionally and mentally on an individual basis; as well as the deliverer of nations on an international perspective. Anything on the international level still begins with the spiritual health of the individual.
Let’s be open to the Lord’s leading, as far as prayer goes and/or the sections of scripture He’s guiding us to; maybe a word study on some issue He wants to help us with? Just think about it and see what the Lord brings to mind.
How about testing out a new principle like the laying on of hands for healing, or confronting a devil spirit with the name of Jesus Christ? Whatever we see Jesus or any other believer in the Bible do, we can ask the Lord to teach us and help us to do the same and He will be perfectly willing to help and guide us into it.
There are choices we make every day on how to spend our time. A good gardener digs and dungs at least once a year. The man in Jesus’ parable hadn’t done either in three years, so his tree quit producing fruit. Let’s not be like that. Let’s be diligent to take great care of our spiritual trees; digging, stirring up and fertilizing the blessings God’s given us.
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