We used to have an old oak tree in our south-facing front yard. We knew the sun was strong out there, but we experienced it through the filtering of our giant oak and so did our plants. Last year we had to remove the tree because it had become infected by insects. We loved that tree for its shade, but the very shade we enjoyed was bad for growing grass. So with visions of lush green grass in our heads, we did the dirty deed and got rid of the tree.
The sun was brutal without our old oak, painful to our eyes even through the living room windows! Plus the removal of the tree required us to remove our shade-loving plants and start replenishing the area with sun-lovers. But even plants that like the sun cannot THRIVE in it unless their roots are nourished and protected.
I recently bought a hanging basket and discovered that where our shade-loving plants could go without watering for a few days at a time, this sun-loving plant demands daily attention. When I was a novice at gardening, I remember spraying water on my plants’ leaves and flowers, then proceeding quickly to the next plant for more of the same. I was not focused on nourishing the roots—the very part of the plant that actually drinks the water!—so my wet plants were left thirsty. Their roots got teased, not nourished—and as the roots go, so go the flowers.
The sun is a blessing to flowering plants with well-watered roots. The nature of a flowering plant is to produce healthy blooms of color and vigor, but if the soil is not moist enough to nourish the roots, the plant cannot BE what it really IS, meaning it’s true nature will not be revealed by its performance.
This is how it is with born-again believers. Our born-again spirit is CREATED in righteousness and holiness at the moment we believe, meaning our new NATURE is righteous and holy. But as long as we live on this earth, our newly-created spirit must use our soul (mind, will and emotions) as the bridge to bring into physical manifestation all that we ARE in spirit. This is why the Word says our mind must be renewed to come into agreement with the Word of God. Our soul cannot serve as the bridge to victory if it’s weak, faulty and heading in the wrong direction.
God’s Word nourishes our soul. The Bible calls this “renewing the mind.” So here’s my plant analogy: It is the born-again believer’s NATURE to produce fruit that blesses (beautiful healthy flowers). But we live in a world of harsh conditions (direct sun), and in order to BE who we ARE, our soul (soil) must be nourished and protected. The Word is the water that nourishes our soul to come into agreement with our already perfected NATURE in Christ. And, according to Psalm 91:4, God’s promises are our armor and protection. When our souls are being nourished and protected by God’s Word, we can’t help but produce fruit that blesses. After all, this is who we ARE.