“Then Jesus told this story: “A man planted a fig tree in his garden and came again and again to see if there was any fruit on it, but he was always disappointed. Finally, he said to his gardener, ‘I’ve waited three years, and there hasn’t been a single fig! Cut it down. It’s just taking up space in the garden.’
“The gardener answered, ‘Sir, give it one more chance. Leave it another year, and I’ll give it special attention and plenty of fertilizer. If we get figs next year, fine. If not, then you can cut it down.’”
Luke 13:6-9 NLT
As Christians, we can have so many desires and expectations of God. But are we producing fruit? Are we implementing the lessons He has taught us? Are we showing others the grace and mercy He’s shown us? What are we doing with the powerful messages we receive? Do they end up lost somewhere in the backs of our minds?
Recently a friend saw me underlining passages in a book. She asked me, “How often do you go back and read what you’ve underlined?” Unfortunately, not often enough. Of course, there are books and messages that really stick with me and spark a change in my life. But I had to ask myself, what is the point of underlining or writing notes if I don’t turn back to them?
When I was in college, one of my study methods was to read the notes I took in class often. I didn’t wait until the last minute to begin studying because all along, I was preparing myself. On exam day I was confident because I knew my material. If I had written it down, I’d memorized it and I understood it.
I remember a time where I would read over my notes from my quiet time often. The lessons God taught me stayed in my heart. I made index cards with scriptures and commentaries that highlighted an area I was trying to grow stronger in. I would read index cards and affirmations every single day.
Although I’m still growing, I believe I can do so much better by being more intentional with the information I’ve been given. Whether it’s my quiet time notes or sermons I listen to, I’ve made a commitment to get back to the place of studying. After all, the Bible tells us to meditate on God’s Word (Joshua 1:8) and implement what He teaches us (Matthew 7:24).
What is one way that you’re intentional about your growth? Or are there areas in your walk with God that you’d like to improve? I’d love to know! Comment your thoughts below!