Does studying the life of King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived other than our Lord Jesus Christ, ever intrigue you? I’ve often wondered at what juncture he penned proverbs and songs and shared his God-given wisdom which flows like a river at flood stage down through the ages for the rest of us to observe. Proverbs 15:24, “The way of life winds upward for the wise,” has been winding its way through my spirit for some time now.
Donna, The Gardner.
My husband and I have about five regular daily walking routes from which to choose. Like my daddy who named each of the fields on Sage Creek Farms where I was raised, I’ve dubbed each of the walks with a certain name. One of these is “Donna, the Gardner.”
God offered up His peaceful blue sky dotted with a few, cottony, white clouds here and there on Sunday afternoon as we started our prayer walk.
Mr. Red, Red Robin was bob, bob, bobbing along the grass searching for worms to feed his new little brood. The seven oak trees had cast their leaf coverings which resemble strands of golden, human hair. Mrs. Robin seemed to be pretty particular in selecting certain ones of these to add a little more comfort to her nest even though all of the fibers looked the same to me.
Much to our delight, as we approached the home of Donna, The Gardner, she was standing in her front yard surveying with much satisfaction the fruits of her labors.
Suddenly, I spotted what could serve as the perfect picture I’d been looking for to accompany this week’s prophetic blog post! It’s the lush, green vine winding its way upward sporting snappy purple blooms, which attract hummingbirds like a magnet.
Donna, The Gardner, is flat-out amazing and such an inspiration. She is Italian and speaks English sufficiently so that one can easily carry on a conversation with her. I requested permission to take the photo to which she exuberantly agreed.
Much to our surprise, Donna still mows her own lawn and takes care of her beautiful yard and garden.
90 candles will soon adorn Donna’s birthday cake! She told us that as she works outside, pushing her lawn mower and inspecting every square inch for weeds, she says her daily prayers. An invitation to stop by for a cup of coffee soon followed.
Later, I felt led by The Holy Spirit to consult the meaning of Donna’s name, which inspired me even further as a double confirmation:
“Donna – Literal meaning: Lady
Suggested Character Quality: Dignity of Character
Suggested Lifetime Scripture Verse: Hosea 14:9,
“Who is wise? Let him understand these things. Who is prudent? Let him know them. For the ways of the Lord are right. The righteous walk in them, But transgressors stumble in them.”
John 15, The Vine, & The Vinedresser.
Interestingly enough, our Sunday morning sermon addressed John 15, the vine, & the vinedresser.
To instruct and encourage His disciples, Jesus stated, “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” (John 15:1-8.)
Many a sermon has been delivered far and wide from just these 8 verses. There’s enough spiritual meat in them to preach for months, to say the least.
My one, main, takeaway from our pastor’s message on Sunday was, “What vine are you plugged into?” I’ll freely admit that I’d never quite looked at it through that set of vital, lifesaving, spiritual lenses.
Please notice that in John 15:1, Jesus uses one very important word which is true.
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.” (Emphasis mine.)
In a day and age where the number of false christs is increasing, this verse echoes louder and stronger.
Jesus warns of the counterfeit ones in Matthew 24:24 and Mark 13:22, especially as we march toward the end times.
The litmus test for truth for all worldwide religions can be boiled down to one thing, and that is the deity of Christ. One can almost hear Jesus’s question that He posed to His disciples when they came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” (Matthew 16:13.)
It was Simon Peter who answered correctly, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:16.)
As we have the opportunity to witness about our Lord Jesus Christ and deliver the good news of eternal life through Him, it’s paramount that we represent the real, true, life-giving Christ. (John 3:16; Romans 10:9-10.)
Gardens, Vines, & The Symbols.
The prophetic symbolism for a garden can be obvious, but I still like to consult these as The Holy Spirit may use one of them to speak to my spirit.
Gardens represent the church, spiritual growth, the heart of a believer, a place of intimacy with the trinity, eternal life, sins such as hiding in a garden, fruitfulness, and righteousness.
The Gardener is our Heavenly Father. Also, it can be an earthly one, such as Donna, The Gardner, or a spiritual caretaker.
Are you a spiritual caretaker for anyone at the moment?
Gardening itself is symbolized by the Father’s business, preparation of the heart, ministry, or working in the harvest fields. (John 4:35.)
The vine speaks of Christ and His church, your life, and your relationship with Jesus, Israel, a peaceful or a poisonous vine, or reaping the harvest (vine of the earth – Revelation 14:19).
The Ways of Wisdom.
Wisdom has her own ways and was there when God created the earth. (Proverbs 8:22-31.)
Here’s a couple of “wisdom reads” for you to check out:
Prophetic Insights For Daily Living.
#1. God’s way of life is the safe path that leads to eternal life. The exhortation in His word is to choose His ways to avoid the ultimate, disastrous destination of hell beneath as the last portion of Proverbs 15:24 reads, “That he may turn away from hell below.”
If one studies church history, it’s interesting to note that sermons preached millennia and decades ago addressed the subject of hell and the afterlife, but not so much present day. Why do you think this is the case?
In addition, there’s also the element of society that doesn’t believe in a heaven or a hell at all. Their view is that there’s just this present earth and that’s it. Fineeto!
Alas, dear brothers and sisters, gravity exists whether we believe it or not. Fire burns whether we believe it or not, and hell does as well. (Matthew 13:41-42 and 25:41.)
#2. Which vine are you plugged into?
#3. Are you being pruned at the moment? This is not a pleasant aspect of our Christian life, but it’s a very necessary one. If you are, what is God pruning so you can bear even more fruit for Him and His kingdom?
#4. There’s so much comfort and safety in abiding in Jesus, our Vine, and God our Vinedresser. Even though we face daily challenges, we are on the winning team every time!
#5. What are some of the practical ways that you’ve found and instituted to help you continue to abide?
#6. As you read over the list of prophetic symbolisms for gardens and vines, do any of these nudge your spirit?
#7. Do you enjoy gardening? If so, what have you learned that you can apply to your spiritual life? We can discern so much from God’s daily ways of life.
A vine slowly climbs upward, similar to our spiritual life. As we walk in the Spirit, we wind our way closer to God!
Let’s pray, shall we?
Father, thank You for being such a caring and loving Vinedresser. Jesus, all praise, honor, and glory go to You for helping us to abide in You so that we can continue to bear fruit. Holy Spirit, please help us to walk out every day in Your power and grace as we stay firmly plugged into the Three of You Who are The True Trinity. May our lives continue to flourish in You, and may we love all of You and our neighbor as ourselves. Teach us to number our days so that we may gain a heart of wisdom as our lives continue to wind upward in You.
We ask these things in the name that is above every name, the mighty name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen!
Until the next message,
SFE (Sheila, Fellow Encourager)
Sheila Eismann, Prophetic Seer, Blogger, & Author, publishes her weekly blog posts endeavoring to encourage others through God’s word. Her writings include teaching and instructions on how to apply prophetic insights for daily living.
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Photo via DSP.