“For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:14)
We live in a subdivision that is governed by a Homeowners Association (HOA). However, there is some wiggle room with minor bylaws. For example, we received a warning notice to remove a very small flower pot from behind our front yard shrubbery. It had to be removed within a few days or pay a $100 fine. Actually, it was hidden so well I had forgotten about it. I put it there to plant at a later time but sadly it was dead and that was the reason for the warning. However, I have no idea how the inspector saw it from the street when I failed to see it coming out of the house daily before I started teleworking in March 2020.
We are in error sometimes thinking GOD does not pay attention to our dirty deeds done in darkness. The flower pot was hidden from my eyes but nothing is hidden from the eyes GOD. As a matter of fact, He also hears our thoughts before we even think them. This is the importance of diligently tending to our own secret gardens [our own minds] until the second coming of Jesus. We must be ready! Matthew 24:43-44, tells us “But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore, you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
The secret things definitely belong to GOD that He has not even reveal to Jesus the day of His own return. So, it behooves us to adhere and obey the gospel of Jesus the Christ, “You know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night” (I Thessalonians 5:2).
For us, we had no way of knowing when the HOA inspector would visit our subdivision, or if there was a knock on our door to give us a verbal warning. One thing for sure, I know GOD has been warning us since our father and mother, Adam and Eve, disobeyed Him in the garden. We, too, continue to be warned under the New Testament covenant. So, keep your [secret gardens] with all vigilance for from it flow the spring of life (Proverbs 4:23-27).
There is wiggle room in our HOA minor bylaws but there is no wiggle room in the Word of GOD. What seeds are we planting in our secret gardens? Are we planting the gospel of Jesus the Christ without adding or taking away from His word? (Deuteronomy 4:2 and 12:31-32; Revelation 22:18-20; Proverbs 30:5-6; Matthew 22:29; Mark 7:13; Matthew 24:24; Genesis 3:1-4).
Will our secret gardens be ready for an unexpected visit from Jesus? Has our secret gardens been neglected and overrun by weeds of evil deeds? “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hears my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20).
Finally, brothers [sisters] whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the GOD of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:8-9).
QUESTIONS TO PONDER
Are we planting seeds from the gospel of Jesus leading people to Christ? Do we find ourselves wanting to return to the world like Brother Demas? Can Jesus visit our secret gardens at this moment to spiritually harvest what we planted? Are the spiritual walls around our secret gardens high enough to flee and keep out evil temptation? Are we dead in Christ? I will be the first to admit that it takes work and we cannot be sluggards when it comes to caring for our secret gardens.
Proverbs 24:30-34 30I went past the field of a sluggard, past the vineyard of someone who has no sense; 31thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone wall was in ruins. 32I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw: 33A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest- 34and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.
Psalm 1:1-3 1Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, 2but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night. 3That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither- whatever they do prospers.