I noticed right before I left home to drive to Greensboro, NC for last week's PCA General Assembly that the grass in the yard was getting a little high. I really wasn't too worried about it ... the grass has been much higher in the past and I'll be back in less than a week anyway. But when I did return I started to worry! It's just unreal how fast things can grow when given the right conditions. (in my yard the term "grass" should be interpreted more literally as "weeds" because that's mostly what we have growing at our place. What little grass we do have doesn't grow nearly as fast as do all the weeds.)
I've noticed that my spiritual life is very similar to my yard ... given the right conditions things can grow very quickly, both the good and the bad stuff. When I abundantly avail myself of the means of grace - God's Word, prayer, sacrament - then I see good spiritual growth in my life. When I'm faithfully involved with God's people in fellowship, when I'm consistent in personal and corporate weekly worship, when I'm right relationship with the authority over me, when I'm preaching the Gospel to myself ... this is when I see healthy spiritual growth take place. But when I don't do these things, when I limit my involvement with the means of grace, when I distance myself from God's people, when I'm sporadic in worship, etc. ... this is when the weeds grow. And guess which grows faster in my heart and life - yes, the weeds! Healthy spiritual growth is typically a slower process than we'd like it to be while unsightly and unwanted "weeds" grow much faster in our lives that we'd like.
So what's the solution? Do we just try harder to make good things grow and hope the weeds don't? Just cutting the weeds every so often doesn't seem to help - they keep coming back. But there is yet hope ... Round Up! The goal is to kill the weed at the root and this is what Round Up (or other similar product; I've actually found Spectracide to be just as or more effective) is all about.
The Gospel is Round Up ... kills sin at the root rather than just trimming back visible growth. The Gospel addresses such heart issues as pride and unbelief rather than just surface levels of behavior management. The Gospel is poison to our sin and shows us that we have nothing to be proud and self-righteous about but rather shows us that the person and work of Jesus Christ is the only object worthy object of our faith and trust. When consumed with the Gospel of Jesus His goodness, grace, and glory become much more attractive to us than anything the world could offer and we then naturally develop the desire to quickly repent when our hearts are drawn to things other than Christ.
How are you going to deal with the "weeds" in your life? Apply generous portions of the Gospel and watch those weeds die away and healthy stuff grow in its place. Are you in a place, relationship, group, etc. where you will be saturated with the Gospel? If not, get used to the weeds.