Vines invaded my fig tree this year. They choked the life out of some branches and devastated the crop of fruit. I’ve battled these vines for three years…this year they were mad. It seems that every year they have come back stronger. Truth be told, I was afraid of them. Someone told they were poison oak, and I believed it. Fearing for the life of my fig tree, I sought the help of more experienced gardeners.
A battle plans was laid out. Wait till fall or early winter and attack! Trace the vines to their root, cut it off and douse it with poison. What a job! Pulling the vines down broke out dead wood–and damaged a few good branches as well. Finding the roots was a daunting challenge–and the size of some of those nasty, hairy roots was surprising. My tree looks great now; spring will tell the story.
But this isn’t about fig trees or vines, of course. I like to garden but I love care-taking souls. Those vines made me think of the parasitic nastiness that invades lives. Our lives are full of little ‘sins’ that pop up…sins powered by evil that produce trial and sorrow. When they begin to bother us, we attack them–only to find they get stronger and stronger. Sometimes we freeze from fear. Sometimes we need the help of others. Always we have a way to win:
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” Jesus, John 16:33
Like the vines in my fig tree, evil kills life and robs us of fruit. Breaking off the vines above the root just allows the root to thicken and produce with greater energy. Focusing on the external as a solution–changing a behavior, quoting a Scripture–without attacking the root improves the ‘look’ of our lives for a time. The Pharisees were great at it–white-washed tombs with death inside is the description Jesus gave. Discouragement, despair and death are the long-term results of that approach.
God did not leave us alone to fight the lusts of the flesh or the principalities and powers of the air. We are created with a spirit designed to meet with His Spirit! Abundant life is the plan of God for the child of God.
The LORD’s light penetrates the human spirit, exposing every hidden motive. Proverbs 20:27
Sin and evil cannot withstand the Light of Christ. Like the roots of the vines on my tree, the roots of sin must be destroyed. The love and light of Christ restores life–and produces fruit. Our lives should taste like the Spirit:
…love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness,
goodness, faith, meekness, temperance…
If there are vines choking your fruit, find a friend who can help you with a battle plan. Victory is yours in Jesus Christ…claim it today!