0

Let No Ivy Take Root

One night at Bible study we were talking about spiritual battles and a young mom in our group gave a great analogy of what can happen when we let our guard down. Being a picture person, it came through loud and clear to me. I became fixated on the picture painted in my mind by her words. In my heart I knew there was a lesson in it. She said something like, “When we let our guard down, the enemy and sin have a way of creeping in like ivy on a house.”

Ivy is beautiful to the onlooker but what is it doing to the structure underneath? Ivy starts from one little root and grows slowly. It is a creeping plant that wraps itself around trees, fences, and buildings. Sound familiar?

The enemy sits waiting for his chance to plant that one little root that in time will grow and slowly begin to take over. Many things that the world sees as perfectly acceptable are sin in God’s eyes and can take over a person.

As I researched ivy, I learned that it wraps its way around a tree and sucks the life out of the tree. What looks beautiful from the outside is actually killing the tree. Even a tree with deep roots will be harmed when the root of an ivy plant takes hold. On buildings that have any cracks/damage, ivy literally grows into the crack and causes very harmful structural damage. Moisture also gets into those damaged areas that the ivy has made bigger and becomes the perfect breeding ground for mold and fungus.

We can so easily become like those homes covered in ivy, beautiful on the outside and falling apart because of the damage the roots of sin, shame, and lies from the enemy have caused. Just like the tree that is slowly dying, the life is being sucked out of us. Something foul like mold or fungus on a house can be growing in us where the root of evil has broken into old wounds.

God’s word tells us to “be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 (NIV) We need to be on guard as believers. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12 (NIV) Daily, we need to be putting on the armor of God and digging in deep to tear out any roots the enemy is trying to plant in our heads and our hearts.

As you read this, I hope you will really look hard at yourself. Is there ivy in your life that needs to be torn out before it slowly sucks the life out of you? Ask God to search your heart and bring to your attention any strongholds that have taken root and then ask God to use His mighty hand to tear out the ivy in your life.

Know this, as ivy is pulled off a building parts of the building come with it. Ask God to be the life-giving “spackle” that fills in those holes where your ivy has been pulled out. God can rebuild what was meant for harm. Ivy can be turned from harmful to …

“I” live

“V”ictoriously in

“Y”ou!

The enemy can have no root of harm in me and he can have no root of harm in you!

Share
0

Trusting God in the evil of the world

My heart has been so heavy as I see the news of women being raped and children being beheaded.  Photos of the violence tells a story that many don’t want to have to think about.  People with guns to their backs and their heads is hard to look at.  I saw a photo of the smoking guns that were fired in an act of evil on Facebook.

This violence is happening and yet so many are not even aware of it and if they are they seem to say nothing about it.  We get upset, we mourn and we share the tragic stories of celebrities.  We are quick to hit the share button, the favorite button and the re-tweet button when a celebrity speaks.  I saw a post last night about people being mad at Rosanne Barr for making a tweet about Robin Williams actually being alive.  She used the death of an amazing actor as a joke for her gain and people were outraged.  I think they should be. It is not a joke. A man died and that should never be taken lightly.  For that matter the deaths of those by the ISIS group should not be taken lightly either but it seems to be getting sweep under the rug.  Rosanne made an out of line remark in regards to Robin Williams and it hits the social media sites.  People got fired up about it. Yet, hundreds of people are raped, shot, and beheaded and we seem to accept it like that is just part of life.  Among these people are children. Innocent children and we hear very little about it.

Why is it that we can so easily accept the fact that someone can be killed for his or her religious beliefs?

I have been praying for those who are faced with persecution. I have been praying the God would supernaturally take the pain away that they are facing. That He would give them strength that only He can give as they face the evil acts of violence.  I pray the God is would catch the tears of the women who are raped and that He would comfort the parents who mourn the loss of their children.

In my humanness it is easy to question God.  I know I should not question because God because He is in control but it is hard not to. Thankfully God knows I will fall short from time to time.  Why? I ask Him.  Why is this happening to people who put their faith in you?  Why are you letting this happen God?  I pray that they are given a special crown when they enter the gates of heaven.  I pray for the violence to stop. I pray that people would get fed up and say something.  I pray that our Government would do more.  I pray and I seek for answers as to why evil happens.

Today I choose to open my bible and read whatever page I landed on. Habakkuk 3 was where I landed.  It is a prayer by Habakkuk the prophet and something I have never read before.  God never stops amazing me.  Here I am after days of praying and questioning and all I had to do was open the bible and let it speak to my heart.

Lord, I have heard of your fame; 
I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord. 
Repeat them in our day, 
in our time make them known; 
 in wrath remember mercy.

God came from Teman, the Holy One from Mount Paran. His glory covered the heavens
 and his praise filled the earth.

His splendor was like the sunrise; 
rays flashed from his hand,
 where his power was hidden. 

Plague went before him;
 pestilence followed his steps.

He stood, and shook the earth;
 he looked, and made the nations tremble.
 The ancient mountains crumbled
 and the age-old hills collapsed—
 but he marches on forever. 

I saw the tents of Cushan in distress,
 the dwellings of Midian in anguish.

Were you angry with the rivers, Lord?
 Was your wrath against the streams?
 Did you rage against the sea
 when you rode your horses
 and your chariots to victory?

You uncovered your bow, you called for many arrows.
 You split the earth with rivers;

The mountains saw you and writhed.
 Torrents of water swept by;
 the deep roared
 and lifted its waves on high 

Sun and moon stood still in the heavens
 at the glint of your flying arrows,
 at the lightning of your flashing spear 

In wrath you strode through the earth
 and in anger you threshed the nations. 

You came out to deliver your people, to save your anointed one.
You crushed the leader of the land of wickedness,
 you stripped him from head to foot.

With his own spear you pierced his head
 when his warriors stormed out to scatter us,
 gloating as though about to devour
 the wretched who were in hiding.

You trampled the sea with your horses, churning the great waters.

I heard and my heart pounded, 
my lips quivered at the sound;
 decay crept into my bones, 
and my legs trembled.
Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity
to come on the nation invading us.

Though the fig tree does not bud
 and there are no grapes on the vines,
 though the olive crop fails 
and the fields produce no food, 
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,

Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, 
I will be joyful in God my Savior.

The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
 he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
 he enables me to tread on the heights.  (NIV)

Habakkuk’s prayer was praising God for answering his questions. God showed him that evil wouldn’t triumph forever. God is in control and this reminded me that we can always trust Him to vindicate those who are faithful to him. God will ratify the evil that his people have faced. I believe that God will give those who suffer because of their belief in Christ the strength to make it through the difficult times. I am not saying I can accept what is happening to them as okay, I am just saying I believe that God is with them.

The notes in my NIV study bible said this: “God will give his followers surefooted confidence through difficult times.  They will run like deer across rough and dangerous terrain.  At the proper time, God will bring about His justice and completely rid the world of evil.  In the mean time, God’s people need to live in the strength of his spirit, confident in His ultimate victory over the world”.   It also said, “Habakkuk saw his own limitations in contrast to God’s unlimited control of all the world’s event.  God is alive and in control of the world and it’s events.  We cannot see all that God is doing, and we cannot see all that God will do.  But we can be assured that he is God and will do what is right. Knowing this can give us confidence and hope in a confusing world”. (NIV Life Application bible, Page 1479)

That was just what I needed today as I tried to wrap my mind around the evil that is happening. My heart still breaks that society and social media has such a skewed idea of what is really important. I will continue to pray that what breaks God’s heart would break the heart’s of people too. I will pray that more people will speak out against evil and I will trust with all my heart that God is in control. I will trust that God will vindicate those that were harmed by evil.  That He will ratify the wrong.  In God’s perfect timing He will have victory over evil.

I WILL TRUST GOD IN THE EVIL OF THIS WORLD.

Share