Fruit and Roots
Illustrating a Truth of Spiritual Strongholds
All scripture citations are from the English Standard Version (ESV) unless otherwise noted.
Basic discipleship and inner healing restrain strongholds. Basic discipleship is the part we play in clearing out "bad fruit." This is steadily accomplished by doing our best to trust and obey with the faith and self-discipline available to us. As we abide in Christ, the Father prunes bad fruit away. The essential disciplines (prayer, Bible study, worship, fellowship, service) act as a restraint upon the power of temptation similar to the way that mowing grass restrains weeds.
Inner healing, on the other hand, reduces temptation's power because it gets at the root issues which caused strongholds of the flesh to form in the first place. Where there is fruit there’s a root! As inner healing brings release from pain and ungodly beliefs rooted in our hearts stemming from past traumatic events, bad fruit disappears from our spiritual tree. We need both fruit pruning and root removal in the spiritual life!
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch of mine that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me." John 15:1-4
Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no , root of bitterness" springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled. Hebrews 12:14-15
Father, I ask for grace to persevere with You in pruning back my old ways. Help me also get at the roots: What am I really angry about? Why do I feel so guilty and ashamed? Work with me to fully forgive others and fully receive Your forgiveness. What am I really afraid of? Help me match Your truth to my deepest fears until all of my fears are released.
Next Illustrated Truth
The Silent Killer
Illustrating the truth about the way unbelief secretly and silently crushes the life out of our faith.