A weed had grown adjacent to our fence at the back of our yard. It was growing so tall that it looked like a plant.
I did not see it as a real threat, so I pulled it up at its apparent source. A few weeks later, that weed was back, but this time it had spread across our fence in every direction. This time, I pulled it out beneath the root and cut it off, dealing with the problem at the source.
There is a valuable lesson that often gets overlooked in our everyday lives. Challenges never get better when we don’t deal with them at the root but instead allow them to linger.
God instructed Israel to attack Midian because they were consumed with sexual sin and idolatrous behavior. He wanted His people to be free of the things that appeared harmless on the surface but would lead to bondage. Instead, Israel mingled with the Midianites, which led them into Baal worship with its enticements of sexual immorality.
Why have you let all the women live? These are the very ones who followed Balaam’s advice.~Numbers 31:15 NASB
God then asked Moses if they had gotten rid of the problem at the core. Only then would they be free.
The same question can be asked of us. We must get to the core of the issues and be careful what we tolerate. More specifically, what things do we allow to linger in our lives?
Have we recognized that pornography is wrong and examined why we are looking for impure satisfaction? Have we acknowledged gossiping is wrong and examined why we find joy in passing along information about others? Perhaps this is a season of singleness, and we have embraced it, but have we sought the Holy Spirit in the areas we need to mature? Have we learned to steward our finances, be generous in giving, and purify our thoughts? Before we bring a spouse into our lives, we must learn to discipline ourselves in all these areas.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up.~Hebrews 12:1 NASB
I am thankful for the reminder not to allow sinful behaviors and habits to linger. Jesus has shown us a better way.
Partial obedience is not obedience. We can only receive God’s best and embrace His love for us when we follow His instruction. Obedience is the ultimate gesture of love we can show our Lord.
Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.~Mark 12:30 NASB
What area has God revealed that He wants you to get to the root of?
Lord God, thank You for the reminder of Your grace and unconditional love. Help me to remove anything that prevents me from continued growth or change. When You show me things that need to be removed that hinder my growth, let me not hesitate to act. I ask that You allow me to go beneath the surface and get to the root of those things that keep me from becoming more like Christ. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Copyright 2022: Roots that Linger: Charles E. Maldon, Jr.: All Rights Reserved