I am a wall . . . Then I became in his eyes as one who found peace.~Song 8:10a, c NKJV
It would take the burning to rid our homestead of the rose disease plague.
BURN THEIR LIMBS, OR BURN THEM ENTIRELY
The dreaded rose disease that had affected our landscape roses spread quickly. I was sad to learn there was no cure. Site after site warned to remove and burn the affected limbs as quickly as possible. For any bush hit badly, the sites recommended uprooting and burning the entire bush—all because of a mite that was resistant to chemical treatments.
These rose bushes had sentimental value to me. My husband had purchased the hedgerow along the front of our property, saying, “I want to do more than give you a dozen roses. When you drive up to the house, you’ll be able to look at all these roses as a reminder that I love you.”
Tearfully, I started helping my husband identify and remove the affected limbs. One little bush didn’t stand a chance—it was covered all the way to its roots with the disease. “This one we’ll need to dig up,” I said.
I’d love to say that after one burning we conquered this plague, but it took several months and many burnings before we had a handle on the disease. But we did finally conquer the plague.
While walking the garden one morning, I noticed a rose sprouting in the same location we’d dug up the diseased bush. Not only had this bush made a comeback, I’m supposing from rootstock buried deep within the ground that we’d not dug up, but it also prospered. It was prettier after its removal and burning than when we had first planted it.
And that is when the Lord taught me a spiritual lesson about the burning.
DON’T TOLERATE SIN
Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.~Romans 6:11 NKJV
Friend, we cannot tolerate sin. If we do, it’ll be like the rose plague we experienced on our homestead. A little sin—just a teensy-weensy innocent-seeming sin–can become a spiritual plague, spreading quickly in our minds and making sound decision-making difficult.
Jesus speaks of this disease called sin. He uses strong metaphors in His speech, saying, “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off . . . And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. . . And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out” (Mark 9:43a, 45a, 47a NKJV).
We know Jesus isn’t recommending that we literally remove body parts. But this strong language conveys His point: we cannot tolerate sin to any degree. Sin kills, so we must disown all of it. We cannot be palsies with any degree of sin. Just as my husband and I needed to obliterate the rose disease, we must obliterate sin.
Be holy, for I am holy.~1 Peter 1:16b NKJV
Our Beloved Jesus wants us to seek holiness with our whole hearts. The problem is, we can’t.
Paul reminds us of our sinful state, but he also shares the cure: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:23-24 NKJV).
When we abide in Jesus Christ, sin has no hold on us. However, just as we did many burnings before the rose disease lifted from our homestead, it takes continual coming to Jesus before we are abiding in holiness. And then, we must maintain our relationship with Him to stay in this state. But rather than thinking about doing this for the benefit of defeating the sin cycle, let’s just fall in love with Jesus.
As Jesus’ Bride, we say, “Set me as a seal upon your [Christ’s] heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is as strong as death, jealousy as cruel as the grave; its flames are flames of fire, a most vehement flame” (Song 8:6 NKJV).
Our passion for our Beloved Bridegroom makes us holy, and His love within our spirits burns as a fervent flame. Glory! Our love for Him drives us to spend time in His presence.
FALL IN LOVE WITH CHRIST
For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.~Romans 8:6 NKJV
The solution to the sin plague is to fall in love with Jesus. He cleanses us when we want to spend time in His presence and come to Him with an eager heart. Since He is holy through and through, we should not be surprised that His holy nature comes upon us.
Paul talks about the sin struggle, doing things he knows are sinful but not having control over his desires. He concludes the same. We must abide in Christ. “There is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:1-2 NKJV).
Do you want to rid yourself of the plague of sin? Fall in love. Your Bridegroom Jesus Christ loves you dearly, so come into His arms today. Just like the little rose we thought was destroyed made an amazing comeback, your comeback is waiting.
What are some steps you can take to fall in love with Jesus so you can conquer sin?
My Beloved Jesus, make me more like You each time we spend time together. But, for the sake of love alone, I come to You now.
Copyright 2023: The Burning: Diane Virginia Cunio: All Rights Reserved