Offense

 I am a sermon addict.  Though I love music, I will drop everything to hear a good sermon.  Today the kitchen was screaming for a cleaning, so I hooked my phone up to the radio, pulled up some one of my fave speakers, and I was ready to make the kitchen shine.  But.   . .well, the sermon didn’t resonate with my current season . . .or so I thought.  The name of the sermon was “Get over it,” and it dealt with offense.  I wasn’t especially psyched about the topic, so I started selecting another one of my favorite preachers, Duane Sheriff.  But when I typed out his name, the first sermon that popped up dealt with offense.  Hmmmm . . .Come to think of it, I was reading in Luke last night and the passage dealt with offense.  I’m no Sherlock, but, well, there seems to be a theme here.  So I began searching my heart, and, yep, I found some offense there. You see, I have been disappointed in the past two years of my life as I have hit wall after wall.  I have felt God calling me to step out in some areas, but those steps have been met with rejection and hardship and after a while, it starts to get to you if you let it.   And, apparently, I had.  It wasn’t a huge root of bitterness against God, but one little weed that was setting up camp.  God in His mercy exposed the weed through His Word before it could grow. (John 15:3)

Today I rode past some land that was being cleared, and my eyes were drawn to one particular tree that had been felled.  It wasn’t the size of the tree that caught my attention, but the size of the roots.  You would never guess that a root ball that size was tucked into the ground, but it was, and those roots were constantly drawing and spreading so that the tree could thrive.  What we allow to take root under the surface of our lives will determine if our garden produces fruit or weeds.  We can slap on a smile, spout some Christian catch phrases, lift our hands in worship with the best of them; meanwhile, the weeds in our hearts can be snuffing the life out of us day by day.  

So I repented, and again determined to win the battle against disappointment.   Lately it has been an everyday battle, but that’s OK because Lamentations 3 reminds me that His mercies are new every morning.  As long as my heart stays tender enough to the Holy Spirit where He can expose toxic weeds and give me the grace to uproot them, then my life can bear fruit that remains.

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