KEY SCRIPTURE Proverbs 12:3
A man shall not be established by wickedness: but the root of the righteous shall not be moved.
What's happening beneath the surface of your life? If God furrowed down to your roots—to the very foundation of your life, what would He find? Would He find it righteous and uncomplicated, or diseased in parts and slowly being choked by the world?
Daisy was a bright yellow plant in our front garden, large, colourful and beautiful. She stood proud amongst other plants and flowered for a long season. But, I took my eyes off Daisy for a while, just long enough for the couch (cooch) grass to enter her little kingdom and surround her heart with its neutralising tentacles.
Despite attempts to extract the wicked weed, it was clear I had left it too long. Ultimately, I had to remove Daisy along with the couch grass, as she had died. When I dug her up, what I found necessitated an autopsy. Such was the lesson we videoed the eleven-minute post-mortem examination, which I carried out on a newspaper-covered bench.
I found the soil around Daisy's roots hard and clay-like, utterly different from the soft and lush ground where I planted her. The couch looked bad enough on the surface, but when I entered the root zone which fed Daisy, it was entangled to the point of strangulation.
Every vascular root was intertwined, limiting her required supplies. The water and minerals—those vital daily ingredients of her life—could no longer be drawn in freely. She had to share them with the couch until the couch eventually took them all. I concluded that the cause of Daisy's death was strangulation over time.
What percentage of your daily vital ingredients get consumed by couch grass? Time, tithes & offerings, study, prayer, fellowship, simple communing with the Lord? When you were passionate, and the Lord meant everything to you, you had the evidence of spiritual desire—time spent with your Saviour. But now, has that dwindled to a small percentage?
Revelation 3:2-3 highlights the Sardis Church whose congregants had let the world overcome them, "Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee."
It sounds a lot like Daisy's life. Except Daisy could do nothing for herself.
If Daisy could speak to you now, what would her message be? What wisdom or warnings would she impart?
What do you think she would say if she could speak to me, her gardener? After all, I left her defenceless against a creeping, ever-growing, always subtle enemy. I was her Pastor! Proverbs 27:23 convicts, "Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds."
Satan uses many subtleties to slow us down, strangle our faith, and distract us from our primary goal: our first love, our genuine desire to follow Jesus Christ with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. If he can do enough of that, he will asphyxiate us. We will die the death of Daisy. Once elegant and full of bloom, but in the end, a withered and dried stick bearing no resemblance to its former glory.
Don't wait for an autopsy on your spiritual life, wondering why and how you fell from grace. As the saying goes, let's keep the main thing the main thing, and be ever watchful over our precious commodities, giving our best to our Saviour. If we put Him first, He will see us established.
Dear Lord, thank for the reminder to be vigilant both over myself and others who need me. Help us all to be aware of the creeping in of worldly influences.
Photo by Trac Vu