Challenges, Devos, Faith & Prayer, Forgiveness, Living Free, My Story, Wholeness

Your Roots Create Your Fruit

“You can’t change the fruit without changing the root.”

–Stephen Covey

Yesterday morning I woke up with all these thoughts before 7 a.m. (yes, I have a sunrise baby!)…

Many of us want to be changed — but the reality is, no real change happens until healing takes place in our core.

Our old pastor Ross used to say that Jesus didn’t die for our behavior modification — to change us from the outside-in. Jesus came to change us from the inside-out: To give us new hearts that are connected with God & desire to do new things, which changes everything we do.

Yet most of us tackle our “issues” by asking God to change our actions — our outward fruit — first. Have you ever noticed that when you pray these prayers, things don’t really change? I have. Sometimes He may even start addressing a seemingly completely different area of your life — only to show you down the road that this area of your life is what yielded bad fruit in other places.

As the saying goes, it only takes 1 bad apple to spoil the bunch. I think this happens to us when we guard one area of our lives & won’t let God or others ‘touch’ it… it taints the rest of our fruit.

Ask yourself this question:

What is the root of my bad behavior?

Do you know why you do the things you do? You may just think you love alcohol (or food… or overwork…), but there’s a reason you turn to it every day. It’s filling a need in your life, a void.

The Lord wants to deal with our rotten roots so we can yield new fruit — good fruit. A bad tree can’t yield good fruit; it only produces after its kind. So God must prune away & put an axe to the root of all bad “trees” growing in our lives so that He can change our harvest! 🙂

As we see in nature, one tree can produce HUNDREDS of fruit in its lifetime. Just like one tiny mustard seed of faith can move a mountain, one tiny seed of anger or one ‘little’ addiction left unchecked can produce a huge crop of negativity in our lives down the road.

What kind of fruit are you seeing in your life?? Do you want the people in your life to ‘eat’ of it, or is it toxic? Do you want your children & grandchildren to harvest a crop from your life — your habits & behavior & attitude — & follow in your footsteps? Scripturally that’s what happens when we see one generation pass the torch onto the next.

Bear with me here with this analogy, but each tree — both good & bad — remains in our family’s “land” until it is uprooted. Just as real trees grow up & spread deep roots beneath the surface, so does our spiritual heritage. Is yours worth passing on? Is mine? Are we bearing fruit we want to pass onto the next generation?

Is it a bitter root?

The book of Hebrews talks about our “bitter roots” that spring up & defile many. That’s right: Our bitterness doesn’t just impact us, it impacts everyone around us, including our families. I’ve been both the planter & the unfortunate harvester of said roots, and it’s never a good thing.

One day I was in my car driving (when we still lived in the North Austin, Texas area), and I felt like the Lord spoke to me: The roots are on fire! It seemed random initially, but I sensed Him saying that the roots were on fire in my life — the root of my pain that sent a negative ripple throughout the rest of my life.

Around that same time, He started revealing the source of much heartbreak to me — & began healing it {though still in process}! 🙂

I’ve learned He doesn’t reveal something until He’s ready to heal it. Why is He having you revisit hurtful memories? Because He’s trying to free you from their power, of course! So don’t fight them; accept & acknowledge their reality. Don’t say they didn’t matter — your heart knows otherwise. Your mind can only shut them out for so long. Let them show you what you need to see, then give them to Him to heal & cleanse you from the pain.

There is a saying: “God wants to heal your broken heart, but you must give Him all the pieces.” I think there’s much truth to this. We can’t hold onto a few parts of our past & expect to be made whole again!! We’re withholding from God the very components that would make us so.

Recently I prayed this prayer: Lord, restore to me everything the enemy has stolen from me!! I want the life I would’ve had had he not intervened. 

I also prayed this prayer: Lord, heal me of everything they did to hurt me. I didn’t just pray forgiveness prayers — I asked for recompense. I asked for His wholeness in place of my wounds.

And you know what? I started to feel differently, almost right away. That next day. My life hadn’t changed overnight, but the way I saw the past had. {I believe that’s encouragement for someone else, too!} 🙂

What roots does God want to expose in your life?

Are there people in your life that have tried to bring an issue to your attention? Have you shut them out? Stop that 🙂

Maybe the reason you’ve shut them out is because they’re speaking truth — vital truth — & the truth hurts at first! Yet the Bible says the truth will set us free, so don’t shove it away when it comes to your doorstep! Thank these kind people for being honest with you, even if their delivery sucked 😀 Forgive the messenger, but don’t ignore the message. God may want to reveal something to you through their mouths.

If you’re brave, pray this prayer with me:

Lord, I want Your healing in all areas of my life. I know You are the creator of all things, and You made me just the way I am — perfectly. I thank You for knowing me more than I know myself, and I pray today that You would set me free to be me. To be whole. To help others find freedom, too. I pray that You would empower me to forgive those who have hurt & hindered me, and I ask for Your recompense in every area where the enemy stole from me: peace, joy, relationships, finances, blessing, children, health, dreams realized, hope restored, honor & respect, favor, grace, healing! The joy of Your presence — all of it.

Please forgive me, Father, for shunning Your truth. For ignoring Your Words & going astray, my own way. Please forgive my bitterness towards _______ & _______ & _______. I pray You would give me peace in place of angst towards them, and I pray that You would bless them & heal them, too, completely. I ask for You to give me the grace to walk in total freedom and peace towards my fellow man 🙂

Thank You, too, for sending Your messengers my way — those who would dare speak the truth when everyone else was afraid to. Thank You for their boldness & honesty. Help me to learn the lessons You want me to from these people, & I pray that You would continue to send Your messengers into my life to speak truth that I need to hear!! Help me to not turn away from it, but to be teachable & accept it.

Please change my roots so my fruit can change. I want to be like one of Your good stewards, who reaps 10x or even 100x what You’ve sown into them. Lord, help me to be so fruitful that You will one day say to me, “Well done, good & faithful servant!” 

Thank You Lord for forgiving me — so much. Every day. As Your word says, please keep from stumbling so that I can be a great, godly, powerful, inspiring witness & testimony of You in my life. In Jesus’ name, amen.