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  • Shirley A Genovese

Growing Faith Series 6: Rooted to Prosper

This is the part in the Growing Faith series to consider the necessity of weeding out intruder plants from the gardens we plant. These are the undesirable plants that grab the nutrition intended for the good seeds. In our house, my husband does the best weeding. He pulls them out from the roots. It takes longer than my surface weeding. Two days later, his sections are still clean while mine need attention again because the roots are still there.

I had a dream one night of a tree I knew to be a banyan. I have been thinking about the banyan (also called a strangler fig) ever since. A strangler fig is an example of an intruder plant, in the natural.

Consider This: The strangler fig tree starts life as a seed on a leaf of a strong healthy tree. With a little water, the seed sends down roots around the trunk of the healthy tree and feeds off it. When the fig tree’s roots are long enough to be rooted in the ground around the healthy tree, it begins to strangle the healthy tree by using up all the available nutrients and the healthy tree begins to die. Eventually, there is only a hole in the center of the fig tree where the healthy host tree used to live. The strangler fig can live for hundreds of years and puts down so many additional roots, I read that one tree can look like a forest from a distance.

The strangler fig is a metaphor, in this series, for how spiritual weeds can take root in us when we are not diligent in seeking to know what is holding us back from prospering spiritually. We may prosper in some areas but not in others. The reasons can be outright sin or not understanding God’s love for us and our identity in Him, anxiety, or anything that hinders our walk with God and clouds the truth.

I have not written in a while because the Holy Spirit has been talking to me about the need to weed my own soul of intruders that keep me from living fully in all He has planned for me. I have learned that intrusion can be areas where I am not in alignment with His word in scripture or where the spiritual weeds have blown in on the winds of life or as in the natural, by birds that drop seeds as they fly by. My responsibility is to be vigilant to ask Christ what weeds I have allowed to flourish in my soul. He has shown me areas that I was not aware of and has come along side me to pull them out from the roots through my repentance and His forgiveness. The result has been a closer walk with Him (even though I thought our relationship was close). I am experiencing more of His power in my life and a restoration of the areas that had withered by my inattention. His life is growing deeper in me.

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. For He will be like a tree planted by many waters which spreads out it roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will it cease from yielding fruit.”[1]

This verse is a promise and an illustration of a person who is unencumbered by the cares of this world and sins that strangle. Jesus is an expert at removing the roots of all that He has not planted in me. He gave me the Holy Spirit to help me live and prosper. ‘Lord, you are so good to me. Come, remove that which is dead and not prospering because I have allowed something to come between us. Restore me. Amen’

I have known for some time that I was to write about this and have put it off because it is a hard subject to address. But the Holy Spirit has not let me alone and I know He wants to talk to someone else like he did with me. In obedience, I am writing now and hope you ask Him to identify any intruders in your life. I was surprised by some of the areas He has addressed with me. You may be too. May we prosper together.

[1] Jeremiah 17:7-8 NKJV

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