I have discovered at the “root” of all disobedience, is an unwillingness to yield one’s RIGHTS to GOD!
I have reduced days and weeks of counselling by simply addressing “root” issues. I was sitting across the table at a restaurant with a friend who was telling me about his “smoking addiction,” and what he needed to do to relief himself from what he termed “an expensive habit.”
I smiled as he shared his frustration. He stopped, and said, “What is it? I know that smile.” I looked at him and said, “The problem is not your addiction to nicotine, or an expensive smoking habit.” He pulled himself up from his slouched position in the booth, to a more attentive posture.
I said, “My beloved brother, you are just insecure!” And, I know when and how this door was opened in your life. You see “insecurity” is a by-product of the “spirit of fear.” I won’t go into all the details, but this man had not been loved by his father. And, for years, he has been in a “frenzy” trying to please his father, or any authority figure, at which point he started to smoke cigarettes.
Most people who smoke cigarettes “lack an inward peace.” Honoring God-ordained authorities brings Inward Peace. Show me a person who lacks “peace,” I’ll show you someone not submitted to authority.
My point is, not all that we see on the “external” is the real problem. It’s just the fruit of an underlying issue. The Lord had spoken to me years ago, to no longer “pluck the fruit” but get to “the root.” And, let me say my friend, this has been “very costly.” I have lost friends and family due to this instruction.
Most relationships prefer to just deal with “surface issues.” Our society has programmed us to see and address the “surface.” Yet, the Holy Spirit discerns the “deep and inward parts” of men. The scripture said, “Jesus knew their hearts.” In other words, He knew what was beneath the surface. And, he addressed all that was being said and done by his disciples and other that was a direct result of a deeper underlying issue.
John the Baptist said, “The axe is being laid to the root of the tree.” If you want the FRUIT to dissipate, you must cut the ROOT.
Let’s take look at the TREE as an example. The FRUIT of the tree represents our actions and behavior, whereas the TRUCK of the tree represents our CHARACTER. Understanding the trunk of a tree is key to understanding how a tree works, and a primary reason why trees are so useful. The trunk is the part of a tree that connects the leafy crown with its roots. Roots absorb water and nutrients from the soil, which are then transported up the tree trunk in cells that act much like pipes.
This allows the leaves to obtain water and nutrients that are necessary for the manufacture of food from light energy (photosynthesis). Food made in the leaves is then transported down to the roots and to other parts of the tree for growth. The “pipes” in the trunk are known as vascular tissue. So you see, the truck is essential for the growth of the tree.
Lastly, the ROOTS of the tree represents our desires, motives and attitude. This is where the TRUE ISSUES rest. Tree roots anchor the tree in the soil, keeping it straight and stable, and absorb water from the soil. Tree roots also take nutrients and chemicals out of the soil and use them to produce what they need for the tree’s growth, development, and repair.
So you see, if the ROOT system is providing poison it will affect the TRUCK and FRUIT of the tree. However, we mostly look at the FRUIT, and spend hours of counselling trying to address FRUIT. Yet, we must learn to stop plucking the FRUIT, and sever the ROOT!
Fruit picking or fruit harvesting is a seasonal activity (paid or recreational) that occurs during harvest time in areas with fruit growing wild or being farmed in orchards. I think James explains this process of “fruit picking” very well as it pertains to our heart, “These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.” (James 1:15 NLT) When a “root issue” reaches it potential the person begin to feel defeated, and helpless. They will even WILL their way to victory, to only repeat the act again at a future date.
The other day, I listened to a Pastor sharing with his flock how to conquer “porn addiction.” He distributed rubber bands and instructed them to place it on their wrist. The bands were given to all the men who had confessed various “addictions.” He told them, when the thought of “looking at porn” or “any addictions” pop in your head, to POP THEMSELVES with the rubber band. He said, “Replace those thoughts with inflicted pain, and you will re-program your mind not go there!” I thought, there are going to be a lot of sore wrist, and possibly future problem with blood circulation if this continues.
I understand the “heart” of this man of God. His desire is to see his men free from “addictions,” so they can lead and serve their families, and community. However, this advice doesn’t address the ROOT. And let me said, “I’ve counselled many with addiction to porn, and I have discovered various ROOTS. One that was re-occurring was “a lack of intimacy” with the Lord, and other vital relationships, which was produced through “unbelief.”
We are told by our Heavenly Father to “renew our minds,” not in inflict pain on your brain to re-program it. These are methods based on psychology and the “wisdom of this world.” What really lets you know these methods are NOT based on the Wisdom of God, is that a person never gets FREE! One guy was displaying his rubber bands on both arms from his five years being free from porn. But, he is still in counselling, and with a support group.
I have a friend who has been clean from drugs for 10 years, and invited me to his 10th year anniversary AA meeting, he was very proud. One day I shared with him, how I felt he has replaced his drug addiction with AA meetings. I didn’t see him FREE, I saw him replace ONE addiction, which was detrimental to his health; with ANOTHER ADDICTION, which tied up his destiny. I find both to be very harmful! I know you are thinking, “Whatever it takes.” I’m sorry, that just sounds too desperate, and we don’t have to be desperate to overcome our adversary, we just have to be willing and obedient.
Why have we replaced discernment with methods? Most people prefer methods because it doesn’t require much of their time. Overseeing the “salvation of the soul” is very time intensive, and requires a sensitivity to the Lord, and a love of the person, to BE TRULY SET FREE.
When Jesus said, “If you are Angry with your brother you are “a murderer;” and, he who looks at a woman with Lust has already “committed adultery,” what do you think He was saying? This was his way of stating, “Pluck the root, and you will sever the fruit!”
I pray you allow the Holy Spirit to search deeper in your heart for the ROOT of the ISSUES present in your life, and you be TOTALLY SET FREE, because who the SON sets free is FREE INDEED!