Spiritual Poison Oak
Daily Devotional for April 12th
Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Hebrews 12:15
God has been called the husbandman in John 15:1 which means he is the planter; the originator of the vine planted in this world. Jesus is the true vine. Satan is also a planter. We all understand that Satan sows tares among wheat, but not many know of his other plantings. Tares, thorns, briers, thistles are all signs of the fall and curse upon the ground from sin, but there also is a very vile thing called a root of bitterness; a spiritual poison oak vine planted by the enemy.
What is a root of bitterness? Is it present in your heart? It starts in a heart that has been hurt in some way. Most of the time, it is planted in a heart that has not committed any wrong. Most people who have this vine in their hearts have been victims of someone else’s wickedness. The hurt grows in their heart. The hurt turns to anger and if not dealt with, the anger turns to bitterness. The person lives their life as a victim. They’ve been done wrong and done nothing to deserve it. The most pivotal point is what comes next; to forgive or not to forgive.
God will deal with our hearts continually to make right or forgive the person that has wronged us. Forgiveness is as much for the victim as it is for the offender. When you forgive, you remove the seed of poison that Satan seeks to plant in your heart. If you allow unforgiveness to remain in you, make no mistake, the root of bitterness will come. When it comes, it will not stop until it has totally destroyed you.
Like poison oak, the vine grows along side the tree. No one can get close to the tree without being infected with the poison. Once the person is exposed to the poison, it spreads like wildfire. Everyone who has gotten close to the person with this root of bitterness will become bitter themselves concerning the same person or event. This is how many are defiled by the trouble in one person’s heart.
Your relationship with people is so important to God. We must forgive people that have wronged us. If we do not, then the roots of bitterness will take root in us. Have you harbored in your heart resentment toward someone? Has someone wronged you and you feel as though that person is undeserving of your forgiveness? If so, then your lack of forgiveness is the soil in which Satan will plant this root of bitterness. Don’t allow this in your heart. Be merciful to forgive those who’ve hurt you.