I’ve observed a situation with vines and trees in my yard that made me think of an aspect of our spiritual lives. There are lots of trees in our backyard and we noted vines crawling up some of them, getting fairly high on the tree. The vines are not parasitic, but enough can block the tree from getting proper sunlight. So I got a hatchet and hacked the vines at the bottom of the tree trunks, thus cutting off their source.
I was surprised how long it took for the vines on the tree to die, despite the fact they were no longer connected to their source – the vine’s main trunk and roots. It was at least 2-3 weeks before withering began and another 1-2 weeks before the vines died.
Then we noticed the same on wooded property behind our yard, but these vines were older and more massive on some of the trees. The diameter of some of the vines at the base of these trees was as much as 2 inches – almost like little trees growing up and around the tree! My husband hacked these. And these are taking even longer to wither and die!!
So that got me thinking of our spiritual lives.
We get busy or distracted and cease some of our good spiritual practices. Maybe we have been a Christian so long that we don’t think we need certain rudimentary spiritual routines anymore. We are established believers with strong spiritual roots. And…
Everything seems fine! Things go on seemingly good for a while, as we live on the nutrients of our past spiritual practices. Just like the vines on my trees kept on living for a time, despite being cut off from their main trunk and roots.
But at some point, withering will begin. It may happen so slowly we hardly realize it. But “suddenly” we are spiritually weak. We are living in our own strength rather than in God’s strength. The fruit of the Spirit starts to shrivel up in our life. We are not living the abundant life Jesus promised but a meager life, and sadly we may fail to realize it!
“Repent and do the things you did at first.”
“Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die.”
We need fresh spiritual food. We can’t live off the past alone, but must remain connected to the vine in the present. Jesus said: “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” John 15:4.
I also want to direct you to a post from 2016 written by my mother entitled:
“Are you starving yourself spiritually? Gather the manna daily.”
– Christians need spiritual food everyday to survive and thrive as believers.
The post begins: God provided “manna” for the Israelites. Morning by morning, they gathered the amount of manna needed for that day. Manna was their supernatural source of physical nourishment that came down from heaven. Christ is our manna: He came down from heaven to give us SPIRITUAL life which requires spiritual nourishment… CONTINUE READING HERE.