We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. – 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)
He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’” So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’” So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army. – Ezekiel 37:3-10 (NIV)
Have you ever tried to uproot a tree? As you had begun to dig, I am sure that it did not take long for you to realize that it proved to be a greater feat than you had anticipated. One can not gauge the complexity of the job based solely on the outward appearance of the tree. Facts about the root system are helpful when preparing to uproot the tree. For example, it is important to know that the roots extend up to four times the diameter of the tree crown and create an anchor up to 3 feet down into the soil.
Similarly so, harboring bitterness can create an extensive root system in your life. Taking offense to an adverse action or a negative word spoken over you can prove to be very detrimental. You may even feel that you have the offense under control. After all, you will only use it when you need to recall how poorly you were treated. Nevertheless, before long you will realize that the roots have created an anchor down deep in your soul. Sadly, as the root system was being established, it caused physical, emotional and spiritual death to every area that it sunk its roots into.
With that being said, we can see why it is important to take every thought captive and sift it through the filtration system of the Word. In that way we will prevent the offense from ever taking root in the first place. If you suddenly realize that the root system is already established, take heart. Allow the Word to serve as an axe to continually cut off the lifeline and cauterize the ends of the root system so it will never rear its ugly head again.
Lord, I lay the axe of Your Word to the root of bitterness that I have been harboring. As the bitter root is dying, I feel new life arising from the seemingly dead areas in my life. I thank You that this is allowing me to be freed up to serve You wholeheartedly.