The advent of spring has given me an opportunity to catch up with some overdue jobs in our garden. As I was pruning some overgrown bushes, I noticed that many of the stems were covered in ivy. This ivy had been left unchecked and was clinging to the branches, growing upwards and spreading, threatening to stifle the good growth on the shrubs. Thankfully, I had caught it in time and was able to strip it off and pull it up by the roots, leaving the bushes free to blossom and flourish.
It made me think of how easily we can allow ‘ivy’ to spread in our lives – attitudes and behaviour, which may seem harmless at first, but which, if left unchecked, can hinder our walk with the Lord and prevent us from being fruitful for Him. It might be un-forgiveness towards another person, which, if not dealt with early, can develop into resentment and bitterness, and which can cling to us and defile us. It might be self-indulgence of some kind, giving way to the carnal nature within us, or looking for comfort in the wrong places, which can easily develop into a habit which is difficult to get rid of. It might just be neglect of the good things that God desires for us – time in His Word, and time alone with Him. Jesus tells us that, if we abide in Him, we will bear much fruit, but apart from Him we can do nothing (John 15:5).
Why not do a check today to see if there are any habits, behaviours or attitudes towards others, which have developed in your life and which may be hindering your fruitfulness for the Kingdom? Let’s check for any unwanted ‘ivy’, and remove it.
Prayer: Lord, please show me anything that I have allowed to develop in my life which is unpleasing to You and which may be hindering me in my walk with You. Help me to get rid of these things so I can be more fruitful for You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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