I have always been a deep thinker. Too often it has been a detriment to productivity as analyzing every angle creates long delays in reaching a decision. Some call it perfectionism, others procrastination. Do you find yourself stuck in one place like a mouse on a spinning wheel? Hang around as we spin through the root cause of troubles – not going deep enough to dig out those Deep Roots.
April 14th is National Gardening Day, how many of you are aware of this major fact? Were it not for me, a very avid gardener since I was 8 years old, looking for something to enliven the topic about Deep Roots I would not have known either. And low and behold as I finish up the main topic, it just happens to be April 14th! I just love when coincidences happen in the middle of finishing up a story I’ve been working on for a while, in this case, 2 years. Validation is one of those check offs we former worriers relish, agree?
Five years ago we moved into a 50 year old home on an acre that amazingly did not have a veggie garden. It is our 10th home, all of which required creating a garden so I was excited to use the previous experiences to create the best one ever. I moved an old fence and found a spot with direct sun, but not too much sun, and close to a water spigot. By hand and shovel, I dug out a 30′ by 35′ foot plot sifting out the grass and turning the hard red clay soil into a productive organic garden. Year one turned out to be ok, but there were some sections where the tomatoes and peppers and other crops were thin. The plants were vigorous until the mid-season when they wilted away after only a few picks.
I thought the reason was due to the poor red soil. I was certain I had covered all the bases as with every garden (like life) you have to deal with weeds, bugs, molds, not enough or too much water, birds, mice, deer, rabbits, ants (nothing worse than fire ants that I found several times the hard way while picking weeds, ouch with the stings!) leaf-eating worms, rocks and more. I brought in more compost and bags of enriched soil. Year two was better but still, the production was nowhere close to years past in my other gardens. In year three I expanded some; the grounds were better and the crops increased, but still not up to par. Those wilted pepper and tomato plants in a few spots were dumbfounding, I had done everything, I thought!
I was determined to find what was wrong, so I began to dig deeper the next Spring. Further down I discovered the culprit, these large tree roots from the tree that was cut down were blocking the depth the plants needed for the mid 90-100 degree weather. I kept digging and chopping pulling out a whole pile of these nasty roots! They were deep underground roots I was not even aware were there? I was going to use this unattractive photo for the cover. Instead, I found one of some super large roots that had grown over an old temple in Ta Prohm, Cambodia.They were so deep, thick, and hard, I snapped the shovel I was using in half. I nearly broke my neck as I fell over head first over the shovel. Thankfully I didn’t get bludgeoned by the spear.The crop produced last fall was phenomenal. My organic gardening technique to combat bugs, birds, anoles, and whatever is to overplant. 100% by seed to keep the cost down and to eat the healthiest foods for eight months out of the year. We’re still eating last year’s frozen peppers, beans, tomato sauces, and canned pickles and veggies. We kept our neighbors happy too with the extras. With inflation going bonkers the savings are actually noticeable now, and my favorite need for exercise and stress relief is met as well. Not having to rely fully on commercial sources provides some security in case of a fallout of some kind.
The theme here though is not gardening, surprise. For anyone that has ever been in therapy, you would know the therapist’s like to have you discover those deep roots of what may be causing your difficulties in a marriage or relationship or personal struggles of fears, worries, anxiety, depression, anger, addictive activities, and other things that steal your joy. After finding those roots way down I realized often we do not find what is really causing difficulties in our emotional and spiritual health. They are often much deeper than we realize.
A good therapist will help us find those root issues. The problem though is after you think you’ve found the problem, via breaking a few shovels and spending lots of therapy time (and money) is they have no solution to the problem (s). A perpetual circle of the mouse going in circles continues, as the therapist and psychiatrist need to pay their bills so you become a forever patient. The problem or merely pointing out the problem keeps you coming back as you are told that the continuous regiment of digging is the solution when it is not. It takes work to maintain a garden. It takes work to build a healthy mind and body and to continually maintain it as well. Sometimes you hunker down and dig out the deep roots.
I have written many previous suggestions with solutions, one deep root issue is finding how to forgive unforgivable people. Read it here. The goal today is to encourage all to never give up, take the time to build themselves back up if you are down, or stretch deeper for increased growth. Find and dig out those Deep Roots!
I hope that has helped you so far, but as always, I go deeper and separately into the spiritual side. Don’t stop now, go deeper…
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I always have bits and pieces of Biblical references on a subject. Today I felt it best to let you walk out the full text point-blank of what has prompted the subject of deep roots. The book of Isaiah has the 2nd most chapters, next to Psalms, in the Bible. “In unsurpassed eloquence (From this doc) Isaiah describes greatness, grace, and glory of God, the virgin birth, dual nature, earthly life, the sufferings and resurrection of the Messiah (Jesus Christ).” I was deeply struck by the whole of Isaiah 56 in the expanded AMP version. Read it and see if we hit the same buttons. (I’d be shocked if the same buttons are pressed)
Isaiah 56:1 This is what the Lord says,
“Maintain justice and do righteousness,
For My salvation is soon to come,
And My righteousness and justice is soon to be revealed.
“Blessed (happy, fortunate) is the man who does this,
And the son of man who takes hold of it,
Who keeps the Sabbath without profaning it,
And keeps his hand from doing any evil.”
Do not let the foreigner who has joined himself to the Lord say,
“The Lord will most certainly separate me from His people.”
And do not let the eunuch say, “Look, I am a dry tree.”
4 This is what the Lord says,
“To the eunuchs who keep My Sabbaths
And choose what pleases Me,
And hold firmly to My covenant,
To them I will give in My house and within My walls a memorial,
And a name better than that of sons and daughters;
I will give them an everlasting name which will not be cut off.
“Also the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord,
To minister to Him, and to love the name of the Lord,
To be His servants, everyone who keeps the Sabbath without profaning it
And holds fast to My covenant by conscientious obedience;
All these I will bring to My holy mountain
And make them joyful in My house of prayer.
Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on My altar;
For My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples.”
The Lord God, who gathers the dispersed of Israel, declares:
“I will gather yet others to them (Israel), to those [already] gathered.”
All you beasts of the field,
All you beasts (hostile nations) in the forest,
Come to eat.
Israel’s watchmen are blind,
They are all without knowledge.
They are all mute dogs, they cannot bark;
Panting, lying down, they love to slumber.
And the dogs are greedy; they never have enough.
They are shepherds who have no understanding;
They have all turned to their own way,
Each one to his unlawful gain, without exception.
“Come,” [they say,] “let us get wine, and let us fill ourselves with strong drink;
And tomorrow will be like today, very great indeed.”
Two words jumped out at me as I thought about a couple additional roots last I found last week in my garden ahead of National Gardening Day. Eunuch and Sabbath. Did the same words pop out to you while reading the above?
4 “This is what the LORD says, “To the eunuchs who keep My Sabbaths”
There is a movement that originally sounded like a great thing where people of Jewish descent have found Jesus Christ to be their Savior. Messianic Jewish churches have mixed in with evangelical gentile churches in the west, which is fantastic. People have discovered the roots and traditions of the Jewish church and celebrate the old holy days. While this can be fun for a while, when it becomes a renewal of the old law, it may be too far. For some it brings upon the warnings Paul made to the Galatians who insisted that new Christians become circumcised the same as Jews, Paul said ‘Who has bewitched you?’
In Romans 7:6 he emphasized the fact that the old laws became obsolete “But now we have been released from the Law and its penalty, having died through Christ to that by which we were held captive, so that we serve God in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter of the Law.” See Hebrews 8:13 and 9:15 and others for further understanding.
For many, our deepest root problem is from past religious strangleholds on our life, but at the same time, we may pendulum swing too far the other way. I was raised as a ritualistic Catholic branded with it being an absolute requirement to go to church every Sunday (the modern Sabbath) and Holy Day. It was not much different than the Jewish faith. They say the 4th commandment put it in the top 10 of important things to do. The 10 commandments in many cases are not just suggestions some are written in the law books too. Murdering and stealing is against the law in every part of the world. Perhaps they should have been called the 10 common sensements. Most are not overly difficult to keep, lest of course they be expanded such as Jesus saying hating your brother in your mind is equivalent to murder.
I re-iterate how Isaiah started out chapter 56 “This is what the LORD says, “Maintain justice and do righteousness, For My salvation is soon to come, And My righteousness and justice is soon to be revealed. Blessed (happy, fortunate) is the man who does this, And the son of man who takes hold of it, Who keeps the Sabbath without profaning it, And keeps his hand from doing any evil.” IS 56:1-2 AMP
The Sabbath was misconstrued by the Jewish leaders as another written law and a to do that few could keep. We have the same warning signs to dig through the balance today in some church circles.
Jesus who is God and while on earth as a human, while also being in tune with God, recognized that the 4th commandment ‘Keep the Sabbath‘ was being used as a tool for greedy gain. Rather than warning that salvation was both near and far, the leaders were like the greedy and sleeping dogs of vs. 10-11 that did not bark that danger was looming while preaching all is well, prosperity is coming. Make sure you bring your tithes every week and submit to our every word and our authority. To reveal their hypocrisy Jesus healed people on the Sabbath. He told His disciples one day to go grab some food from the field to eat on the Sabbath, a no-no in their eyes. He was not slapping Himself in the face for writing the 4th commandment. Now try to grasp with your hands and minds (with Holy Spirit understanding) what the trinity is all about and meditate on what we’ve read so far in this strangely, but accurately, written paragraph.
Selah/Pause in deep thought and listen to this first song on my playlist titled Deep Roots and a few others if you have time.
For those who don’t like music or YouTube, the words of the 1st song The All in All help us go deeper to Jesus Himself who said “not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.” It can be confusing to see that He went out of His way to seemingly break the law of the Sabbath, washing of hands, and other rituals of the law. The words of the song accurately identify who He is:
- “There’s only One who knows all that there is
- Only One who knows all that has been There’s only One who knows all that’s to come
- The Alpha, Omega, Father, Spirit, Son
- First and the last The ancient of days Omniscient are all of Your ways
- Your everywhere all knowing The ever present One
- The Alpha, Omega, the Three in One
- You are the all in all, You are everywhere
- You are present You are the all in all,
- You are Omnipotent You are the all in all. Everywhere You’re present Everywhere He’s present Everywhere You’re present
- We begin to see The love You have Dawn in us
- You love the world And we believe”
Pause Note – Selah or Pause is written in Psalms at times. It means to pause and reflect. Most people think it is like a moment of silence for 2 seconds in remembrance of a famous person at a sporting event. Perhaps it is meant to be much more, longer, and deeper. As I have been editing this I have had several long pauses and deep reflections. I have thought about not posting this at all, which is common, yet have ‘felt’ the prompting to just air it out raw. Thus, that is what I did, raw and scary. I know that some will have a hard time with what is written. I have a hard time with some parts myself, they are deep roots.
So what then was Jesus and Isaiah getting at then???
“To the eunuchs who keep My Sabbaths”
While thankfully for us men Paul eliminated adult circumcision (although 99% are circumcised for health reasons at birth) but he actually advocated abstaining from not only sexual activity but marriage itself. He said: ” 6 But I am saying this as a concession, not as a command. 7 I wish that all the people were as I am; but each person has his own gift from God, one of this kind and one of that. 8 But I say to the unmarried and to the widows, that as a practical matter it is good if they remain single and entirely devoted to the Lord as I am. 9 But if they do not have self-control, they should marry;“
Oh my, the thought of being a total Eunuch makes my stomach completely squeamish!
Maybe being a total Eunuch is stretching things for a married man, but God is certainly though, calling and wanting, a deeper peace-filled, joyous relationship with us alone and others together with Him. Some thoughts are so deep we must simply stop and pause and let them soak in and come to us. Many we cannot even accept at all. All is a lot to give away.
Men cannot understand truly what the pain of childbirth is like. To the women reading this, we’re sorry. Bear with something though that we men become squeamish over, in fact for some of us the thought just turns our face green, Eunuch. A Eunuch is a castrated man. Have you ever been watching a ball game of any type and see a man go down to the ground after being hit in the groin area? It is usually looked at initially with a laugh and then a simultaneous groan from every man who has experienced that hit. If you look at the face of a man who has had that happen they typically start turning green or gray depending on skin tone.
Here is an explanation of the pain comparisons of childbirth versus a kick in the groin from a man’s perspective. To show my lack of understanding after some research I have found women have a similar painful feeling from a kick in the groin as well. Here’s a more educational video on that topic.
Isaiah and Paul covered the subject, so did Jesus:
“The disciples said to Jesus, “If the relationship of a man with his wife is like this, it is better not to marry.” But He said to them, “Not all men can accept this statement, but only those to whom the capacity to receive it has been given. For there are eunuchs who have been born that way from their mother’s womb [making them incapable of consummating a marriage]; and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men [for royal service]; and there are eunuchs who have made themselves so for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it.” Matthew 19:10-12 AMP
Talk about getting off subject, no I am not. What is important to understand is going deeper in our relationship with God is not being super religious. It is not a crazy physical sacrifice like becoming a eunuch, or self-flagellation. It is making the time to be devoted to him so much so it is like giving up the things you love the most. I repeat Paul’s statement (noting we do not know if Paul was a widower as some think or what his actual marital situation of the past was) entirely devoted to the Lord as I am.
Jesus in the form of man on earth was no different than our human form. Yet He spent a majority of time sabbathing (sic), that is resting in the presence of God. Yes, we do it in fellowship/church, in small groups, and one on one, but how much solo? Jesus spent much time aside from the exhausting travels, preaching, and healing he did alone resting in God’s peace. The disciples had tried to cast out an evil demon from a man and failed, Jesus told them not only was it their unbelief and lack of faith that caused them to fail but also because ‘this kind of demon does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” Mt. 17:21
What He was saying is our ability to do the miraculous in every situation, as He did, comes from a deeper full relationship with him. It comes from being entangled with God in such a way that it makes addictions we’ve felt from drugs, alcohol, winning, power from dominance surges, and yes sex – seem like nothing. Do you have an emotional and uplifting relationship with Jesus? Is it always ‘blessed, happy, fortunate.’ If not at all (as I have spoken to several people in the past few years who have a book-only relationship with God), perhaps you, as I did for years, have a deep root to extract.
One of my deep root problems aside from being in a few legalistic churches and ministries was being taught that ‘feelings lie.’ Part of my after-salvation background was with leaders who believed and taught cessationism. In essence, the teachings say the very power of God that Jesus gave to the church in the book of Acts came to an end after the Apostles died. Feelings and ‘trances’ are of the devil and not to be trusted, they are new-age or Gnosticism or charlatanism.
Jesus mentioned when a woman who needed healing from a 12-years long bleeding disorder touched his garment that He ‘felt‘ the power being removed from Him. If that is the case, then why was I taught to ignore feelings of the power of the Holy Spirit? Why is it considered dangerous to get caught up with those identified or who identify as spirit-filled ‘who thrive on emotions?’ These same teachers tell us that anyone that participates in healing, speaking in tongues, casting out demons, and other things that Jesus did and told us to do are false teachers. Despite having been healed several times, saved from the deathbed, and experienced several family miracles, I still fight the doubts. Honestly, it has been a hard root for me to remove from my thought process. Even after nearly dying. It has made me look further into what is weakest in my walk, to strengthen it.
But in my garden, as I evaluated those roots pulled from the dirt, I saw my need to pull out those deep roots in my relationship with the Lord. I realized I was led by the blind, remember that part from Is 56:10-1? “Israel’s watchmen are blind, They are all without knowledge. They are all mute dogs, they cannot bark; Panting, lying down, they love to slumber. And the dogs are greedy; they never have enough. They are shepherds who have no understanding; They have all turned to their own way, Each one to his unlawful gain, without exception.”
Is it possible I have been afraid of offending the doctrinally correct so much that my faith has been limited? Have you who are reading felt the same weight? I know I have and am thus working hard, breaking shovels, to get that root out. Get rid of those voices of faith killers who cast doubts on every work of God and slam the supernatural. If you haven’t noticed lately, this world needs miracles to get us out of the worldwide mess we are living in.
I read a post from one who came from my background about a spiritual leader who died at a young age, it went like this – “He looked cancer right in the eye and saw the sovereign hand of God and trusted Him. His faith and hope in the Goodness of God and the risen Savior was tested and found pure. He did not just leave a legacy of…” How does one who looked at cancer in the eye settle for a sovereignty clause? (Not questioning God’s sovereignty, no way, I question a person settling for defeat, if that was what happened) I was saddened and recalled Jesus before He raised Lazarus from the dead, it said simply ‘Jesus Wept.’ The Jesus who said to the Apostles that they and all their future disciples, which has to include us 2000 years later, would do greater works than he did was weeping and angry because of death itself.
We see him here in John 11 “When Mary came [to the place] where Jesus was and saw Him, she fell at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 When Jesus saw her sobbing, and the Jews who had come with her also sobbing, He was deeply moved in spirit [to the point of anger at the sorrow caused by death] and was troubled, 34 and said, “Where have you laid him?” They said, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Jesus wept.“
Jesus was also disappointed that the faithful believers still did not believe in Him other than superficially. ‘Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there will be an offensive odor, for he has been dead four days! It is hopeless!” 40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you believe in Me, you will see the glory of God the expression of His excellence?”
How do we believe that Jesus who commanded us to take the powerful words of the Gospel to the world left behind the healing and miraculous power of the Holy Spirit? Jesus dealt with the unbelief of His own disciples even to the last day after His resurrection. He rebuked them for unbelief! And then told them what their calling is in Mark 16:
14 Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. 15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
Let us remove the roots of unbelief. Many of us have some really Deep Roots, dig vigorously to the point of breaking the shovel. Isaiah’s prophecies all came true in Jesus’ death and resurrection. Read about it often to validate your faith and make it real. If you have not read the deepest Good Friday message thoroughly explaining the powerful Gospel, find another ten minutes and read it here. It has Deep Roots.
Seek what 56:7 promises to us now. Find that joy often to overcome all doubts, to be healed of hurts that are deep-rooted hurting your faith.
All these I will bring to My holy mountain
And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Isaiah 56:7
One does not have to become a eunuch or require a more mature person to be with you to spend time on God’s mountain, He has invited us all. Find the mountain and have Him show you how to overcome and dig out those Deep Roots.
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