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A Root of Bitterness (A Spiritual Root Canal)

Posted by appolus on October 1, 2008

Once a nerve is removed, it can never hurt you again. Let me ask you this, do you have a nerve problem? Do you need a spiritual root canal? Perhaps it has been buried for so long that you believe it is dealt with. The thing about decay is that it is a process, it will not stop of its own accord. If it is covered up it will begin to spread and effect other areas of your life. It needs to be uncovered and dealt with.

“Pursue peace with all people and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God: lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble and by this many become defiled.” (Heb 12:14-15)

Recently I had a root canal done I had went to the dentist for my usual checkup and cleaning and was told that I had some decay. Now, I had no indications, pain or discomfort that would have alerted me to the fact that there was decay in process. So, the following week I went in and had the filling done. I was in the chair for almost two hours, for what was supposed to be a small filling. Apparently the dentist went too deep and exposed a nerve, then put the filling right on top of the nerve. Not only did it make my tooth extremely painful and sensitive to hot and cold, it also caused great pain in my ear, the side of my head, and my shoulders. Apparently the nerve from this tooth, goes vertically down from the lower tooth and runs right into a main nerve which can affect many different parts of the body. The solution to this problem is a root canal. This involves drilling out the filling which covers the exposed nerve, then taking out the whole nerve, the “root,” is removed completely and finally when that is done and finished, then comes relief.

A couple of years ago my mother and father came to visit us from Scotland. Prior to coming to Jesus, my father was a violent alcoholic. I grew up witnessing violence and hatred. My father did not like me at all. I was interested in the things of Jesus as a boy and this made me an enemy to my father, as he had “lost,” his wife to Christ. He only ever referred to me as “idiot,’ or “hey you.” I longed to be loved by this man. I longed to hear my name on his lips. Nothing was ever good enough, he was never impressed by anything that I did, and I did not hear one positive word out of his mouth my whole childhood. I simply gave up trying. Now, all these years later, we were both Christians.

I came to Christ at the age of 26, just a couple of years after my dad came to Christ. Jesus had delivered me from a life of drugs and alcohol and debauchery for lack of a better word. Yet even although we were both Christians, my dad was still very much a “closed book.” I, on the other hand had been radically transformed inside and out. I had forgiven my dad for everything, but I guess I still wanted to hear affirming words from him. I wanted to have a “real,” conversation with him.

My father is not a well man and the thought of him dying and leaving these things unsaid was a sad thought. One night after a prayer meeting I prayed for a young man for a certain issue in his life. I told him that he had to see his situation as a battle and that he had to fight to gain victory. As I drove home that night, the Lord turned that prayer on me. He showed me that the enemy had planted a flag, right in the center of my heart, claiming this was his territory. The Lord wanted me to go to battle, break through the lines and remove that flag. He gave me the exact words to say. I was to go home, find my father in the basement, turn the television of, look him straight in the eye, and tell him I was going to say something and I did not want him to interrupt. Then I was to say to him, “Dad, as far as I am concerned, there’s no past between us, only now and the future and I love you so much.”

Now that may sound simple to many of you, yet, this was one of the hardest things that I had ever contemplated. I instinctively said in my mind “that’s not possible,” and out of my mouth came this “It is possible.” I had no idea where the words came from, but it was a rebuke from the Lord. As I drove home, I was involved in a battle. Fears and insecurities, fear of rejection all surrounded my mind. My root had been exposed. No matter how hard I had tried to cover up this exposed nerve, it had caused me pain and effected many areas of my life. Tonight was the night for my spiritual root canal. Driving home, the covering was ripped away and the nerve was exposed.

I got home, went straight to the basement, trembling, turned the television of and told my dad that I had something to say and I did not want him to interrupt. I told him that as far as I was concerned, there was no past between us, only the present and the future and that I loved him so much. I wept, a forty year old man wept and hugged his dad like a child, my dad wept too.

A few months after my parents had returned home I got a call from my dad. We talked some small talk, and then , quite awkwardly, he said this to me “You made a fantastic job of the tile work in the bathroom.” Again, many of you may not understand the significance of this, but it rocked my world. It may be the sweetest words I have ever heard. If my father died tomorrow, I will know that he was proud of me.

Once a nerve is removed, it can never hurt you again. Let me ask you this, do you have a nerve problem? Do you need a spiritual root canal? Perhaps it has been buried for so long that you believe it is dealt with. The thing about decay is that it is a process, it will not stop of its own accord. If it is covered up it will begin to spread and effect other areas of your life. It needs to be uncovered and dealt with. If there is someone in your life who has hurt you, or disappointed you, if there is a root then the word tells us to “peruse peace,” and not to “fall short of the grace of God.” This root will “cause trouble,” and “defile you.”

Open up your heart to Him. Ask Him to try you and see if their is anything that is causing you to fall short of the grace of God. The root of your trouble may be very legitimate, you may have been wronged and wounded. Do not wait on the other person. Maybe its a brother or a sister, Mother of Father, perhaps a grown child. Maybe its been years since you have spoken and the nerve has been covered up by distance and time. The time is now to brake the power of the damaged nerve, it must be removed, and until it is, it has the power to control you and cause you pain and cause you to fall short of Gods grace. Make the call, reach out to that person. I understand the potential is there for great pain, for more suffering, but I also know that the power of God is at work when we trust in Him and follow His word.

We are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus. Even if ten thousand come against us, we will slay them all by the power and victory of Christ Jesus. That night I spoke to my father, I slew the enemies that had came against me, I reached the center of my heart and I took the enemies flag, uprooted it, broke it in two over my knee and threw it to the ground. I had, by the power of the Spirit, reclaimed this territory for the glory of God. Now He ruled and reigned over the deepest part of me, the most vulnerable part of me and He could change me from the very core of who I was . May His marvelous name be praised. Brothers and sisters, take back that which is yours, break the power of the enemy in your life. And your weapon? Love!



8 Responses to “A Root of Bitterness (A Spiritual Root Canal)”

  1. timbob said

    Good evening. Praise God for doing a complete restoration and for deliverance as only he can do. I’m not sure how to speak here as this post entails a sizable amount of personal testimony. Nonetheless, one thing has been made very real to me in the past few weeks and that is the spiritual warfare that’s ongoing in my own household. My children are in need of Jesus and while my wife tells me that she’s saved and I WANT TO BELIEVE IT, there’s certain things that cause me to question this.

    The Lord has been really impressing upon me that this household is a seriously contested battlefield in the spiritual realm and when you told of how the enemy had “planted a flag” at ground zero so to speak, it was like a perfect description of what’s taking place here. It’s often frustrating when we don’t see movement as fast as we think we should see it. It can be physically and spiritually draining and the temptation to react when I should be in prayer is great. Then of course the enemy tries to discourage me with such thoughts as “this family is too far gone” and what have you.

    They are not too far gone and even though the blindness seems to great at times that I’m at a loss as to how to approach things, I strive to be a good ambassador and continuously pray that the eyes of all in my household will be opened.

    Earlier today, I came across (quite by accident as it wasn’t the book that I was heading for) Jeremiah 24:7 that tells how “The LORD will give them a heart to know him.” This is my prayer; that the Lord will give all in this household, a heart to know him.

    This is what happened to me in 1983. A girl that I was friends with in high school went to live with some relatives who were pentecostal. I visited often, and in the ensuing months, just being around them did something. They never preached to me or even tried really hard to enquire of my spiritual state. It was a supernatural “drawing” and in September of that year, the moment arrived and I acepted Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord. It’s like it happened yestrday because the memory is so vivid.

    I must try to get by here more often. All of your posts are encouraging and warrant a far better response than I can muster.

    Have a blessed evening in Jesus.


  2. appolus said

    Dear brother Timbob

    Our lives have so many parrallels.We both have mentally challenged children, we agree on so many aspects of our walk and the Word of God and what is going on in the world right now. My wife is not a Christian. I was saved at the age of 26 and radically transformed. By that age, I had already been married for 9 years 🙂 My wife was intially very resitant to the Gospel and had even threatened to leave me. God bless her, I can imgaine her dilemma. Here was this bad boy, man of the world, heavy drinking , one of the boys guy , who overnight became a different person. She literally woke up one morning and there was a different guy lying beside her. I can only imagine her trauma. In the last 16 years she has went from someone who screamed at me “your obsessed with Jesus Christ,” to someone that many have mistaken for a Godly woman. You see, the Scripture that says “the unbelieving spouse is sanctified by the believing spouse,” had taken place right before me, very slowly and very surely. One day she will cross that line, of that I have no doubt. Our youngest son, Daniel, with Down Syndrome, has been one of the most important elements in her growth.

    Let us both pray for our wives brother. Let us trust in Him that my wife who would deny knowing Him, will come to glorify Him, and your wife, who claims to know Him, will have a radical encounter with Him and that He will penetrate her heart. May both their hearts be softened and open to Jesus as He calls out to them, and may you and I be instruments and tools in His hand that He may use for His purpose. Let us commit them into His hand and patiently wait upon the Lord. Be blessed brother, the Lord knows and has it in hand……….brother Frank

  3. timbob said

    Amen. I know that Jesus told of households being divided, but my prayer is that our homes will be of the Philippian jailer sort. One thing that the situation does is cause me to be very mindful of being a good ambassador and staying in prayer for the eternal souls in the ambience.

    This may sound nutty, however, if everyone here was saved, active in the local church and what have you, there would almost be a “buffer zone” from the reality of the warfare that’s raging all around. I’ve been in churches that were so set apart that they were like a fortress; having minimal interraction with the surrounding need. I once read a comment from a brother who stated “I rarely have contact with unsaved people.” Because of our circumstances, we could not insulate ourselves in such a fashion, even if we wanted to. For this reason, the current situation is probably quite beneficial and Romans 8:28 is true.

    In case you are wondering about all of the clicks on your blog this morning, I was trying to place Edmund Kwans site on the blogroll. I finally got it right, but it took three atempts. I did some reading there a short while ago and would like to start going through some of the postings.

    Have a blessed day in Jesus.


  4. appolus said

    In Timbob…..I know of many people who rarely have contact with the unsaved and are quite uncomfortable with those “outside,” the Church. Seems like Jesus had a different reputation. I have given my testimony in Churches and Christian gatherings, yet, the most comfortable place that I ever gave my testimony was in a Prison to mostly unsaved.

    Since my wife is unsaved, I get to see how some Christinas react around her, some of it is has been quite painful to watch 😦 ….brother Frank

  5. Paul West said

    Brother, I think this is a tremendous message. It’s so very true abut what you say concerning roots. Every good gardener knows that to eradicate weeds you need to pull them up by the roots. More people need to be exposed to this “root” message. You should think about posting it on SI in its entirety, where others can comment. I’m sure many have similar stories like yours and your dad, and many still have roots springing up all over the garden of their hearts.

    P.S. I didn’t know your wife was unsaved. Would you mind if I joined you in prayer over her salvation?

    Love, Brother Paul from SermonIndex

  6. appolus said

    Very true about the garden anology brother. I would be delighted if you prayed for my wife. Her name is Angela and she is a wonderful woman, a very good woman, perhaps the hardest of all people to reach…..brother Frank

  7. john beechy said

    thank you so much for posting this for me and your response on sermonindex and God bless paulwest to push to get this message out

  8. appolus said

    Hi brother John. God bless you and may the Lord continue His great work in your life, and to Him be the glory………..Frank

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