One of the joys of living in California – besides near perfect weather year round – is its sheer beauty. Within just a few hours drive of my home I can see the glory of the seacoast, the beauty of the mountains, and the majesty of great redwood groves.
Giant Sequoias and Redwoods are some of the largest trees in the world. Some are so large that a car can be driven through their trunk. They are also some of the oldest. A giant sequoia tree can live to be over 2,000 years old. They are a towering and majestic revelation of the glory and power of God who created them. It is breathtaking to stand at the base of one of these giants and strain your neck to look up.
But there is a condition that can bring down such a towering giant. It’s called “Rotten Heart.” Heart rot in a tree is caused by a fungus that enters the tree from an opening in the bark and begins to eat away at the heart of the tree. Over time more and more of the center of the tree begins to rot. To those who don’t know what to look for, the tree looks healthy. Another interesting aspect of heart rot is that is slow moving. A giant sequoia can take centuries before the damage is extensive enough to destroy the tree. But at some point, the heart rot will so weaken the tree that it will crumble from within.
There are a lot of people who look strong in their faith on the outside. But on the inside they are full of heart rot. They are rotting in the center of their being. What are some of the signs of heart rot?
* Spiritual lethargy
* Loss of the joy of salvation
* Lack of godly repentance
* Difficulty spending time with God
* Lack of serious thought about God when not in church
The good news is that heart rot in a person is curable!
1. It starts with godly repentance. Come before the Father confessing your spiritual state and determining, by His grace, to return to the life He has called you to live. It involves confessing that for too long you have allowed the things of this world to be a higher priority for you. Repentance involves returning. Return to God by repentance and faith.
2. Use the Means of Grace. Return to spending time with God in His Word and prayer. Worship and fellowship with God’s people. Partake of the Lord’s Supper when it is offered. These “ordinary” things are the means God uses to replace heart rot with a healthy heart.
Have you experienced heart rot? What did you do? What did God teach you through the experience?
Photo Credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/126248160@N03/24579932401/”>Chris Feichtner</a> via <a href=”http://compfight.com”>Compfight</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>cc</a>