with Jeremy Westcott
We are looking to move from the presence of God into His glory.
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect (Rom 12:1-2).
God does the transforming (and the non-conforming). We just have to give Him our lives. We present ourselves daily as a living sacrifice, and ask Him to remove all behavioural layers built up through:
- Trauma – experiential programming
- Nurture – environmental programming
- Nature – genetic DNA cell memory programming
Search me thoroughly, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way (Psalm 139:23-24).
We step into the place of His presence and ask Him to search, to examine and show us:
- Our sin and behaviours
- Family sin and behaviours
- Seed line sin and behaviours
- Our heart motives
- What influences and directs our daily choices
It may become very uncomfortable as He starts to show us these things, but it is all part of the process.
The Bible describes our lives as trees: oaks of righteousness (Isa 61), trees planted by the river of life (Ps 1). What kind of fruit is on our tree? Is it the fruit of righteousness, or the fruit of rejection, fear, anxiety, worry, depression, addictions and so on? All those negative things are just fruit, and certainly God wants to address them. But if we are to be free of that fruit, we need first to deal with the roots which produce it in our lives. There may even be a tap-root in our generational line which goes deeper still.
Root of bitterness
See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled (Heb 12:15).
Doing things in our own strength can cause us to come short of the grace of God (His divine enabling ability and power), and that bitter root can spring up and cause all kinds of trouble and defilement.
Soil of insecurity
The soil of insecurity provides the perfect medium for those roots to grow. In the soil of insecurity, seeds of offence grow into roots of bitterness and produce the fruit of resentment.
The soil of insecurity arises because of a lack of love, acceptance, affirmation, approval or encouragement in our upbringing: we all have an insecure soil to some extent. Seeds of offence may be sin, or things said or done – or indeed things not said or done – sown into that insecure soil.
At that point we have an opportunity to deal with it before it has a chance to take root. If, instead of removing the seed straight away, we leave it to germinate, then it quickly sends down those roots. The roots in our lives are the things that we think and feel, our responses, emotions and attitudes which develop as a result of tolerating that seed of offence sown into insecure soil.
Then eventually, the tree will grow up and produce fruit: the things we say and the things we do, our behaviour, all as a result of the roots which have developed. When we see something happening on the surface, it is an indication that there are things going on underneath that we need to deal with.
Seeds of offence
For example, if we begin to nurture anger because of what someone has done, that will trigger a response in our subconscious mind. We will begin to say and do things out of the roots of bitterness, producing the fruit of resentment. Reason filters kick in, distorting our view of everything, feeding our anger and resentment and causing us to make poor choices.
If someone rejects us, seeds of rejection are sown into our life. A root develops because of the hurt and pain, and produces the fruit of protection. That may take the form of rejecting others first and becoming prickly, or doing the opposite and becoming a doormat, accommodating people and being overly compliant, making sure we never do anything to cause anyone to reject us. Still, we feel rejected even when we are not actually being rejected, because we see through that filter.
Injustice may be a seed of offence: ‘it’s not fair’. Life does not always treat us well. If we allow roots of self-pity (‘poor me’) or self-hatred (I deserve it) to develop, it produces the fruit of depression, anger turned in on ourselves. And a victim mentality creates an environment in which unfair things happen.
When lack, poverty and deprivation are the seed of offence, the root of independence may develop, producing the fruit of self-sufficiency on the one hand and a lack of generosity on the other. Or a root of hopelessness, producing the fruit of failure.
One I found operating in me was the seed of false accusation. That produced the roots of pride (‘I’m in the right’) and the fruit of self-righteousness.
In all these cases, very often we simply try to remove the fruit, to change our behaviour. Every time we cut down the fruit, though, it keeps growing back. One day, we might realise that we need to deal with the roots, but even the roots keep growing back.
We have to deal first with the original seed of offence. As long as it remains in place, attacking the fruit or the root will not have lasting success. Once the seed of offence is dealt with, we can remove the fruit and the roots without them growing back. This works for our own lives, and even for the roots of iniquity in our past generations.
Forgive and release
Joff Day taught us the principles of ‘Forgive and Release’ at Freedom back in the early ’90s, and it has become our foundational understanding of how these things work. We forgive whoever offended us (or our ancestor), and release them from the debt they owe us (the negative results of what they did). That deals with the seed of offence.
Then we repent of the roots of bitterness, of our emotional response to the situation, and we renounce the fruit. Because the seed and roots are dealt with, we can actually change the way we behave.
Confess the truth
The problem is that if we stop there we still have that heart soil of insecurity. If more seed is sown, it will find a perfect growing medium. We change the nature of the soil of our heart by digging in the revelation of who we are, our identity, the truth of who we are and who God is. We confess the truth. God meets our needs for affirmation, love and acceptance. We know we are loved and accepted in Him.
As a result of that, we can put down new roots: a tree of righteousness, planted by a river of living water, with roots drawing from the life of God.
Then we will produce the fruit of righteousness.
Father I thank you that You have made a way for me to access your heavenly presence
By faith I step in through the veil of Jesus through the way of the cross
I present myself to you Jesus, my High Priest, in surrender as a living sacrifice
I submit to the authority of the living word in my life
I step through the veil of truth into the Holy Place
I stand in the light of your truth
I ask you to search me
Reveal my blind self to me, show me the hidden motives of my heart
Show me the seeds of offence and sin that have taken root in my heart
I commit myself to forgive and release all offences in my life and my generational line
Show me all roots of bitterness that have grown in my heart
I commit myself to a lifestyle of repentance against all negative roots
I repent of all negative emotions and attitudes rooted in my heart
Show me all fruits of resentment that have developed in my behaviour
I commit myself to a lifestyle of renunciation of all negative behaviours
I renounce all my defence and coping mechanisms
I renounce my sin as a way of life
Give me revelation of my true identity as a son of God
Give me a heart secure in its identity
Renew my mind to the mind of Christ
Meet all my unmet needs in yourself
Heal all my unhealed hurts
Restore my soul
I receive your unconditional love, acceptance, affirmation, and approval
I stand transparent naked and unafraid before you
I hear you say “I see you and I love you”
I receive your value, esteem and worth
I choose to live a lifestyle of forgiveness, repentance and renunciation
I step back into this realm to walk in the ways of your kingdom
Manifest your glory through me on earth as it is in heaven
So I will fulfil my eternal destiny
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