MURDERED! Strangled by an intruder!

MurderedBRAZIL is home to a vicious murderer.  Forest dwellers call the Matador plant “the murderer”  At first, the slender stem of the Matador creeps along the ground, but once it meets a vigorous tree, the Matador cleaves to the trunk and climbs it.

Murdered 1Murdered 2As it climbs, it sends out arm-like tendrils that continue to grow larger and clasp tighter. The Matador continues to climb the tree until, as if in triumph, it shoots a huge, flowery head above the strangled tree’s summit.  From there this “murderer” scatters its seeds to repeat the work of death.

Murdered 3Throughout SOUTH EAST ASIA we see evidence of another “strangler” – the strangler fig tree which has an aggressive growth habit that insures its survival in the rainforest. Its life begins not in the ground, but in a crevice or the crook of a branch. The seedlings grow slowly at first, getting nutrients from the sun, rain and leaf litter that has collected on the host. The strangler fig puts out lots of leaves that soon grow thicker than the host tree and rob it of sun light.

It also  sends out many thin roots that snake down the trunk of the host tree or dangle as aerial roots from its branches. When the roots reach the ground they dig in and put on a growth spurt, competing with the host tree for water and nutrients. They also send out a network of roots that encircle the host tree and fuse together. As the roots grow thicker they squeeze the trunk of its host and cut off its flow of nutrients.

Murdered 4Eventually the host dies from strangulation, insufficient sunlight and root competition, and the strangler fig stands on its own. A hollow centre is all that remains of the host. Temples and buildings which have been “devoured” by the strangler fig are a tourist attraction.  We can look at the results of a strangler fig and marvel at the awesome sights – but the strangler fig is a murderer. It slowly killed the host tree in order to survive.

Just like that vine,
will choke the spiritual life of the believer
who allows it to grow and send out its tendrils. 

Romans 12:2
Do not be conformed to this world

To be ‘conformed’ to the world
is to be ‘squeezed into the image or mould of the world’.
The New Living Translation puts it
Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world,
but let God transform you into a new person
by changing the way you think.

Then you will learn to know God’s will for you,
which is good and pleasing and perfect.

When we became a blood-bought, adopted child of the living God,
we became a NEW CREATION in Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:17 
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.
Old things have passed away. All things have become new.

The host tree had no defence.
It could not fight back.  
It had no power or ability to reject the vine that would strangle its life.  

We, however, are WITHOUT EXCUSE!

Each blood-bought, adopted child of the living God has all the resources of God at our disposal. In our own strength, we are powerless, just as the tree, but in the power He gives we can know victory.

We can say a resounding “NO!” to compromise. 

James 4:7 
Submit yourselves therefore to God.
Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.   
Romans 8:37 
In all these things we are more than conquerors through Christ.

We are to avoid all appearance of evil.
To allow one “dubious” activity is to let the thin edge of the wedge make an inroad.

1 John 2:15-16  CEV
Don’t love the world or anything that belongs to the world.
If you love the world, you cannot love the Father.
Our foolish pride comes from this world,
and so do our selfish desires and our desire to have everything we see.
None of this comes from the Father.


Mr Anon says:
#  Compromise leads to compromise – which leads to compromise. . . . .
ANYTHING that takes God’s place is OUT of place.

About meetingintheclouds

I am Cloudwatcher, a 76 year old Christian lady, happily married to a wonderful man for over 50 years. We have five wonderful sons, all with at least one University degree and in top positions in their chosen fields. One son is still single but four have found perfect wives and they have given us five lovely grandchildren. I was born in England and while I'm proud of my English heritage, I am doubly proud to be a true-blue, fair-dinkum Aussie. My husband and I are committed Christians whose first priority is to love and serve our risen Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. My life story will tell of my journey from abuse to peace. I suffered 22 years of abuse, being constantly told I was totally evil and an ugly freak: no one would ever want me, so I might as well do the world a favour and kill myself.
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8 Responses to MURDERED! Strangled by an intruder!

  1. Rob Barkman says:

    Thank you for the reminder to stand strong in our personal testimony for Christ. Lord bless you Angela.

    • Thanks Rob. More than ever, as we see the morals and ethics of the world crumbling around us, we need to stand up for what is right, by our words, but more importantly by the way we live. When the Light of the resident Saviour shines forth into the darkness of the world HE will be shown to be alive and as the One who gives an abundant life to all who will believe.

  2. mtsweat says:

    Very well said good friend! For what fellowship will light have with darkness? The call to purity and holiness, I fear, fails to reserve its presence to often as we mingle in the world but must remain not of the world. A good and hearty challenge to each of us today to be alert, prayed up, and diligently walking with our Lord, in His Word and in His deeds.

    • Thanks Mike. We cannot live apart from the world and indeed we must be IN the world in order to fulfill our ministry TO the world. However, the only way we can survive in the world is to ensure we always take the ‘atmosphere’ of our own world with us. We are citizens of heaven. We are given His enabling and His empowering and have all the resources of God at our disposal. When we take this with us in the world, being fully clothed in the armour of God, we will NOT compromise, but will see HIM at work in us and through us.
      May we all be submissive to His leading and willing to be used by Him in His ministry.

  3. ptl2010 says:

    We can say a resounding “NO!” to compromise. – The first step in resistance is the most difficult as it is often against the flow or the tide. We need the power and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit to say the first “No” and recurrences will be much easier. One real life application is when a new graduate begins a new job – unless he/she declares from the start that he/she is a Christian with certain moral standards of behaviour, a newbie is easily sucked into the culture of the workplace where drinking, sexual harassment, corruption, and cheating could easily become a way of life, leading to destruction of reputation and respect and even denial of faith, choosing the fear of man above fear of God

    • Evelyn thank you for adding that practical illustration of a graduate starting a new job. The choice of friends is one of the biggest choices made by young people, and setting the standard from the start is essential. People need to know where we stand.

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