BRAZIL 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.
As 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.
Throughout 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.
Eventually 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,
COMPROMISE WITH THE WORLD
will choke the spiritual life of the believer
who allows it to grow and send out its tendrils.
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.
Submit yourselves therefore to God.
Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
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.