“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12 (NIV)
Yesterday I spent the whole day working in our yard. We bought a house six months ago and it was finally warm enough to look at the work we needed to accomplish outside. Living in the heart of oil country, yards and fencing are often neglected as people come and go so often. Needless to say ours needed A LOT of TLC. One of the things that we took out was a vine that intertwined over and under about 100 feet of fence on the one side of our yard. I can imagine back in its prime it was a beautiful vine and produced great fruit, but because it was neglected for so long it was overgrown, full of dog hair and trash. What was once meant to be beautiful was now the very thing that made our fence look trashy and run down.
As I pulled and struggled to get this vine free from the fence, the Lord reminded me of the scripture above. When I snipped the single branches away they fell loose and were easily moved to the trash pile. The closer I got to the fence the more I found vines intertwined together and then it became harder to snip them apart and pull up the roots.
It was an arduous process and took most of the day. I spent a good share of that time pondering the scripture God had reminded me of and the ways my vine lesson applied to my life and Christian life as a whole.
The constant theme of the day was how we all need each other. Much like the vines that were intertwined couldn’t easily be pulled apart, when we bind ourselves together with other believers we are stronger. The enemy is going to have a harder time breaking us down and pulling us away when we are rooted together in God.
Our pastor often reminds our congregation that Satan wants us to feel like our problems are unique to us and no one will understand what we are going through. If he can isolate us from others, it will be easier to destroy us.
The other thought I had was the way this vine had become so far from what it once was intended to be; that now it was accomplishing the opposite of its original intent. Sometimes we start out in a group and bind ourselves together in God, but along the way become distracted and become a cliquey, gossiping, complaining group instead of the encouraging prayer and support group we set out to be. If we neglect our upkeep, we can become the opposite of what we were designed to be. What is our upkeep? Prayer, accountability, reading the Word and following Jesus’ example.
Jesus is the vine, and we are the branches. If we intertwine together and stay rooted in him, we can accomplish so much more then we can on our own, but we must beware of the distraction of the enemy and be sure that we stay rooted in the right thing.
Lord, I pray that you would guide us to a group of believers that would strengthen and encourage our walk with you. May we stay rooted in you and guard against the schemes of the devil. We want to be used of you to glorify your name and become all we were created to be. Amen.