“…Every plant which my heavenly Father did not plant shall be uprooted.”
Matthew 15:13 NASB
During the last service at my church, the intercessor prophetically released this verse during the prayer time. The word was that every thing God did not plant (to grow, flourish & bear fruit) will be pulled up from its roots (settled and established places). Prophetically, that word began a shaking, even an unsettling was about to begin or manifest for the people present.
Today though, I found, read and meditated on the entire passage (vv. 1-20). The preceding verses grabbed me, and I knew I had to share with you. In the first five verses there’s a challenge from the Pharisees to Jesus, and then from Jesus back to the Pharisees. They question why His disciples violated the generations-old rule to wash their hands. Jesus, using the command to honor parents as an example, questions why they exalt human traditions over God’s commandments. Then, Jesus connects a couple of things for us.
1. When we exalt our traditions, we strip authority from God’s word (v. 6).
2. When we strip God’s word of its force/power in our lives, then we make doctrines of our traditions and call it worship (v. 9).
That’s heavy, isn’t it?! In essence, there is a group that will “save” tradition at the cost of God’s word with power and demonstration. Jesus calls this group hypocrites, and posthumously pats the prophet Isaiah on the back, saying he “admirably and truly (v. 7, Amplified)” prophesied about the people.
This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. But in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrine the precepts of men. (vv. 8-9, NASB)
Jesus then offers understanding via a phrase many of us have heard for years. He exposes the traditions of men as useless and futile, and a faulty base for holy living. It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles him, but it is what comes out of the mouth, for the heart is the source of our speech. If we say it, then it’s in our heart. Then, Jesus drops a hard saying,
Every plant which my heavenly Father has not planted will be torn up by the roots. (v. 13, Amplified)
What the Lord implies in this passage (and Isaiah cross-reference) is that He wants our hearts close to Him. Why? To change what comes out of our hearts. Do you see the subtlety of moving away from God’s word? We can keep talking right, even experience “atmospheres” (some legitimate), but with evil coming out of hearts we are far from Him.
Let’s trust God’s word as our absolute authority. Let’s allow its built-in power to work in and through us, cleanse us and transform us by renewing our minds. God, give us boldness to choose light and life when we meet human traditions and the offer to exalt them above your word.
Amen, Selah, and love to all.
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"In the darkness of night, I wait expectantly for understanding and knowledge for your people."
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