A buried bulb

We are giving amaryllis bulbs for Easter this year.  I couldn’t help but notice the deep symbolism.

It sure doesn’t look like much.  In fact, it looks dead.  Kind of like us.

“Though outwardly we are wasting away” (2 Corinthians 4:16).

The planting instructions say to put it in lukewarm water for a few hours and then bury it up to its neck.

“I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed” (John 12: 24).

Drowned in water and buried up to the neck.  That sounds familiar.

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9).

But Jesus has been there before us.

“But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him” (Isaiah 53:5).

It was the submission of Jesus to the grave that won our eternal life.

“We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life” (Romans 6:4).

Now Jesus is with us when we are drowned and buried.  We are not alone.

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).

And in the process we die.  We surrender our goals and dreams at the cross.  Our seed dies.

“But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life” (John 12:24-25).

And he takes our “wasting away” outward man, our trials and afflictions, our unmet needs, our surrendered dreams, and makes something beautiful.

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Corinthians 4:16-17)

Will you surrender to him and let him do this work in you?

Strongholds

2 Corinthians 10:3-6:

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.

From the study notes of The New Spirit-Filled Life Bible:

Strongholds are first established in the mind; that is why we are to take every thought captive.  Behind a stronghold is also a lie—a place of personal bondage where God’s word has been subjugated to any unscriptural idea or personally confused belief that is held to be true.  Behind every lie is a fear, and behind every fear is an idol.  Idols are established where there exists a failure to trust in the provisions of God that are ours through Jesus Christ…

Here is an example:  If we make an idol of financial security, we have fears over not having enough money, and we believe the lie that we must abandon other priorities to earn as much as possible.

Or, if we make an idol of our spouse (believing they will meet our most significant needs), then we are afraid of being unhappy when they can’t/don’t meet our needs, so we believe lies like we have to manipulate them to get them to behave like we want them to.  Or we believe the lie that if they aren’t “making us happy” that we can never be happy, and believe that we face a choice of only divorce or unhappiness (as opposed to finding our joy in the Lord and his provision for us).

One of the greatest joys of doing deliverance ministry is forcing demons to tell their hosts what lies they have been feeding them over the years.  Watching the realization in the eyes of those being ministered to that they are not worthless, or it wasn’t their fault—that the tape recordings that have been playing in their minds all that time were lies of the enemy—is priceless.  To watch them get freedom and know they are loved by God is one of the greatest treasures in this life.  Thank you Jesus.

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