I was reminded of the problem of sin recently while watching a T.V. program about fungus in a tree (I always pick the most exciting shows!). While the fungus had originated in the crotch of the branches at the center of the tree, it quickly spread throughout its branches and leaves. How to eradicate the fungus was the question.
An arborist went to work on the tree, cutting away its dead branches and pruning back those still alive. But he also did something I would never have thought of doing: he cut out branches from the center of the tree in order to open it up to fresh air and sunlight. Then, as wind blew through the tree and the sun shined within its branches, the fungus eventually dried up and died. To make certain the tree would not be re-infected by the fungus, he raked up all the diseased leaves which had fallen to the ground below.
As I watched, the Lord seemed to say that this is how He goes about eradicating the fungus of sin from our life. Cutting away the dead branches, pruning others, and raking away the diseased leaves spoke to me of our responsibility to say no to sin. But what was even more obvious was the analogy to God’s strategy for healing the true source of sin. Namely, that He addresses the cause of our sinful fungus by removing the diseased inner branches of our heart to allow the presence of His Spirit to flood our life within.
Excerpted from: Free from the Power of Sin: The Keys to Growing in God in Spite of Yourself