Hot Thirsty and Stupid by Carolyn Tucker

Keys to the Kingdom by Carolyn Tucker


On a hot morning in August, I stepped onto the front porch and noticed all the dead fallen leaves from my poplar tree. It was obvious the tree was in distress — more than any of the others in my yard. Although it’s a huge mature tree, perhaps its root system doesn’t go down as deep as the maple and oak trees do. It was such a disturbing sight that I spontaneously prayed, “Lord, please don’t let me dry up spiritually like this tree.” For two summers I have  faithfully watered the Jane Magnolia tree that Aaron and I planted in memory of my husband. This baby tree has a weak root system, so without consistent watering it would succumb to the draught. Because of the tree’s significance, I purposely nurture and care for it so it can thrive and become strong.


With all the incoming missiles of the evil one and the bombarding distractions of the world, it takes determined effort to abide in Christ. Believers simply won’t thrive  spiritually without living in Him. Here’s what Jesus had to say about it: “I am the True Vine, and My Father is the Vinedresser. Dwell in Me, and I will dwell in you. [Live in Me, and I will live in you.] Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding in (being vitally united to) the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me. I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing“ (John 15:1,4,5 AMP). I don’t want to be doing my own thing and be fruitless to boot!


In recent years, binging has become rampant in the lives of both believers and unbelievers. The definition of binge is excessive unrestrained activity; uncontrolled indulgence. Binge-watching (to watch many or all episodes of a TV series in rapid succession) has become an acceptable thing. But Jesus wants us to shut every door that offers the enemy access, so we need to be well balanced in all that we do. “And He [Jesus] said to them, ’Keep watch, and pray that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak’” (Mark 14:38 GNT). I’ll just go out on a limb and say the flesh is stupid too. Our born-again spirit is willing and desires vital union with God, but our flesh is brainless, lazy, and hell-bent on godless and fruitless desires.


It’s high-time for Christians to train our flesh and let it know that it’s not in charge! The apostle Paul wrote, “But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified” (1 Corinthians 9:27 ESV). God gives His people a new heart and a new spirit to live according to His will (God‘s Word). We have what He says we have, so let’s stop whining and acting like we’re not strong enough to take authority over our stupid flesh. Paul wrote to the believers in Corinth, “For the love of Christ controls and urges and impels us….(2 Corinthians 5:14 AMP). There’s enabling power in the love of Christ and the blood of the Lamb. “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37 NKJV).


It’s easy to be overcome by life’s trials and temptations when our spiritual root system is dry as a bone. When (not if) the bottom falls out of your world, all those hours of binge-watching won’t do you a lick of good. The only way to stand up under the heat and not wilt is to be consistently and intimately connected to the Vine so you can thrive in all kinds of adverse situations. You can be as close to God as you want to be — it’s your call.


The Key: Live every day with Jesus’ soaker hose wrapped around your spirit.

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