…If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.
— Luke 17:6

Jesus said that when you finally decide to deal with the wrong attitudes that have stalked and hounded your life for so long, you must order them to “…be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea…” (Luke 17:6).

The words “plucked up by the root” are from the Greek word ekridzoo, which is a compound of the words ek and ridzo. The word ek means out, and the word ridzo is the Greek word for a root, like the roots of a plant. When joined into one word, the compound word means to rip out by the roots.

This is not a person who hopes the plant will be removed but does nothing to make it happen. Quite the contrary! This is the picture of a person who wraps his hands around the base of that plant, pulls with all his might, and rips the roots of that plant right out of the ground. He has made the determination that he is not going to stop until the ground he stands on is totally free from the roots of that nasty plant so that it will never produce life there again!

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bookmark2That’s the way you have to deal with wrong attitudes that have been deeply rooted in your soul for a long time. I guarantee you that if those attitudes have been at work in you for a long time, they are now deeply rooted in the way you think and behave. At this point, the only way they are going to be ripped out of your soul is by your determined choice to do whatever is necessary to rip them out. There can be no accidental deliverance from these attitudes. If your heart is to be liberated, it will only happen as you choose to be liberated and then do something about it!

Once you’ve ripped those attitudes out of the soil of your soul, the Lord Jesus said that we need to command them to “be planted in the sea.” The word “planted” is from the Greek word phuteuo, which would normally describe the planting of a plant. However, plants are not normally planted in the sea, so Jesus must have had something else in mind by using this word. The word phuteuo in this verse means to be permanently relocated to the “sea.”

Isn’t it interesting that Jesus said you have to command wrong attitudes to be planted in the sea? Why didn’t He tell us to throw them into the garbage pile? Why did Jesus say to permanently relocate those wrong attitudes in the sea?

The sea is made of salt water. Salt water won’t allow a plant to grow because the salt would kill the roots. So once a plant or tree is thrown into the seawater, it becomes a dead issue. No matter how hard you try, that plant will never grow again. Its life is gone forever! If you planted it in the garbage pile, it could reestablish its roots and grow again. But by throwing it into the sea, you have plunged those wrong attitudes into a place where they will never grow, never re-root, and never produce life again. Once in the sea, they are dead forever!

This is so very important in the context of this verse, for it tells us that Jesus doesn’t want us to be just temporarily relieved of these destructive attitudes; He wants us to be permanently freed of them. He wants them to become dead issues that never stalk or hound us again.

This is precisely how you have to look at the dead issues that you’ve spoken to and commanded to go. Once you’ve told bitterness and unforgiveness to leave, don’t ever allow them to take root in your life again! Even if your flesh would like to dwell on those old hurts again, don’t allow that bitter tree to come back to life! Bury it in the sea of forgetfulness so its roots can never regain a foothold in your soul.

Jesus told us to say to the sycamine tree, “Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.” Notice the last phrase, “…and it should obey you.” The word “obey” is the Greek word hupakouo, which means to submit and to obey.

Your out-of-control emotions are just like an out-of-control child. That child will rant, rave, and carry on all day long until you finally stand up and tell him to straighten up and act right! In the same way, the flesh will pout, throw a temper tantrum, and carry on to a ridiculous extent — until you finally decide that enough is enough! When you make that choice to rise up, speak to your emotions, and exert your authority in Jesus Christ, your flesh WILL obey your commands!

  • If you don’t take authority over your flesh and emotions, they will continue to dominate and hound you.
  • If you’ll stand up to your emotions and plant them in the sea forever, they will obey you!

So today I must ask, “Isn’t it time for you to rise up and take charge of the situation in your soul?” Never forget that it is your soul, so you are responsible for what happens there. Even if others have wronged you, it is simply a fact that you are the only one who has the power to allow such a foul tree of bitterness to grow inside your soul. It is your responsibility to remove those bitter roots and be freed of that inner mess.

The Holy Spirit is present right now to help you make the choice to forgive, forget, and permanently walk free of the past wrongs that others have committed against you — or the wrongs you think they committed against you. Right now it doesn’t matter who is right or wrong. What matters is that you uproot that tree of bitterness before it begins producing deadly fruit in your life.

So by faith, reach out and grab hold of the base of that ugly growth. Grip it tightly; pull with all your might; and rip those roots right of out of your heart. Then dump that gnarly tree of bitterness and unforgiveness permanently in the sea where it will never bother you again!

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My Prayer for Today

Lord, I thank You that I don’t ever have to be stalked and hounded by bitter attitudes and wrong thinking for the rest of my life. With the authority You have given me, I can speak to those attitudes and command them to go! I can speak to my flesh, and it will obey me. Rather than be conquered by my flesh, my negative emotions, and my wrong attitudes, I am asking You to help me rise up to take authority over my soul and clean up the mess that has been made inside my head. I know that with Your help, my whole perspective can change!

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

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My Confession for Today

I confess that it is time for me to rise up and take charge of the situation in my soul! It is my soul, so I am responsible for what happens there. Even if others did wrong to me, I choose to forgive, forget, and permanently walk free. Right now it doesn’t matter who is right or wrong. What matters is that I uproot the tree of bitterness before it produces any more deadly fruit in my life. So by faith, I am reaching out to grab hold of the base of that ugly growth. I am gripping it tightly and pulling with all my might to rip those roots right out of my heart! Those old thoughts no longer have a right to operate inside me. They are now dead issues — cast once and for all into the sea where they can’t hound me anymore!

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

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Questions to Answer

1. Do you have a wrong attitude that has been deeply rooted in your soul for a long time?

2. If the answer is yes, are you ready and willing to rip that foul growth out of your soul today with the power of your spoken, faith-filled words and by your authority in the name of Jesus?

3. There will be no accidental deliverance from these attitudes, so what steps do you plan to take to see that your heart is fully liberated once and for all?