Jeremiah 1:10 says, “See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out and to pull down, to destroy and to throw down, to build and to plant.”
This wording is used multiple times in Jeremiah. It is in reference to the words that God put in his mouth. Jeremiah was the spokesman, but God was the orchestrator and initiator.
That is essential to remember in our own progressive sanctification. We follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, because He knows what to uproot.
Roots are hidden in the soil of our hearts. We know they are there because of the fruit. 2 Kings 19:30 says, “…take root downward, and bear fruit upward.”
Years ago I was going to change a flower bed. The flowers were straggly, and wanted something more dynamic. As I began to uproot the first plant, I discovered a whole network of roots. They were not visible on the surface, but the bed was a massive interlocking of roots. I finally had to shovel out the dirt with the roots and start over entirely.
The visible fruit is the evidence of the hidden root. Let’s take bitterness. Hebrews 12:15 says, “Looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.”
Peter told Simon in Acts 8:23 that he was poisoned by bitterness and bound in iniquity. Verse 22 said to repent of his wickedness, “…if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.”
Our thoughts come from the roots in our heart. Therefore in order to get rid of bitterness, we have to go to the root. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” Unresolved issues are the seed bed for the roots of bitterness to spread out.
Colossians 2:6-7 says, “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.”