In the spring time we notice the green foliage and blossoms. It brings a fresh scent and new life. However, if trees were not banded with grease or glue bands last fall, the results may be apparent.
Worms. In the fall, these not-so-cute cankerworms, (also known as inchworms) crawl up the tree trunks of hardwoods such as elm, maples, red oak and apple trees. At the highest point possible, the worms will lay eggs in bunches of 100 or more in the bark of the small branches or twigs.
In April or May, the eggs hatch and the larvae start feeding on the buds and leaves, chomping away until nothing but the skeleton remains. That is when we notice the damage.
Trees need to be banded in the fall to protect them from their predators in the spring-time. For believers to live Totally Transplanted lives, we also must be banded to protect our lives.
To be banded, we must guard our hearts. Proverbs 4:23 states, "Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life” (AMP).
Like the tree needs to be guarded by having the bands placed around the trunks to prevent the insects from crawling up it, we need to guard our hearts. We need to band, or guard our hearts, with the Word of God. His Word brings life to us keeping spiritual insects away.
Insects will slowly destroy a tree. These insects will eat the leaves from the top down. Each time they clear a limb of its leaves, they will drop down to the next limb until they get to the bottom of all the limbs. By June, the larvae are mature and drop to the ground, pupate in the soil and reemerge in the fall to start the process over again.
Each time the insects strip a tree of its leaves, it decreases the tree's life span. The stronger the tree, the longer it will live. The weaker ones have a quicker mortality rate. If a tree is not banded in the fall, it can be banded in the spring to protect it from ants. It's never too late to get banded.
It's the same with believers. The ways of the world will chip away at us like the insects on a tree. If we do not treat these effects, it will slowly cause deterioration in our spiritual lives. The less mature believer will deteriorate faster than a more mature believer.
If banding with the Word of God was not done in the fall of our lives, we can get banded with His word anytime. It is never too late to guard our hearts with His Word.
“ Let your heart retain my words;
Keep my commands, and live. Get wisdom! Get understanding! Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth. Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you; Love her, and she will keep you. Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding" (Proverbs 4:4-7, NKJV).
We're to retain the God's words in our hearts and we will live. His word brings us wisdom for living. If the larvae have emerged in the crowns of our trees, chemical insecticides will get rid of them. Like the trees need treatment applied to them, we need to apply God's word to our lives. We can read it and put in our hearts, but if we do not do use it then the our leaves will be destroyed.
"Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves" (James 1:21-22, NKJV).
If we read and memorize Scripture, the word is implanted in us. We're banded against the insects that will try to destroy us. However, we must live out what His word says. We must love the unlovely. Remain humble. Give to the needy. Tend to the widows and orphans. Pray for those in need.
To live a Totally Transplanted life, we need to guard ourselves with Scripture, get understanding and wisdom, then apply it to our lives. Being banded with God's Word will keep the leaves on our crown so we can display His beauty all year long. Be sure you're banded.