by Pam Clark (

I was working in my yard yesterday and noticed a leafy plant that will send up a few blooms later in the season. It's more a ground cover plant than a bloomer, but I noticed it was root bound in a big way. It was the kind of plant that grows from bulbs, but these bulbs seemed to be clustering more than spreading out.

Since it was its time to start coming up, I saw that the outside edges were coming out in a big way but the inside part of it was not. The middle had a few little sprigs working up but the activity was on the fringes.

I knew I could enjoy much more of this plant if I dug it up and separated the bulbs and decided I would use it as a liner for my walkway. It was some of the most difficult digging up I have ever experienced from a little yard plant! That bulb cluster was so tight I had to damage a lot of it to separate it, but I knew by observation that it had a STRONG desire to live and would do better spread out where it could get more nutrients and "do its thing" of growing and multiplying again.

I dug a little trench by the walkway and sat down to take apart the bulbs as best I could so I could plant them in it. As I did, I noticed that the roots were so intertwined that I had to be careful how I pulled them apart. It was like spaghetti, it was so braided. I had to gently yet firmly pull them apart, giving a little shaking to it at times to free the obstacles.

And God and I began carrying on a conversation about the Church through the observation. It is so rootbound that it is starving out its own nutrients! The core was so nestled that you almost could not tell one bulb from another, but the bulbs in the middle were not producing, just the outside ones. It does seem that we need the soil of the world to grow in our gifts! That's the point of the gifts anyway, is it not?

As I am in the process of taking the bulbs and roots apart, a friend came over and we were talking about prophetic discernment. Lately a few people have asked me what I thought God was saying for the Church at this time, so I was thinking about it. Some of this I have shared before in other articles, but we have really been through a season of silence. I guess you could even call it a winter season.

Now just because God will get silent at times does not mean His people are! There are a lot of people prophesying out of the truths that they know or some are just taking truths and adding on to it for the sake of attention. This is a very frequent phemonemon now, because we as the Church have encouraged the prophetic gift in people. But along with that comes mixture.

The mixture is what confuses people and will sometimes take them down a wrong path for a while. They hear, even in their spirits, the truth but little things are added on here and there or something is not understood so they guess. The prophets will also do the same thing, prophesying some truth and adding on to it.

So as I am talking to my friend, I am pulling apart these braided roots and sharing how we are in a season of needed discernment, so we can know which part of a word is from God and which part is not, and is of of the world, the flesh or the devil. We need to take apart some words like I was taking apart those roots!

Most Christians are not stupid when it comes to the devil, they can discern if something is outright evil. But there are those subtleties and inuendos and wiles that we must detect to avoid the traps set up for us because they are out there. We have been in a season of silence because God is testing our hearts. What do we really believe?

We can hear a thousand words but what do we do with those words? Some people collect them like dolls or toy models to put on a shelf for display. It's a collection to look at for entertainment but it is not something that is really functioning in their lives. It's like a caffeine high. There is nothing wrong with some entertainment generally speaking, but we need the proper food for our lives to be genuinely productive.

When God is silent to our spirits, we must go back and draw on the truths we have heard. Faith comes by hearing and that hearing by the words proceeding from God. When God withdraws His "speaking" in the ways that we have become comfortable in, we sometimes don't even notice that the Spirit of conviction has lifted. Then we start to do whatever is in our own hearts.

Now is God doing that to be mean to us? Of course not! He wants to test our maturity. He wants to test our inner man in Him. If another authority voice comes along, will we follow that voice or His?

It may be easy to follow the latest lead voice we hear but is it the Holy Spirit? It may seem logical (for the short term) or pleasing to our flesh. You know, "the crowd is going with it, so let's go with the crowd, after all they are good people." But can we discern? It is important in this time of mass media production.

Another friend wrote me today sharing about his financial difficulties. That can be so hard and there are so many predictions of a threatened economy. Prices are going up and many are losing their jobs, as they are outsourced or going under. People have been lured into easy money obligations (at first) only to find they cannot meet the obligations. But as he shared it with me I felt led to tell him that the poverty spirit working on him was really the dream stealer.

God wants to give to us, He just wants us to build correctly. When we start laying the bricks of our house wrong because we have a lot of zeal, He has to stop providing so we will realize that we are building things wrong. He is not mad, He just wants to correct us. Suddenly those "words" don't work anymore! Suddenly we realize we are sick of this whole thing called Church!

But is it really God and the Church that we want to give up? Of course not -- not if we really know Him and His Body. But many experience sickness and death because they do not discern the Body correctly. Our living stones have gotten infected and they must go through a time of treatment and healing.

We have to guard against a spirit of anger that will take us a way that we don't really want to go. We have to find a way to correctly channel that energy that is inside of us. So many just look for ways to attack what they see as wrong but don't find ways to build up. That is what that extra energy is for!

We must find our true dreams in God! Without that hope and that vision, we cannot grow up as we should! We must discern by the functional Word that bears good fruit!

There is a decentralizing of the Church going on. It has become root bound. It is starving for nutrients. All the ministers are trying to minister to each other and they are showing off their gifts to one another and they are not building the Body of Christ. They are looking to each other and drawing from each other to such a degree that they have cut off those who really need to be added in.

To try and separate them is a challenge! God may have to damage some to get them apart. When the ministers look to one another in the pride of their gifts, they quit looking to the Lord. They see His beauty in each other but then start comparing themselves one with another and the spirit of competition and striving and jealousy (with all its evil works) sets in. It becomes a beauty contest in the church and the Lord has to leave!

When someone finally notices there is a problem and the others don't see it, they feel the need to separate and can often find that difficult. It seems so lonely out there in the world! It's not a perfect world (yet). But yet you can find some nice people because they just aren't saved yet or they too have fled the institutionalized church.

Are institutions wrong? No, not if they are multiplying the strengths and gifts in people and helping them to move on in life. Then they are able to take strongholds for good. But is that what we see today? We too often see more strongholds for evil than for good and one exposure after another of the problem is being manifested for the world to see.

Some are hidden by what's going on in the outside fringes but core root bulbs are not producing fruit. They are just trying to prop up the structure, but they are no longer sufficient in their own strengths. Fear has set in and the joy of the Lord has left.

Is there not a Cause? Of course there is! When you find that all your time is being spent in propping up the Body from its problems and not reaching out to the lost and those who don't know what to do in the way that you do it best, then you have a problem. If you find it hard to meet the needs of others and are overly burdened about "holding up" the church from her condition, you have been sidetracked.

God is going to hold up the Church no matter what. If you get so root bound that you cannot come out and meet Him where He is, there is a problem! Whom the Son sets free, is free indeed.

MANY today hate what the churches have become. They have left in record numbers. They didn't quit believing but they find they cannot live in the confines of what "the church" has become - a status symbol social club.

Many of them are not functioning alone in the world and so they are becoming polluted by the world, but if you give them a little water, they will come and drink!