Several years ago my wife and I were ministering to a young lady who needed deliverance from demons. As I prayed for her, it was clear that evil spirits were coming to the surface, but we could not seem to get a full breakthrough. We paused for a moment to ask for the Holy Spirit’s guidance, and God showed her a picture of a root beneath the surface with the word “bitterness” written on it. As soon as we addressed this “root of bitterness” she was released from the oppression she was under.
Hebrews 12:15 says this: “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.” Bitterness is a root issue. This means that it can be the underlying cause of many other problems. The negative fruit that is produced above the surface then causes many others to “become defiled.”
Bitterness is also described in the Bible as a poison. Peter said this to Simon, the sorcerer, when he tried to purchase the Holy Spirit’s power with money: “For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity” (Acts 8:23). When we become poisoned by the root of bitterness, we are bound by iniquity.
Some of the fruit that comes from this bitter root is anger, resentment, envy, hatred, and unforgiveness. When we allow this poison to remain, our hearts become hardened and every area of our lives become impacted. Our relationship with God becomes cold, and our relationship with others is severely hindered. The more we allow the bitterness to grow, the more deeply rooted it becomes in our identity.
If you begin to sense that bitterness is creeping into your life, make sure to deal with it immediately. One of the keys to this is to practice a lifestyle of forgiving others and not holding onto offenses when they come. Release the bitterness to God, and ask for the blood of Jesus to cleanse you in a fresh way.
If you have allowed the poison of bitterness to make its way into your heart, repent and receive God’s grace and forgiveness. Let the love of the Father fill your heart so that the walls of bitterness will come crumbling down!
If there is a root of bitterness in your life, what is it? How is it affecting you and those you love?