A bramble bush by definition is a worthless plant, not to be numbered among the trees, useless and fruitless, hurtful and scratching and tearing with its thorns.
When I was about eight years old, I spent a lot of time on my grandparent’s farm. Since the mailman’s route didn’t include the farm, my Grandmother would send me to pick up her mail at Mrs. Whites, our closest neighbor. What an adventure for an eight-year-old! The route I took was a well-worn trail; across the peach orchard, through the eerie dark creek bed and finally across a large field to the back of Mrs. White’s house.
Granny’s instructions always included; “Go straight there and come straight home. No dillydallying around and watch for snakes and bramble bushes”. I was terrified of snakes and the bramble bushes. Usually hiding in grassy fields, the bramble bush is impossible to see. My legs showed the evidence of our interaction. As a child, I believed those bushes came from the devil; God would never create something so evil.
Our enemy, Satan, wants to hinder your spiritual journey by setting traps much like the bramble bush. His traps are so well hidden we don’t recognize their presence until we feel the sting of their evil thorns.
In your relationship with the Lord, you may suddenly find yourself entangled in such a trap. This feeling of being pressed down and unable to move forward can be incredibly frustrating; even to the point where you may feel God has forgotten you. You’re ready to go to the next level but every force seems to be fighting against you, and every door seems to be sealed shut. It’s a confusing time, knowing you have tried your best to please Him in all areas of your life. You begin to question everything. The promise He gave you seems impossible now. Remember when God first called you to step out of your comfort-zone to fulfill His purpose for your life and you said, “Yes”? Well, Satan also heard this conversation. He will do everything in his power to steal, kill and destroy God’s plans for you, but His word says nothing can cancel God’s word.
So shall my word be that go forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. Isaiah 55:11
Without God’s intervention, we may struggle in the “bramble bush” experience and find ourselves permanently stuck. Satan works on our emotions, spewing his lies and condemning us of our inabilities and past failures. He accuses us night and day, bringing fear and discouragement in our weak moments, hoping we’ll give up. But we can’t base our faith on what we see or feel, and we can’t give up! We have to speak it, believe it and hold to His promise, for He cannot lie. Seek His face, focus on His word and worship Him; yes, even in the bramble bush! You must know, even in these uncertain times, God is fighting for you, pulling you up the mountain to new heights!
I will rejoice in the Lord. He is my strength He will enable to the heights.
God will allow diversions in your journey and draw you aside to perfect your heart, which affects your relationship with Him. The bramble bush experience will pressure you to deal with matters you may have ignored. It will be a time of soul-searching and requires transparency and trust. His marvelous light will expose those things that have shut you down. He will reveal pride, unforgiveness or any other sin that has hindered your divine destiny. You will then know the freedom He desires for you. You may not have known these issues existed until they were exposed, but you will instantly realize their absence when they depart.
Great men in the Bible struggled when they failed to trust God and found themselves trapped and hid away in fear. But God had good plans for them and drew them into secluded places to get their undivided attention. He met Moses in a desert and Elijah at a brook and in a cave. He met them one on one to renew and strengthen their faith. They, in turn, learned to trust in God again. They were not super human beings, but were weak and insecure. They made mistakes repeatedly, yet God never gave up on them. He had called them, knowing their faults and weaknesses. He continued to work with them until their calling was fulfilled. Think of the children of Israel. God must have grown weary with their complaining, yet He never canceled His promise.
When you align your heart with His heart, you will experience an emotional breakthrough and a catalyst to step into your destiny. Our willingness to obey God will determine how long it will take to reach our destiny.
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Psalm 51:10 NIV