By Brittany Gokalp (Prophetic Intercessor in Athens)

“See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled.” Hebrews 12:15 (NIV)

As several churches gathered to worship Sunday in downtown Athens during the Night of Glory, God gave me a vision over the city. As I was praying, my heart heard the words, “bitter root” and I then began to see a massive root system coming up from the city of Athens. The roots entangled together to form a thick, massive trunk.

I began to feel the weight of the Holy Spirit’s conviction pressing on me. He said that many of God’s people were harboring bitterness, unforgiveness, and offense in their heart. A strong bitter root was a source of defilement in Athens, not only for the unsaved but for the church as well. Where there is bitter envy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and every evil practice (James 3:16). When we allow bitterness to reside in our heart and take offense not only does it defile us but it brings defilement to every person and situation around us. It is an open door to evil. A bitter root is like a mighty water oak. Nothing can really grow around a water oak because its roots suck up all the water and nutrients from the ground.

This bitter root was sucking up the ‘life” in Athens, where nothing could grow and flourish. Judgement comes to the house of God first. He cares deeply about our hearts and He is calling us to repent and release any form of bitterness, envy, unforgiveness and offense. Offense causes unbelief. When Jesus was performing miracles and teaching with authority the people were deeply offended and refused to believe in Him (Matthew 13: 57 NLT).

Ask God to search your heart and see if there is any offensive, any bitter root in you so that He may remove it and lead you along the path of everlasting life and healing in Athens (Psalm 139:24 NLT). Pray that God would expose the bitter roots in and across our city, and bring conviction to repent and allow Him to dig them up. May this bitter root be removed so that His sweet fruit can come forth!