I have, for a long time, been fascinated by trees! How does a tree survive forest fire? When a flood rips through an area, how do trees stay rooted in the ground and not just get washed away? Tornadoes pass and level homes, entire towns sometimes to the ground and strip branches right off the trees….but….the trees continue to grow? HOW? One incredible fact that I have found is a tree’s ROOT system grows three times wider and deeper than the tree itself stands outside of the earth!! With that incredible tangle of roots reaching deep into the ground the tree is secured through whatever may happen to it on the outside!
This reminds me a lot of what life as a follower of Jesus looks like! In fact, one of our key verses for this series talks about roots that grow deep; Colossians 2:7 says, “Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness”. If we are to survive the fire, the flood or the storm, we need to have a deep and abiding faith in Jesus….not something that could be snuffed easily! We need to study His word and take it for the truth that it is and let it sink deep into our souls and hearts. What does this really look like?
As we continued this past weekend to look at the parable Jesus taught in Matthew, we looked more at the soil that was rocky, the seed fell on this soil, grew up quickly but then the elements (fire, water, wind) came the plants quickly withered or were destroyed! In our lives this looks like a person that has put their trust in Jesus and accepted his gift of salvation BUT struggle comes, sin tempts, issues arise, and they haven’t gotten close enough to Jesus to really remain firm in Him and trust through the storm and they fall away…maybe even denounce their faith! We can avoid that situation happening to us BY GROWING our RELATIONSHIP with JESUS and letting HIS WORDS SINK DEEP into our hearts and minds and strengthen our ROOT SYSTEM (faith, hope, joy, trust).
We can grow our root system by studying the Bible and receiving God’s word with JOY! It’s easy to have feelings of defeat in situations we can get trampled by the stress of the world around us, BUT when we have those feelings cross our path….we need to grab on to what is TRUE about our IDENTITY in JESUS! That He has chosen us and will never leave or forsake us! Life doesn’t always go the way we want or expect it to, in fact, the closer we get to GOD the more our faith may be tested, we may walk ourselves into situations we can’t handle, make choices that plague us night and day, or just be cruel and unreasonable to someone we love! BUT with God, we can walk our way through any battle and know that in the end we will come out victorious in HIM! One way we will learn and grow our FAITH is to prepare for the difficulty that will inevitably come by living in OBEDIENCE to Him every day!
Ask God to help you begin to make a new habit this week to SINK YOUR ROOTS deep and wide into JESUS! Maybe choose to start daily time with God or participate regularly in weekend services, maybe you need to get connected to a group or serve on a ministry team! Maybe God is prompting you to be discipled or disciple someone else!
Whatever you feel tugging on your heart….GO FOT IT! Put away the sin, give up the stress of the hardship, walk into the loving arms of Jesus and trust that HE will help you GROW DEEP in HIM!
To watch the entire talk click here!