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The Root of the Matter (excerpted from God and The Garden)

 

“But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away,” Matthew 13:6 NKJV

No matter how beautiful the plant, no matter what its leaves look like or its fruit that shines, if the roots are rotten it is as good as dead.

The same also holds true for us as well. No matter how we appear to others, it is truly what is unseen that determines our character.

Most people want to look good but fail to nurture what really counts, their roots or the foundation that is vital for growth and sustenance.

Psalms 80: 8-9 states, “You have brought a vine out of Egypt; you have cast out the nations, and planted it. You have prepared room for it, and caused it to take deep root and it filled the land.” NKJV

Deep roots are necessary for significant growth. The acorn cannot become a mighty oak with shallow roots at surface level that leave the tree vulnerable to disease, a lack of nutrients, and physical destruction. It is necessary that the roots grow deep if the tree is to grow to up.

Our roots must grow deep if we are to grow up!

“And the remnant who have escaped of the house of Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward,” 2 Kings 19:30 NKJV.

This theme is found repeatedly in the Bible. Deep roots are crucial. Jesus’ parable as explained in Matthew teaches if we have shallow roots the heat of life will surely scorch us! We won’t survive. We will wither and die. This fate is not what Jesus died for.  He died that we may live and do so abundantly.  So, how do we develop deep roots and thrive as God intended?

In nature a lack of water at the surface forces plant roots downward. Our personal droughts can do the same for us when we don’t give up, but instead dig in. When we are in hot situations we must root ourselves in God’s Word that we may not just survive but thrive in spite of our test. Our trials are to push us closer to God, not drive us away. Plants survive by doing this even though they may look parched at the surface.  Certain trials leave us looking fried as well but digging into the Word strengthens us and leaves us better off long after the test has passed.

Our roots need fertilizer. Nothing will develop you into the person God intended like the real “Miracle Grow” of God’s Word. His Word establishes the righteous. “But the root of the righteous yields fruit,” Proverbs 12:12 NKJV.

Turning to God when the heat is on, establishing yourself in His Word, constantly reading and meditating on it allows your roots to push downward so you can bear fruit upward. The taller the tree, the deeper the roots.

We can’t grow up unless we dig in!

Rooting ourselves in God’s Word provides stability that keeps us from being blown over and plucked up by hard winds (hardships). Sure we may lose a few leaves and have a branch or two broken through our trials but most importantly we can remain rooted where God would have us.

Some plants, once established in the ground are incredibly hard to pull out. Shovels and picks won’t do the job. Their roots expand outward and downward embedding themselves through the earth and around rocks. The longer the plant is established in the ground the stronger it becomes. The more we establish and root ourselves in God’s Word the stronger we too become.

Who we become in life is often dictated by what is unseen by other people. What we do when no one is watching, the thoughts we have toward others, the things we say when no one can hear are extensions of what exists below the surface.  These inner things dictate what is produced outwardly.

“And if the root is holy, so are the branches,” Romans 11:16.  If you want good branches start below the surface. Kill anything below the surface that will hinder your growth. Bad habits, bad thoughts, ill influences and addictions will do nothing but promote root rot. People who are negative influences are often “weeds” that can rob you of nutrients you need to grow.

Replace whatever has the potential to kill you with the Miracle Grow of God’s Word, inspirational influences, positive acquaintances, prayer, devotion and whatever it takes to push you up toward God’s very best for you!

If you feel unproductive or at a loss don’t focus on the surface but instead investigate those deeper things that may hinder your desired outcome.

If there is anything that needs to be gone, toss it! Change habits. Change direction. Make different choices. Think different thoughts. Turn toward God who “establishes” you so that you can thrive, not just survive.

If you want to bloom and be fruitful, living the abundant life Christ died for… tend to your roots!

Thank you Heavenly Father for enabling me to root myself in You. Allow me to take root and grow strong into the person you have ordained me to become. May I focus on what lies beneath the surface and find nourishment in You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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