A few years ago, my mom flew my family out to Arizona to visit her. Our family had an incredible time and one of the souvenirs we brought back home with us was a little cactus that was a refrigerator magnet. It survived the plane ride home, and I watered it faithfully once a month so the whole family could see it grow over the next two years. When we moved to New York; however, the cactus suffered a different fate. Somehow in the moving process it got detached from its roots and we watched it shrink and shrivel up over the next couple of days. There are some references in the Bible about our spiritual roots and the important role they play in our growth. Please read Colossians 2:6-7.
In Colossians 1, Paul spent time reminding the Colosse church who Jesus is and how our salvation is through Him. After his explanation he begins the next thought with, "So then..." He makes it clear with this statement that the first chapter was setting the stage for the next thought, which is to continue following Him. Continue following Christ. Once again, Paul was speaking to a church that was facing some cultural influence that was telling the church otherwise. Paul was reminding them that no matter what the culture told them, keep following Christ. Paul then gives the church the word picture of roots growing deep into Him. I love this word picture because I enjoy gardening. If a plant is not establishing a good root system, the plant will not thrive. In fact, Paul goes on to say that when our roots grow deep, our faith will grow strong in His truth.
How do we grow our roots in Him? We grow our roots by spending time in the Bible. As we read the Bible and take the time to seek what God is saying in the passages we are reading, our roots are growing deep in Him. The more we read the truth that is in the Bible and believe what God says in the Bible, the more our faith will grow. We also grow our roots by spending time in prayer. Spending time in prayer creates an intimacy with God unlike anything else and as we learn to lift our concerns to Him, our trust in Him will grow. Another very important thing every believer needs to do to grow their roots is to be a part of a church. Being a part of a body of believers is what grows us even more because this is where we experience the love of Christ through others. This is where we learn what it means to be a part of the body of Christ. These are the three most important things to growing our roots in Christ.
We are told in these verses that when we grow our roots in Christ and our faith grows, we will "overflow with thankfulness." What happens when we overflow with thankfulness? I believe it protects us from the cultural values that do not fit with God's truth. Think of a measuring cup that is set under a running faucet and overflowing as the water continues to pour into it. There is no room for anything else to get into the measuring cup. When we are brought to the place in our walk with God that we are overflowing with thankfulness, not only does that affect the people around us, but it leaves no room for anything that is not of God. Don't forget, that when our roots are in Christ, we are being watered by the Living Water. John 7:38 says, "Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.'" That Living Water is the outflow that changes our culture.
Where are your roots planted?
This post is linked with Sharing His Beauty.