The other day, I was pulling weeds in my vegetable garden. Fortunately, I found and uprooted most of the “little guys.” But there were some weeds that had been growing a bit longer. They were stubborn and tough. I had to get my fingers right down at their entrance into the earth, take a “death grip,” and pull with my whole body – just to get those “bigger guys” out of my garden! From the roots up, those weeds were supported . . . until my hands came along!
That illustration about weeds shows just how strong roots can be. They can support great structures above ground. Remember: roots are “under things” – under you. Roots stabilize and strengthen what is over them. They are invisible but they nurture what is visible. Roots are gnarly from experiences and struggles and they spread over a vast territory. Roots support you.
The world is full of roots. It’s not just plants. It’s architecture structures – bridges, buildings, tunnels, etc. Those structures need a strong foundation from the roots up.
People’s lives rise from the roots up. A person’s mind, emotions, memories, words, actions – your very soul – all are supported by what’s under you. If your roots aren’t healthy, even though they spread broadly beneath your life, they pull unhealthy components into your life.
So, I suppose it’s a worthy discussion to see what kinds of roots are healthy.
Rooted In Christ
Have you asked yourself recently what kind of root system is under your life? Would you say you have a healthy root system that draws living water from Christ?
While exploring what is under our daily lives, an interesting Scripture comes to mind. In fact, I think it just might be the starting point for healthy roots.
“If my people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chron. 7:14)
The Message Of 2 Chron. 7:14
First, this is a promise for God’s children called by His name (not those outside faith in Christ). How precious that God calls you His very own if you are a Jesus follower.
Next, I was struck by conditions God insists on. People sometimes expect God to keep His promises of blessing while they apply their own slant and agenda. It is not for mankind to decide God’s parameters. It’s solidly God’s right – because He is infinitely wise, loving, and good.
Third, when a person has no intention of cooperating, they often end up angry at God for not doing what they wanted Him to do – with their agenda in place rather than His.
So what are the conditions God insists on? There are 4:
- Humble yourself.
- Seek God’s face.
- Turn from wicked ways.
Let’s look at each condition.
Before you can connect with God, you must have a sincere, repentant heart. This only comes from humbling yourself, acknowledging God is holy and perfect . . . and you are not. God doesn’t need you. He wants you. On the other hand, you need God and must decide if you truly want Him . . . more than anything else in life.
When you pray, if you are praying sincerely, you properly aligned yourself with God from your heart. A humble prayer means you automatically acknowledge His greatness, love, mercy, and grace. These are incredible gifts. Alignment means lining up with God in right relationship and perspective. Misalignment means “out-of-sync,” at odds, and the resulting consequences. Praying is a privilege. To talk to the greatest Person that exists is nothing short of a miracle. You can enter His holy presence only because of the blood of Jesus over you. You can pray anytime, any day, about anything.
Seek His Face
It’s an incredible privilege to know God. The term “face to face” implies close relationship. When people look directly into one another’s face without fear, pride, or deception – it represents intimacy and trust. You can pro-actively look into God’s face by faith – and not die! Friendship with God has quite a vast, dependable root system underneath it.
Turn From Wicked Ways
The critical requirement to receive a promise, intervention, or provision from God is turning from wicked ways. So, there IS a catch! God has conditions to His grace. We’ve already seen three of them – humble yourself, pray, seek His face. So now the big one – turn from wicked ways. That means deliberate change.
Where Is God In All This?
God is exceptionally understanding. He is your biggest cheerleader through steps of change. He coaches you as you train in righteousness, God’s Spirit transforms you.
Then there’s the partnership. You do your part out of gratitude. God does His part out of grace. You can’t partner with God if you haven’t turned from wicked ways, from unhealthy habits and patterns (put off), and in their place – establish new, godly habits and patterns (put on).
God is poised to fly into action when you simply lean His direction with the previous four heart conditions.
God will hear from Heaven. He will forgive. He will heal your heart.
Roots Under Life
This is how life is when things get tough. At first glance you see a rough scenario or rugged difficulty – suffering, hardship, and struggle. But when you pick up glasses of faith and put them on, you begin to see more. As your heart focuses on God, who He is, and what He does, your gaze sharpens. After obedience, you see tiny signs of what God is doing. Then a strange comfort, unexplainable joy, and deep hope sustains your heart. Something good is growing in your life – underneath – as your healthy roots expand in Jesus.
God’s purpose for you includes encouraging your heart, reinforcing accountability, healing with His love, growing your understanding. And then there’s realizing the mystery in everything that happens for a child of God.
The Mystery Of Roots Up
What is the mystery when your roots are strongly attached to faith in God? Simply put? It’s Jesus!
- He is making all things new. (Rev. 21:5)
- He has endless, creative methods to accomplish anything.
- Leaning into God increases wisdom and discernment. (Jas. 1:5-8)
- Faith is rewarded.
- Hope is fulfilled. It’s centered in Jesus.
- Joy increases.
Jesus creates amazing options you didn’t notice before you put your faith glasses on. As you trust and obey, you see Christ’s character forming in yourself, pushing through the soil of your life from your roots up. Your perspective changes along with the landscape as things grow. The mystery of God’s Son is forming in you. Treasures of His wisdom and knowledge are becoming your harvest. The root system under you is expanding powerfully into strength and support.
Think back to the day and circumstances when you received Jesus as your Savior. Bottom line, you realized you were a sinner and needed a Savior. You trusted Him for His incredible gift of salvation and forgiveness of sin. Simple faith. Done deal.
Simple faith made you a child of God. You became holy through Christ’s work on the cross. That’s a big thing growing up from a tiny seed of simple faith.
Here is a practical take-away. In the same, simple faith you believed for salvation, you live your daily life – over top of your root system. Simple faith feeds a healthy root system in every detail, in big issues, in looming unknowns, etc. God works all things together for your good as you love, trust, and obey Him. He keeps all His promises, holds you steady, gives wisdom, stays with you, and works miracles. Done deal.
God’s enemy – your enemy – uses anything he can to pull you away from this simple faith and obedience. Since he’s a trickster, deceiver, and liar – under his terrible influence, your root system will become unhealthy. Though they may sound reasonable, the enemy’s influences are hollow and deceptive.
Application Questions And Thoughts
When you do the following things, you develop a healthy root system:
- Express your need for God in every detail of each day.
- Tell Him you love Him back and trust Him.
- Thank Him for your blessings. A grateful heart keeps you from sin.
- Remember Jesus wants you to succeed. He’s invested in you.
- Stay close to Jesus – your safe place, your dear friend, and your defense.
- Depend on God to give you a powerful life story as you remain surrendered and dependent on Christ.
- Because you need a strong root system under you, why not –
- Build from the roots up in Christ in all things that follow salvation?
- Let your life e-pistle (your life story) reflect Jesus’ love for you and His unstoppable power?
- Engage simple faith and obedience? You can do this! Partner with God.
You can enjoy these articles/podcasts from our recent “Faith Series.” Lots of encouragement, help, and hope!
- Ever Run Out Of Heroes?
- Faith Jump
- Fresh Faith For You
- Grow Up In Faith – 4 Tips
- Faith and Family
- Who Can You Trust These Days?
- True Story Of Faith
Visit our website for devotional materials, articles, podcasts, and resources to help grow your faith in God. Pursue noble character and have an Alive and Active Life.