Our root system (or the lack there of) is of great importance in our growth and maturity in the Lord. Many times, we put our emphasis on bearing fruit, after all, the Lord said that we would be recognized by our fruit. But is this the proper place for our focus? No. The Lord wants our focus to be on being rooted and grounded in Him. The depth of our roots will determine the height of our growth.
If you lack depth, you will never be able to touch the “deep” in others. I can only touch and call forth in you, that which has been touched and called forth in me. The hunger in me can call forth the hunger in you. Kind reproduces kind. We reproduce what we are, not what we would like to be. We reproduce our walk, not our talk.
Superficial lives will only yield superficial and temporary results. You yourself receive little from shallow preaching, and you in turn can offer little real help to others unless your life has been deeply affected. Only hearts that have been deeply impacted and affected will have a deep impact and affect on those they touch, yielding eternal results.
Once more a remnant of the house of Judah will take root below and bear fruit above. 2 Kings 19:30 (NIV)
Root is growth beneath the soil. Leaves and fruit are growth above the soil. Root is hidden life; and leaves and fruit are manifest (visible) life. The problem with many believers is that while there is much outward life, there is very little secret life.
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. John 15:4 (NKJV)
It is in this hidden place beneath the soil, out of the view of anyone else that the issues of our heart are dealt with. Here, we learn to progressively yield to Him as Lord over more of our lives, trusting Him ever more completely. And it is this trust and relationship that develops, that is directly linked to the growth and health of our root system.
“Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it had no root it withered away. ” Mark 4:5, 6 (NKJV)
In this passage, the plant “sprang up” quickly because the soil was shallow; there was no depth. It didn’t have any place to grow but up, because there were obstructions in the way of its’ proper growth. We MUST allow the Holy Spirit to “break up the fallow ground” of our hearts, and let Him removed the hard and stony places.
The health and growth of our root system not only insures the healthy production of fruit, but also insures protection from the elements. A healthy tree with an adequate root system with its own source of water, is not dependent on or affected by the atmosphere. When our hidden life in the secret place is the source of our life, we are not affected by or dependent upon the atmosphere in our home, our church, or our city. Instead, we can change the atmosphere by learning to release the Life of God within us.
“But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jer. 17:7-8 (NIV)
Our hidden life in God should be our focus. We should guard it at all costs. As we concentrate on the health and growth of our hidden life, the manifestation of the prospering of our souls, is openly displayed to others, by the Lord Himself.
But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. Matt. 6:6-7 (NKJV)
We MUST grow deeper, and allow a deeper work of His Spirit in our hearts. As we concentrate on our roots growing ever deeper in Him, bearing fruit to the glory of God is automatic and effortless, as we abide in His rest.
Here are some questions to examine yourself and prayerfully ponder. Please take some time, be honest with yourself, and allow the Holy Spirit to show you any areas that need change or strengthening.
Am I allowing the Lord to deal with and bring life to the deep issues of my heart, or have I settled for a superficial relationship with God?
Am I relying more on outside resources for my spiritual nourishment and sustenance, than on the Holy Spirit and the Word of God?
Have I been dependent upon the atmosphere in my home or my church, to move forward in my walk with God?