In part 1, I began expounding upon the need for our focus in our walk with God to be on our root system (hidden life). Here is a short except:
“Root is growth beneath the soil. Leaves and fruit are growth above the soil. Root is hidden life; and leaves and fruit are manifest life. The problem with many believers is that while there is much outward life, there is very little secret life.”
This reminds me of a familiar passage from the parable of the sower.
“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)
It is so easy to get caught up in the exuberant atmosphere when an exciting message is being preached. It is easy to be awed by some profound teaching being given. But this is not enough. Results and “growth” will be temporary at best. We must take what we have heard into the secret place, and allow the Holy Spirit to teach us and show us how to apply it to our lives.
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.
“Depth” in Greek means profundity (profoundness), or mystery. Metaphorically, it is
used of the deep things of God. Again, we see the lack of depth in our relationship with God is related to abnormal and unhealthy growth.
One thing we must realize (though obvious it may seem), in order for growth above the soil to continue to grow and flourish, the root must stay planted. It must stay hidden in the soil. Though there may be great fruitfulness manifested above the soil, the root remains beneath the soil, out to view.
If all of your spiritual life is exposed, you lack root. All of your growth is upward, and there is little, if any, downward growth. We must NOT expose the hidden work of God in our hearts. To do so is to uproot it and expose it to the elements. We must not share every word and every experience we have with the Lord. THE SECRET PLACE IS TO REMAIN A SECRET! (Except for that which He leads us to share)
This can be difficult though and requires patience. Especially when the Lord takes us through seasons when it seems there is very little manifestation to others (even to ourselves), of what He is doing in us. We must be patient and not uproot the sprouting that is taking place below the soil.
Different plants and trees require different germination and sprouting time spans, before they are visible above the soil. The bamboo plant that takes a few years before you see any growth above the soil. But when it breaks through the surface of the ground, the diameter of that plant is the same size it will be at maturity. The bamboo is the fastest growing plant in the world, with some species growing up to 4 feet a DAY! Imagine that! It takes 3 to 5 years to sprout out of the ground, but a matter of weeks to grow to 100 feet or more!
This is a plant that does not like it’s roots being messed with. But once it springs forth out of the ground, it is one of the most durable plants in the world. Floods, high winds, even chopping it in half will not hurt it.
It is absolutely imperative that we develop faith and patience. Faith to know that the Lord IS doing what He said He would do, and patience that the Lord knows how long the process will take, before we see the manifestation in our lives of what He has promised.
“And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” Heb 6:11, 12 (NKJV)
We must come to abide in the secret place, let Him make the changes in our heart and bring forth the growth, pruning where He must. Understand the pruning process deals with the manifest life above the soil. Even the areas of our life that are bearing fruit, are sometimes pruned and seemingly cut off (John 15:2, 3). The Lord is however, perfect in His ways and understanding of what will bring forth a more abundant harvest, both in terms of health and quantity. We won’t all bring forth 100-fold, but according the Scripture, 30-fold is still good ground and a good return (Mark 4:8).
We should speak and minister out of the abundance and out of the overflow of the secret place. Be patient and let Him do as He pleases to bring you to a place a great fruitfulness. In doing so, you will be a vessel that is a “shelter from the wind, and a refuge from the storm, like streams of water in the desert and the shadow of a great rock in a thirsty land.” (Isaiah 32:2 NIV)
Here are some questions to 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.
When I hear a message that stirs me, or a teaching that impacts me, do I prayerfully meditate upon what I have received, allowing the Holy Spirit to reveal it to my heart?
How much of my life in God is hidden from view? How much is unknown to others?
Do I share everything the Lord shows me, and every experience I have with God to others?
What kind of season am I in at the present time?
Am I patiently allowing the Lord to bring forth in and through me, what He wants, in His timing, or do I tend to want to rush it?