This stay at home season is a period for children of God to grow, develop and deepen their roots on the Solid Rock who is the Lord Jesus Christ. What are roots in the life of a believer? How can a believer develop roots?
We see in plants that normally roots are that part of a plant that is underground. You easily see the stem, the branches, the leaves, and the fruits, but the roots are hidden. Although hidden, they are so important to the plant that once they are cut or they decay, the plant is ruined, regardless of the size of its stem, branches, leaves, and fruit. Roots are so important that whenever they are removed, the plant becomes absolutely useless. The plant does not have roots as its end, but without roots, fruit which is the goal of the plant is impossible.
We can, therefore, make the following statements:
- No roots = no fruit
- Poor roots = poor fruit
- Good roots = good fruit.
In the Christian life, rootstalk of a person’s secret relationship with the Lord Jesus. Roots talk of his union with Him. So in a sense, it is root (i.e. union with the Lord) and in another sense, it is rooted because the union with the Lord is determined by a number of factors. In the following discussion, we shall use the word roots to imply the factors that make up for union with the Lord Jesus.
There are many things that depend entirely on the Lord Jesus in a believer’s relationship with Him and man cannot do any of these. The Lord being faithful, always does that which is His to do. There are other things which the believer must do and which the Lord will not do in his place or for him. In talking about the factors that make up for vital union with the Lord, we shall only dwell on those which are the responsibility of man.
No plant can develop roots in one go. There is no single experience that a believer can have after conversion that will guarantee him roots for the rest of his life. Roots are developed as a process, on a daily basis, by doing the right things.
There are three things that I consider basic to root-development in the Christian life. They are:
- Bible Study
Today, we shall tarry on Bible Study.
God has spoken and caused it to be recorded in the Bible. All who love Him read, re-read, study and memorize the Word of God. For a person to build spiritual roots through reading the Word, he must do the following:
Read the Bible on a daily basis.
Read the Bible in an ordinary way, chapter after chapter and book after book. He must not jump from one part to the other or from one verse to the other.
He must meditate on what he reads. He must think about what the Bible is saying, work out its implications and commit himself to them.
He must be willing to obey all that God will say to him through the Word. Without a deliberate commitment to obey the message of the Bible, reading it becomes a futile activity.
He must be anxious to hear God speak through His Word.
He must plead with God, saying, “Lord, speak to me. Let me hear Your voice.”
He must stubbornly continue to read and meditate until God has spoken to him.
He must read believing that the Holy Spirit who spoke the Bible into existence will surely speak to his heart as he reads.
He must come to the Word of God prepared to hear things that he has not heard before and be prepared to have any misconceptions that he has had, removed.
He must be prepared to abandon anything he has thought was God’s Word or God’s will in the light of what God will say to him.
He must put away all prejudices as he approaches the Word of God. If not, he will twist the Word to say what he wants to hear.
He must confess any sin in his life and forsake it completely. God will not speak to him through His Word when he is consciously living in sin.
He must ask the Lord for an increasing capacity to understand the Word and for an enlarged heart to contain the things that God will say to him.
He should memorize the Word of God and in that way hide it in his heart; so that he may not sin against the Lord when temptation comes.
He should work at the Word of God continuously.
The Psalmist says,
“I have laid up thy word in my heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psalm 119:11).
“I will meditate on thy precepts and fix my eyes on thy ways. I will delight in thy statutes; I will not forget thy word” (Psalm 119:15-16).
“ Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live and observe thy word. Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. I am a sojourner on earth; hide not thy commandments from me! My soul is consumed with longing for thy ordinances at all times” (Psalm 119:17-20).
“Give me understanding, that I may keep thy law and observe it with my whole heart” (Psalm 119:34).
So, a person must come to the Bible with great joy in his heart because the King of all the universe is going to speak to him. He must come determined to hear the King speak. He must receive the King’s Word with joy and depart from the King’s presence to go out on the one mission of doing what the King has ordered.
In this way, the person will grow in the knowledge of the King and the King’s ways. He will be rooted in the King and in the King’s Word, and so prepare for the future.
There are other things that contribute to proper root-formation. Some of these include:
Secret giving to the Lord and His work,
Secret ministry to others,
Secret love of those who deserve no love,
And many other things.
In fact, all that is done for the Lord in secret so that it is not known by man and praised will contribute to root-formation.