To grow strong, we have to go deep.
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. (Colossians 2:6-7)
The Root of the Righteous
by A.W. Tozer (1897-1963)
“The bough that breaks off from the tree in a storm may bloom briefly and give to the unthinking passerby the impression that it is a healthy and fruitful branch, but its tender blossoms will soon perish and the bough itself wither and die. There is no lasting life apart from the root.
“Much that passes for Christianity today is the brief, bright effort of the severed branch to bring forth its fruit in its season. But the deep laws of life are against it. Preoccupation with appearances and a corresponding neglect of the out-of-sight root of true spiritual life are prophetic signs which go unheeded. Immediate results are all that matter, quick proofs of present success without a thought of next week or next year.”
There is an old saying that suggests if something is to grow tall it must first grow deep. These underground foundations matter, whether we are talking about wise and foolish builders (Matthew 7:24-27) or branches attached to a deeply rooted vine (John 15:1-11). Tozer’s words, written over 60 years ago, still ring true. Many in the church today seem impatient with the hard, ordinary, and often behind-the-scenes work required to grow our roots deep in the fertile soil of communion with and knowledge of God.
In our day of activism and activity we are often, as Tozer put it, preoccupied with appearances. But when a seed is planted in rocky and shallow soil, the root can’t go deep, which causes what growth there may be to soon wither away. (Matthew 13:5-6, 20-21). The impressive appearance of today’s rootless activity can quickly fade into impotent irrelevance tomorrow. We were created for good works (Ephesians 2:8-10). God’s Word not only makes us wise for salvation but also equips us for every good work (2 Timothy 3:15-17). Therefore, let’s sink our roots deeply into Christ and his Word so our good works will bear much, good, and lasting fruit.
- What are you doing to sink your roots deeply into Christ?
- Have you seen the signs of a rootless faith in your own life or in your church? How were you able to spot it?
- What are three marks a rootless faith?
- What are three marks of a deeply rooted faith?