I currently live on the Fort Benning Army Installation. The large beautiful trees here are ancient and when it storms you can count on some of them falling down.
Since many of the trees are tall and have lots of green leaves that bloom on cue in springtime, you would never know they are hollow and rotten inside. Some of them are 6 feet and more in diameter. They look like they will be there forever. Then it happens. They are toppled to the ground like nothing ever held them upright. A closer look reveals their roots had become too short, weak and broken off, and the trunk hollowed.
Their glory was too much for their roots to hold.
I’ve had quite a few of my own storms lately and I’ve noticed how similar I am to those trees. My roots are short, broken off, and not generally rooted in anything good that can sustain me through hard times. Fear and pride come out quickly. Anger screams out of my mouth and bitterness becomes an anchor. Joy is as elusive as peace and I am riddled with anxiety.
I want the very opposite of all these things that I do. God’s Glory is the fruit that should be showing, not mine. It’s pretty evident how rotten my fruit can be. In Ephesians 2:10, Paul says, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Good works, not rotten fruit.
We are saved BY Jesus Christ FOR good works.
The book of Ephesians says “in Christ” 27 times. It’s a pretty important theme throughout the book.
When I am rooted in anything other than Christ, I avoid difficult tasks and relationships. The smallest of obstacles send me into a panic, rage or depression. I stay in a cycle of stinking thinking and bad habits, and I dwell on my failures and others offenses.
Sometimes soldiers root their faith in their rank, their experience in their MOS, the cooperation of their team (or lack thereof), their Commander’s disposition, the justice of military systems, etc.
If you’re a military spouse or mom, you might be rooting your faith in a peaceful home or your abilities to “hold the fort down” while your soldier is deployed. What about a connection to long term friendships and good healthcare? Your children’s achievements…..We root ourselves in many things, don’t we?
How shall I get “re-rooted”?
We are to live as people united to Christ. That means a close relationship with Christ must be established. Only the Grace of God changes the sinful heart.
When Christ unites us to Himself, He uproots us from our fear and anxiety and the fruits that they bear. Did you catch the language of this passage? He talks about riches and strength, depth and height, rooted, grounded, and with all fullness. Nothing weak and hollow! Jesus changes everything.
Maybe the question is not “how” should we re-root in Him. Answers to that might just lead to religious techniques and personal preferences. The question is “why” should we re-root in Him. It’s always because of Jesus Himself. He is security, purpose, joy, peace, and more. And our fruits will only be as good as our roots. —Lauren