Is the church exhibiting faith firmly rooted? Are you?
Few people like roots.
We appreciate their function but they are ugly and gnarly. Existing mostly underground, they are far less attractive than the plants they support.
Even our beauty salons are filled with clients paying dearly to cover those gray roots, also considered by most to be far less attractive than our artificially colored hair.
I have fallen in love with roots, however.
Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude. Colossians 2:6-7
Some new blog followers may not know my STORY. I thought I was a strong Christian until I suffered three painful occurrences in my twenties within a two-year period: a man I loved broke up with me, a ministry I worked for removed me from a leadership fast-track and sent me to counseling, and my brother Dan was killed in a motorcycle accident. Sadly, in my disappointment and pain, I gave up walking closely with God for seven dismal years. When I hit rock bottom, I missed God so badly. I decided that if life was going to be hard with God and without Him, then I wanted to do life with Him.
But I was terrified. All of those years I had thought my faith was strong, yet all it took was a trio of tough circumstances to topple me.
I asked God to show me what went wrong. I put a Bible in my lap. Asked questions. Found answers. I wrote my way back.
I wrote an entire BOOK. (It was a long road back.)
God used those years at my desk to re-build my faith from the (under)ground up. Turns out, I had not been firmly rooted in my faith…and I had not known it.
Now, all I care about are roots!
Since I grew up in the church and much of the root-life got lost on me, I am incredibly conscious of church curriculum, discussions and teaching. Sure, I care about the church facility and community-building activities, but I care far more that a healthy root system for faith is developed in the heart of every church attender. I care about whether the Bible is being opened and learned. I care about my son, for example, seeing other men who love the Scriptures and who show my son that each book connects to the others, and each chapter applies to life. I care about hearing people pray — not cursory, dry, polite prayers — but prayers from people who know they have no power and must therefore beg God to display His, and to ask the Spirit inside of us to release His power through us.
I care about growing root systems, because without roots we topple.
The righteous will never be uprooted… (Proverbs 10:30)
I have been thinking about the church. Are we rooting people deeply in God’s Word? Do we know our bibles? Do we pray? Do we obey? Are we empowered by the Holy Spirit? Do we use our lives to make heaven bigger and the church stronger? Do we understand that struggle is an inherent part of life and the testing of our faith produces endurance? Are we the light of the world through thick and thin?
I am concerned about the church in America.
Every time I try to talk about my concerns, however, I feel myself tripping over my words, being misunderstood and sounding like I am complaining about my wonderful church that does 1,000,000 things well.
But Beth Moore–who also loves church—wrote a blog post recently entitled, Is this it? Is this what Jesus meant?
Here are some of the excerpts that resonated with me:
- The early followers of Jesus were unstoppable and not just unstoppable in works but unstoppable in faith and unceasing in joy. Do we look joyful to us?
- We have lost our tolerance for discomfort and renamed it pain. And we have upgraded pain to torture. The least insult and we cry persecution. Because we react to every day frustration at a 10, when we encounter real opposition and oppression, we’ve got nothing left. We’re too exhausted from carrying our purses to move mountains.
- We’ve atrophied in our affluence…We need less so we pray less, plead for less, believe for less, live for less. I’m not proposing we go sell everything we have but I am proposing we not sell our souls to everything we have.
- I just keep looking around, reading, watching podcasts, listening, trying my best to pay attention and I keep thinking, “is this it?”
Is this it? Is this what Jesus meant? Read HERE
She says it better than I ever could. What do you think?
Picture Explanation: This summer I took my son and a friend to a beautiful stream. As fun as it was to watch people cooling down by playing in the water, I was fascinated with the root systems on the banks. It was easy to navigate up and down the banks without falling because of the sturdy traction they offered. And I thought they were beautiful just like the roots of strong faith. I hope you see their beauty too. May the undergirding of our faith look like this too.
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