“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”
What does it mean to be “rooted in the Word”? It’s an expression that is commonly used among believers; however, it is not one that I have given much thought to. I guess it’s one of those sayings that Christians just say. But, have you ever considered what this message conveys? What does being “rooted in the Word” really entail? I believe that the answers to these questions help show us, in many respects, how we are to approach our lives as Christians.
I don’t know about you, but when I hear the expression, “rooted in the Word”, my mind immediately thinks about trees. I would imagine that this is most likely an appropriate response. Due to this assumption, I will be relating our interactions with Scripture in a way that resembles a tree’s interactions with it’s environment. By making such a comparison, it is my hope that you will long for a deeper understanding of God’s word, as well as a desire for tighter community with the believers around you.
Now, before we really dig into this, it is important to understand the role of roots. Roots are what connect a tree to the earth. Roots are underground; therefore, they are not seen. Roots are the tree’s anchor to the earth. Not only that, roots take what is good and nurturing from the soil, and provide it to the tree. Such nourishment is what allows the tree to grow, develop, and repair itself as needed. Roots are an essential part to the maturation process of a tree.
Comparatively speaking, the roots of a tree are much like the faith and knowledge of a believer. Faith and knowledge connect the believer to God. Both are inside the believer and go unseen. We are saved by grace through faith; therefore, it is our anchor to God. Through faithful study of Scripture we are nurtured by God, and we begin to grow, develop, and repair as needed. So, in similar fashion to the roots, faith and knowledge are an essential part of the maturation process of the believer!
Another purpose of roots is to keep the tree strong and sturdy in the midst of rough conditions. Likewise, our faith in Jesus Christ is meant to keep us stout, and help us endure during times of trials and tribulations. As I looked into different ways that tree roots achieve this sturdy quality, and I found two ways that they obtain it.
First, is by shallow roots that are interwoven with the roots of many nearby trees. These type of roots are found most commonly in Giant Redwoods, the tallest trees in the world. Secondly, is by deep roots that penetrate far into the crust of the earth. The deepest roots in the world are found stemming from a Wild Fig Tree in South Africa; it’s roots extend over 400 feet into the earth surface.
As followers of Christ we should seek to develop our faith in a way similar to both of these trees. We should have a faith that is supported and held up by those believers around us, but we should also wish to develop a deep faith and understanding of Scripture on our own. By doing this, the Lord produces a strong sense of confidence in His Word and makes it extremely difficult for the enemy to uproot us in times of struggle.
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
My main purpose behind writing this post is to encourage you in strengthening your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and not to wait until hard times hit. Just like a tree with weak roots is prone to fall over in the midst of a storm, it is just as easy for a Christian with a weak faith to fall away in the presence of adversity. So, I urge you to build up your relationship with Christ, and your faith in His Word. That way, when your faith is tested, you will be able to endure and stand firm!
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.”