For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit. – Jeremiah 17:8
Verse 7 speaks of having trust in the Lord and verse 8 tells us that our trust in the Lord brings peace and spiritual security.
The Bible speaks of “a time to plant”…
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; - Ecclesiastes 3:2
We need to recognize that every change concerning us, with the time and season of it, is unalterably fixed and determined by a supreme power; and we must take things as they come, for it is not in our power to change what is appointed for us.
There is a time to be born and a time to die.
These are determined by the divine counsel; and, as we were born, so we must die, at the time appointed, Acts 17:26.
Some observe that here is a time to be born and a time to die, but no time to live; that is so short that it is not worth mentioning; as soon as we are born we begin to die.
But, as there is a time to be born and a time to die, so there will be a time to rise again, a set time when those that lie in the grave shall be remembered. - Job 14:13.
O that thou wouldest hide me in the grave, that thou wouldest keep me secret, until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me! – Job 14:13
There is a time for men to plant, a time of the year, a time of their lives; but, when that which was planted has grown fruitless and useless, it is time to pluck it up.
We must nurture a root system! The health of anything – whether a garden plant or a heart devoted to God – reflects what is going on (or not going on!) underground.
Drawing Life from God’s Word
If God is going to be first in our hearts and the “Ultimate Priority” of our lives, we must develop a root system anchored deep in Him.
Draw from Him all that we need to live the abundant life He has promised His children.
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
– John 10:10
We must seek to live our lives near God….let us now consider some facts about roots.
Roots are unseen
Spiritual roots are underground, invisible to others. (Your private life, your hidden life, the secret life you enjoy with God out of the public eye.)
We want what other people see of our lives to stir up awe and wonder. We want our strength in public to be explained by what goes on in private between us and God.
Have you ever noticed that we seem to always be with people?
- at work
- on campus
- in Bible studies
- in the grocery store
- at the mall
- people with live with
- other fellowship groups.
The impact of your ministry to people will be in direct proportion to the time you spend with God.
The greater the proportion of your day you spend hidden in quiet, reflection, in prayer, in study, in scheduling, in preparation, the greater will be the effectiveness, the impact, the power, of the part of your life that shows.
The impact of your ministry to people will be in direct proportion to the time you spend away from people and with God.
We must say “NO” not only to things which are wrong and sinful, but to things pleasant, profitable, and good which would hinder and clog our grand duties and our chief work.
What are some of those “pleasant, profitable, and good things” for you?
Our effectiveness for the Lord also requires solitude. “Talent develops itself in solitude; the talent of prayer, of faith, of meditation, of seeing the unseen.” So that our roots grow deep into Him, God calls us away from this world.
Root are for taking in
What happens when you and I do slip away to be with God in study and prayer?
- We receive.
- We take in.
- We are nurtured and fed.
- We ensure our spiritual health and growth.
When we spend time with Christ, He supplies us with strength and encourages us in the pursuit of His ways.
Let’s exchange our weariness for His strength.
Our weakness for His power.
Our darkness for His light.
Our problems for His solutions.
Our burdens for His freedom.
Our frustrations for His peace.
Our turmoil for His calm.
Our hopes for His promises.
Our afflictions for His balm of comfort.
Our questions for His answers.
Our confusion for His knowledge.
Our doubt for His assurance.
Our nothingness for His awesomeness.
The temporal for the eternal.
The impossible for the possible.
Roots are for storage
Roots serve as a reservoir of what we need.
Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit. – Jeremiah 17: 7-8
This trusting soul, whose roots are collecting life-giving water, will exhibit several qualities.
Will not be afraid – the reservoir she has stored up from God’s Word will sustain her through the fiery trials, no matter how long they last.
Bear fruit faithfully – Because of the stored-up nourishment from God Himself, she will be like a tree of life – producing in and sometimes even out of season.
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. – Psalm 1:3
As we regularly draw the needed refreshment from God’s Word, He will create in us a reservoir of hope and strength in Him.
When times are rough we can simply reach down into our hidden reservoir of refreshment and draw out what we need right now from what God has given us.
They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God. – Psalm 84:7
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:7
Roots deep into God’s truth are definitely needed as reserves when times are rough!
Roots are for support
Without a well-developed root system, we will become top heavy. Have you ever noticed a plant that withers and dies and when you try to pull it out of the ground there is little to no resistance because the root system is all but missing?
With a firm, healthy root system, no wind can blow us down. The support of a healthy root system is vital for standing strong in the Lord!
When we have a solid root system, we can gain the strength needed for standing firm in spite of the pressures of life!