The word root has a number of meanings such as origin, source, beginning of existence, and others depending on how it is used. I will primarily be thinking of the root as the part of a plant which typically goes underground, absorbing and conveying water and nourishment from the soil (ground) for the rest of the plant's numerous branches and fibres. In other words, it is the root of a plant that provides it with support and stability.
Life often throws so many challenges at us. In an interview of best selling author, Rick Warren, by Paul Bradshaw, he said that it's either we are going through problems, we have just come out of one, or we are getting ready to go another. So it seems to me that discussing what we are rooted in is extremely important. In other words, what can give us the support and stability that we need to survive these seemingly endless challenges that we face in the world?
There are so many things that we can be rooted in. Some are rooted in work (job), career, business, family, politics, relationships, friends, school, religion, social media, church, and ministry. What we are rooted in takes a place of pre-eminence and priority in our lives. It engages our hearts and becomes our source. It becomes our root system in that we look to it for the support and stability we feel we need in our lives, and we seek nourishment from it. However, none of these can really take the place Father God Himself wants to have in our lives and none can truly provide us with the stability, support and nourishment that He knows we need. Father God loves us with an everlasting and covenantal love that cannot be broken when we accept Him as our Saviour. God is the source of love, and there is nothing that is stronger than this (Song of Solomon 8:6-7).
Paul considered this so important that he prayed fervently about it in Ephesus (Ephesians 3:16,17). To summarise, Paul prayed that the believers be strengthened with mighty power, that Christ makes His permanent home in their hearts and that they be rooted deep in and founded securely on love.
There is a permanency that is found in the word "rooted". It's similar in permanency to other words "abide" or "dwell". These are words used alternately to "visiting", which is temporary.
In John 15:10, Jesus modelled this ability to stay rooted in His Father's love. It's all about our two-way relationship with God our Father. How close is this relationship...? Jesus prioritised God the Father and was totally dependent on Him. What would it look like if we completely gave God priority in our lives? Jesus trusted Him and surrendered His life to Him by coming to be our Saviour. How surrendered are we? Who is really in charge in our lives? Who do we lean on? Jesus only said what He heard from the Father. Do we take the time to listen to God on issues before we pray, so we are praying for what is on His Heart? Does your love for God cause your agenda to be superseded by His agenda?
Sometimes we need to be so rooted in God's love before the challenge appears in order to survive it. This was the reason that Jesus could sleep in the boat during the storm while His disciples were filled with fear Mark 4:37-40. The ability to be rooted in God's love provides a reservoir of peace and authority on the inside, from which Jesus commanded the storm and it obeyed.
Situations in our lives oftentimes cause us to question God's love for us. If we have take the time to experience the reality of this love in our lives, and pray for the ability to be rooted in it, then we come to the understanding that Paul shared in Romans 8:38-39, that absolutely nothing can separate us from this love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
May the Lord help us all, increase our time in His Presence and thus send our roots deep down into His Love. I pray that this will cause God's joy and delight to be found in full measure in us all and be complete, flowing out into this nation, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.