Join us in our premier podcast episode as we take a journey back to the beginning of creation to understand the importance of being rooted in Jesus.
"While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, And cold and heat, And summer and winter, And day and night. Shall not cease” (Genesis 8:22)."
We have a great promise from the Lord that He will maintain the growth cycles of the earth with the seasons as long as the earth remains.
God always intended for there to be seeds planted that would produce a harvest. Even after the great flood of the earth in Noah’s day, He makes this powerful promise to the remnant that the earth will continue to have its seasons and processes. There is a reason for every season (even though some of them are harder to endure) with each taking on a large role in the earth’s production and crop growth annually. Winter, spring, summer and fall, are all necessary for growth. We need cold and hot, day and night, seedtime and harvest, and as long as the earth remains, these patterns will not cease. We have God’s guarantee on that truth. While this could be deemed a strange place to start a study on being rooted in Christ, I trust that you will come to see the wisdom of sharing this passage in our introduction as we proceed. This principle and promise is also very true of our spiritual lives as well. God intended for seeds to be planted in us that would grow into branches full of fruit, bringing forth a spiritual harvest. We will go through seasons where growth is slowed by a cold spell (maybe a time where we are spiritually lukewarm), but we can get back into the sunlight of His love and grow again. E. Prentiss once said, “God never places us in any position where we cannot grow. When we are not sending branches upward we may be sending roots downward. When everything seems failure we may be making the best kind of progress.” We will have our spiritually abundant springs and summers and also the changes of the fall and cold desperate winters. We will also spend many of our days in the light, but from time to time we will also have to face the darkness of the night. The word of God, which we will learn is the seed, will constantly be planted in you and at different periods of your life you will produce fruit to God’s glory, which He will harvest to your eternal glory, while preparing you for the next season of growth. This too shall not cease as long as the earth remains and you remain as a part of it. If we can learn what it means to be rooted in the Lord, and get ourselves completely attached to Him, the nourishment that only he can provide will sustain us, no matter what we face. We will see an abundance of fruit, constant stability by growing deeper roots and experiencing upward growth in our lives.
Consider the Global Seed Vault
On a remote island called Svalbard, where deep inside of a mountain on the Svalbard archipelago, halfway between mainland Norway and the North Pole, lies the Global Seed Vault. It is a fail-safe seed storage facility, built to stand the test of time — and the challenge of natural or man-made disasters. The Seed Vault represents the world’s largest collection of crop diversity. The seeds are brought in through a 100 meter tunnel, the seed are labeled in the main chamber and then stored in the vault room in -18 degree temperatures Celsius. The humidity levels are just right for storage and safe keeping and the fact that the storage room is so high above sea level, the possibility of a flood is extremely unlikely. It was the recognition of the vulnerability of the world’s gene banks that sparked the idea of establishing a global seed vault to serve as a backup storage facility. The purpose of the Vault is to store duplicates (backups) of seed samples from the world’s crop collections. Permafrost and thick rock ensure that the seed samples will remain frozen even without power. The Vault is the ultimate insurance policy for the world’s food supply, offering options for future generations to overcome the challenges that we face in the world. It will secure, for centuries, millions of seeds representing every important crop variety available in the world today. It is the final back up. #globalseedvault
While I am not a doomsday preparation promoter, nor do I think that God is incapable of sustaining vegetation and its various seeds through a catastrophe (see the flood of Genesis 6-9), I found this to be intriguing because the world understands a very important principle, that I believe God has been sharing with us all along. Everything starts with the seed, and without a seed, nothing can take root and grow. No seed…no root…no growth…no food…no life.
How Roots Work
In plant life, after a seed is placed in the ground and germinates, a root attaches the shoot to the ground or serves as a support, typically underground, conveying water and nourishment to the rest of the plant via numerous branches and fibers. In other senses the term root means: the basic cause, source, or origin of something or to establish deeply and firmly. So the root then can be a literal root or it can refer to something that is fixed in position or in reference to the beginning of something. A root has four major functions. These are: 1) absorption of water and inorganic nutrients, 2) anchoring of the plant body to the ground, and supporting it, 3) storage of food and nutrients for growth 4) vegetative reproduction, acting as a signal as to how fast the shoots can grow. The correct environment of air, mineral nutrients and water, directs plant roots to grow in any direction to meet the plant's needs. Roots will shy or shrink away from dry or other poor soil conditions. Gravitropism is a process that directs roots to grow downward at germination, which is the growth mechanism of plants that also causes the shoot to grow upward towards the sunlight.
The Bible and Being Rooted
From a spiritual perspective, you might be asking, why would we make set of podast lessons called Rooted, and write an entire book (available in the store in PDF format) on the subject as a Bible study? Does the Bible really say that much about being rooted? These are great questions. I must admit that when I first started praying about this book, after I was asked to teach a class on the subject, that I didn’t think I would be able to find enough material to get through three months of classes every Sunday. But after watching how God has revealed His insight on this subject in such a plentiful way, I am certain that if allowed the time, we could spend at least a year studying this subject and never even begin to cover all that God has shared on the matter. I was overwhelmed by the passages of Scripture that exist that refer to seeds, roots, being planted, the process of growing, being uprooted, bearing fruit, being pruned, the harvest, and our spiritual environment or ecosystem, if you will allow me that liberty to use that term and so much more. The idea of a seed being planted, taking root and then growing into its kind and producing fruit or serving its purpose, is a continual theme throughout the word of God. We will benefit greatly by taking the time to understand what the Lord has revealed on this subject and then working not only in our own lives, but in the lives of our brothers and sisters to nurture the spiritual growth process. What we will learn will also make us more effective as Christians and as a member of the Lord’s church in our efforts to reach others for the Lord. It all starts with a seed in sharing the gospel. Honestly, growth doesn’t take place above ground. This is where the patience of the farmer must be recognized (James 5:8). It is not something that you can see happening. God does his best work behind the scenes or in this case in the messy soils of our lives. The root determines whether there will be fruit and you can know a person by their fruits. We often get caught up looking at the plant, the flower, the tree etc. and wondering why it is not growing and thriving. God may be doing his handiwork as the husbandmen and we are not privy to what He may be accomplishing on a deeper level. Over time, we begin to see the fruit if we keep working and waiting for growth to occur (Gal. 6:9). In some cases, you should be concerned when growth is not occurring. Often the primary issue is where the plant is located. There is an old story that in the midst of the vineyard there was one grapevine that was poor and sickly looking. This weak vine stood out, all the more through contrast, from the rest of the vineyard of strong and flourishing vines. Year after year the vine was sickly. Finally the owner started to dig the ground to find the reason why. He found an abandoned well which had been covered over with a circle of wood and shallow earth thrown on top. The vine had very long roots dangling in the thin air of the well. While we are not responsible for the soil on which the seed falls, this can explain the lack of growth for some souls. You have not been fast rooted in the foundation and are getting no nourishment from the Word of God even with long roots, if they aren’t rooted in the Lord. You will be a sickly Christian, bearing no fruit, unless you get your roots firmly established in Jesus. The mystery of a tree is that we see only the after effects of a much larger process that is taking place below the surface of the ground. God causes the growth (I Cor. 3:6). Let this be a lesson to those of us that struggle with feeling like we are not growing in Christ or that our work in spreading the seed of the gospel is of no effect. God may be doing something with you and the seeds that you have planted and watered that is being conducted underground that will eventually come to fruition if you maintain your faithfulness in fulfilling the purpose that God has for your life. We will explore this in greater detail moving forward.