“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8
Roots Come Before Fruit
The greater the tree, the greater the roots must be.
What is above the ground is supported by what is within the ground.
When the connection between the roots and the branches is healthy, fruit will come in its season.
Our life in Christ mirrors the life of trees.
When we lose touch with our connection to God, our life withers. But through spiritual disciplines, especially those that are inward and private, our life grows.
God causes us to produce spiritual fruit in proper proportion to our faith.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 NIV
To cultivate spiritual fruit, maintain the disciplines of prayer, study and worship. These disciplines stretch the roots of our soul and feel our heart, our mind, and our Christian imagination.
Roots and Hidden Disciplines
For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:3
Jesus warned against performing our spiritual disciplines for others to see and admire. He chastised the hypocrites’ desire for praise from men through their praying, fasting, and acts of charity.
But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
To grow in Christ is to focus on the hidden parts of our lives: the places our true character reveals itself.
To hide in Christ is not to hide our faith from the world, but to maintain a focus on God. He is the source of our life.
For in him we live and move and have our being. Acts 17:28 NIV
Strong Roots Keep Us Secure In Difficult Times
The tree whose roots grow deep beside the stream never has to fear the drought.
Any tree or herb or grass can flourish in the wet years. But only the trees with roots that touch the hidden aquifers will thrive in the dry years.
Plant deep roots before the wind blows or the clouds hold back their moisture.
Make God your delight before the times of hardship come.