How Deep Are Your Roots?

Drifting away from God is never something we intend to do; it just kind of happens. We get tired, busy, lazy, or distracted and our relationship with God suffers. Most of the time, it’s not even bad things that keep us from God – it’s too many things. We have a limited amount of time in each day, so every time we add something to our lives or to our schedules, something else gets pushed out. Often, the things that get pushed out are the things we most need to be in.

When we drift away from God, He is willing to let everything that gets in our way of a relationship with Him be stripped from us.

Isaiah 6:13 – “…as a terebinth or oak tree leaves a stump when it is cut down, so Israel’s stump will be a holy seed.”

Notice what it says – that Israel will be cut down and the stump will be a holy seed. We hear that and think it’s a bad thing, but really it’s what we all need sometimes – a fresh start. It may be difficult for us to view a tree being cut down to its stump as a good thing, but it’s what is under the stump that really matters – the roots. The roots are what sustains the tree; what determines how healthy it is and how high it will grow. A tree with deep, healthy roots will be stronger and better equipped to make it through violent storms than a tree with shallow roots.

Just as the roots are what sustains a tree, our relationship with God is what sustains us. The deeper we are rooted in our relationship with God, the better equipped we will be to endure the storms of life. If we want a faith that is deeply rooted in God we must be intentional about doing the things that will cause our roots to grow deeper.

Sometimes we need to get back to the basics.

When we feel overwhelmed, when life gets so busy and hectic that it feels impossible to focus, and when we can’t feel God’s presence like we once could, the best thing we can do is eliminate every unnecessary thing, get back to the basics of study, prayer, and worship and focus on rooting ourselves deeper into the One who can sustain us.

Advertisements

When Your Church Leaves You Spiritually Unfulfilled

It can be tough to find a good church. The worship services at many churches are either completely irrelevant and old-fashioned or are too much like a show – flashy, loud, and overproduced. Even if we do find a place where we can really worship, it can be hard to really connect with people, build relationships, and be fed spiritually. Sometimes it seems like churches just don’t get it

Or maybe we are focusing on the wrong thing.

The style of worship and culture of our churches isn’t the problem. We tend to focus too much on finding a church that we can “connect with” or that offers what we are looking for and then blame the Church for being out of touch or irrelevant when we can’t find anything that satisfies us or leaves us feeling fulfilled.The problem isn’t the Church or local churches – it’s us. So many of us are too distracted and lazy to read, study, worship, and build relationships on our own, but unwilling to accept responsibility for our lack of spiritual growth. Everything that takes place at churches should be happening every day, but when it only takes place one day a week, of course we’ll feel unfulfilled.

The focus of a worship service isn’t for us to feel connected and satisfied, it’s to worship God together as one body. We feel frustrated and unfulfilled because of our lack of commitment and inability to accept responsibility – not because the Church isn’t doing a good enough job.

So the next time you are feeling unfulfilled or dissatisfied, don’t blame your church – take a look at yourself and the effort that you are putting in. Until we are willing to take responsibility for our own spiritual growth and stop expecting other people to facilitate it for us, we will always feel frustrated and unfulfilled. Until we are willing to study, worship, pray and build relationships on our own throughout the rest of the week, the study, worship, prayer, and relationships we participate in at church will never be enough.

There is a huge difference between going to church and being the Church. Expecting something we do for 1-2 hours out of a 168 hour week to satisfy all our spiritual needs is like expecting a multivitamin to supply all our dietary needs. When we expect a supplement to supply the majority of what we need to be healthy, we end up feeling weak, sick, and vulnerable. We need to stop whining about not being fed and start feeding ourselves. Only when we have a well-balanced diet will we ever be healthy, growing, and able to reach our full potential.