Rooted In Love

I pray that He may grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power in the inner man through His Spirit, and that the Messiah may dwell in your hearts through faith. I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love, and to know the Messiah’s love that surpasses knowledge, so you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, overflowing with gratitude.
-Ephesians 3:16-19, Colossians 2:7

There is a saying that the fruit reveals the root.  If we are rooted in Christ, we will have the fruit of Christ's life in our lives.  We want our lives to be rooted in love, rooted in Christ; so that we experience and display good fruit.

If there are other roots functioning in our lives, if we are rooted in and are functioning from rootedness into unredeemed, unhealed or unsanctified places deep in our hearts, we will unconsciously display their distasteful fruits.  Roots tapping into bitterness, shame, unprocessed or repressed anger, unforgiveness, and false ideas about one's self, others and God, bring forth diststeful fruit.

There is another saying that goes something like this:  That being saved happens in a moment, but becoming a saint takes a lifetime.  Every Christian has areas that God is working on, saving, bringing to sainthood, redeeming, sanctifying and giving deliverance to.

Being a believer has never been about you doing the right thing and then God accepts you.  Being a believer is to come to God through Christ and begin a process, where God changes you and you begin to live a more righteous life in God and through God, only by Christ and through the Spirit of God.  Jesus today, is still saying, "I have not come to call the righteous", and when he says that, it is tongue in cheek, because no one is righteous and those who think they are will not hear and see him and will actually oppose him.

Being a believer is to be in connection with God and with the love of God and then to have that connection, that plug in, or that root fill our lives and cause the metamorphosis of sinner to saint to take place in our libes, as a process, over time.  There is no life outside of connection to God, to the love of God, in Christ.  We retain our individual personalities, and person-hood, but now we have died to our selves and are living in Christ, and rooted in His life, with his fruit flowing up, through, and out of us, for our nourishment and for the blessing of others.

The reason that we want to be rooted in God is that we must be rooted in God to live in God and if we are not rooted in God, we will be rooted in something else.  The alternative is to live in our selves, whether that means self-righteousness or in vanity, which Paul calls, "walking in the futility of their thoughts" (Eph. 4:17).  Everyone lives from a place, is rooted in a place that their life draws nourishment from and then is shown to others.

If we are rooted in Christ, we will grow in Christ.  And if we are rooted in Christ, we will be thinking about Christ and He will inspire and temper our thoughts to be thoughts like His thoughts.  And we want to be thinking what He is thinking.

What thoughts do you think that Jesus is preoccupied with?  The answer is the Father, the love for and of the Father and the Father's love of people and the Father's love for the Son.  This is what everything flows from that is good and what we are thinking on and preoccupied with, that runs our lives or carries life from the inside to our whole beings and out into the fruit we display to others.

Below is a list of symptoms of bad roots.  You can have any or all of these going on in your life, and still be a believer.  You can be rooted in Christ, with an ongoing process towards sainthood, while still having every single one of these issues alive and not well in your life.

We work out our own salvation, with fear and trembling (Phil. 2:17), which means it is a process that is lived out between individuals, in community, and with and through God.  The bad roots are taken over by the good root.  We first live in the love and then we change our thoughts and then our behavior, based upon the love and the new thoughts.

We have it backwards and will quickly become disillusioned, if we think that we are supposed to do everything the right way, immediately after we become believers.  The authentic way is that we first live in love and then we learn to live the right way, which comes from being loved and changing the way we think, based on the love.

Here is a list of things you might struggle with, that come from a bad root.  Every dysfunctional way of living is shrunk by our simply endeavoring to be more rooted in the the love of God, in Christ.  There also may be a particular strategy, healing or deliverance application for each particular problem that we need to explore, along with our foundational need to be rooted in the love of God. 

  • Do you have problems with other people?  
  • Are you a co-dependent?  
  • Do you constantly critique others and engage in a prosecution of them and a defense of yourself?  
  • Do you often muse about how you wish others understood who you are and need to affirm you or give you credit?  
  • Do you often have the thought that if that other person would change, would repent, apologize or admit fault; that then things would be better?  
  • Do you feel like you are in competition with others and wish you were ahead of them?  
  • Do you compare yourself to others?  
  • Do you struggle with envy?  
  • Do you have trouble celebrating other people's good fortune?  
  • Have you noticed that you are selfish?
  • Have you noticed that you are narcissistic?
  • Have you noticed that you are jealous?
  • Have you noticed that you lie?
  • Have you noticed that you are cheat?
  • Have you noticed that you maliciously gossip?
  • Have you noticed that you are a busy body, with your nose in every one else's business, while you have troubles of your own that you ought to be tending to?  
  • Are you a person who wears a mask, and no one really knows you?  
  • Are you filled with fear?

The answer to all these issues of life and a hundred more is simple being rooted in God.  All of my problems with other people cease to be anything that bothers me, if I would just be rooted in God.

This does not mean that if I am, when I am rooted in God, that I become indifferent to other people.  Actually, if I am rooted in God, I will be heartbroken about others, compassionate about others and grieved for their troubles; all out of love, God's love in me, flowing naturally through being rooted in God.  But when I am rooted in God's love, I have no need to fix people.

Loving people and fixing people is very different, and there is a 'holy indifference' when we do not have a need to 'heal' someone or bring confrontation or five-fold ministry to someone who God is not guiding us to, just like how Jesus said that the Father is at work and he only does what he sees the Father doing (John 5:19-20).

When I am troubled by others, when I judge them, am jealous of them, in competition with them and feel like I am on a roller coaster of high and low emotions, depending on what others say and do, whether it is with my most intimate loved ones or strangers or neighbors; this is a sign that I need to be rooted in God and rooted in Christ who is God.  The believer's life is a life of living the "nothing can separate us from the life of God in Christ Jesus", life.

The fruit reveals the root.  If I am upset and vexed by people, it tells me that there is a root into something other than God.  My job is to get healed and freed from that thing that the root is feeding on and begin and often begin again letting the root, at the center of my life, feed on the love of God.

The cure or remedy for all that ails is the love of God.  Being rooted in God, in Christ, brings healing and light into a whole life, resulting in wholeness.  When I am rooted in God, I don't have a problem with others.  I don't have a need to prosecute them or defend myself.  I just love them, period.

And there is a way, in Christ, lovingly to confront and lovingly to disagree.  And it is loving also to disengage, at times, from people, even who you deem to be wrong in your eyes and to even let them be destructive, in their own lives, separate from yours, as they make their choices.

But this is all and always needs to be rooted in love.  I am not trying to be loved or upset that I am not loved, but I know I am loved, by God, and that is the controlling factor in my life that decides how I respond to everyone else.

The Christian life, the life of the believer is and must be rooted in the love of God in Christ.  That love, that life, is what will begin and continue to preoccupy the thoughts of the believer, resulting in a change of heart and a change of life style.  Thinking thoughts that are rooted in the love of God, in Christ result in my changed mind that becomes incompatible, more and more, progressively and over a life time, giving me a life that is more like Christ.