Snug under the blankets, I could hear the rain coming down. Finally. We can use all the rain we can get here in Southern California. I was enjoying the soothing pitter patter when the piercing alarm of the emergency broadcast system sounded from my cell phone. Flash flood warnings for the burn areas. Rain would not be a friendly sound to those living where fires had charred the landscape. Instead, it could bring more disaster and heartache if mud and debris slid down the hillside in their direction.
I heard this morning on the news that it will take some five to ten years for the burn areas to recover from the devastation. I know from my own experience of living near where a fire has destroyed the vegetation, the trees will start again from the ground up. New branches will sprout at the base. In just a few years, the new growth will fill in around the burned branches, declaring that the tree is still alive and well thanks to the healthy root system.
Therefore, just as you have received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, overflowing with gratitude.
These verses from Colossians 2 are great when it comes to establishing secure footing that won’t slip away when the storms come. Paul, the author, is warning Christians to avoid getting mixed up in philosophies based on human tradition or spiritual powers of the world. He says if we belong to Christ, then we must follow Him. Jesus is now our leader.
The entire chapter is devoted to guarding against getting involved in practices that look good. The customs did not promote relationship or the spread of the gospel, but instead, were divisive and stirred up pride in the one participating them. They had nothing to do with God’s mission. Men had invented them. Paul urged the church in Colossi and now, us today, to remember Who we belong to and act accordingly.
How? That’s where the verses 6 and 7 come in. In these two verses, he gives us a plan to live a life that is firm, built up and established.
Continue to live in Jesus.
For the entire fullness of God’s nature dwells bodily in Christ, and you have been filled by Him, who is the head over every ruler and authority. Colossians 2:9-10
There is nothing more you will ever need. God’s nature dwells in Jesus, and He dwells in us. The fullness—filled to utmost capacity—of God’s nature is ours through Jesus. His ways are better than any other, so trust His direction and keep walking with Him.
Root yourself to Jesus.
Greek for the word root: ῥιζόω rhizóō means to be strengthen with roots, to render firm, to fix, establish, cause a person or thing to be thoroughly grounded.
Have you ever tried to pull a tree out of the ground? Some of you are chuckling at the picture such a thought poses. But even a sprout of a tree can sometimes be difficult to uproot. Many times, its roots are attached to the parent tree making it near impossible to remove from the ground. This is the kind of rooting the verse is talking about. It’s a connection that cannot be broken and provides strength not only for standing tall, but one that also provides a direct pipeline of nutrients for growth. This rooting will be necessary for the next step—
Build your life on Jesus.
If we are to be built up in Christ, to grow up in Him, we must first be rooted in Him. This is where we come full circle. We, like those fire-scorched trees, can continue to grow even when hardship burns though our lives or flood waters threaten to wash away the dirt beneath our feet. Our attachment to Jesus allows our faith to grow strong in truth, and will be apparent in our words and actions.
This life built on Jesus will be visible to those around us. They will see the well-being and security that is produced when we anchor our lives to His. Our rooting will provide a protective measure by securing a world that has lost its footing in the storms. Let’s not miss a chance to influence others with the strength that we have been given through our relationship with Jesus.
When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.”
Ephesians 3:14-19 NLT