“As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith.” (Colossians 2:6-7a)
In the desert we are used to tumbleweeds. They grow fast and get really big, but when the heat of the summer comes they die, and are easily uprooted and blow away with the wind.
How do they grow so big, die so quickly, and get uprooted? They only have one large root that supplies the nutrients. It grows bigger than what the root can support, and as a result dies.
To the Colossians Paul tells them they needed to be rooted and built up in Christ Jesus. Paul may have had in mind the imagery found in Psalm 1 where he likens a righteous man to a tree planted by rivers of waters.
For a tree to grow large it needs to have its roots grow deep and wide into the ground in order to tap into the resources it needs to remain vibrant and fruitful. With trees the general rule is that its visible height and the spread of its branches is roughly equal to its invisible depth and spread of its roots. The deeper and more spread out the roots of the tree are, then the greater shade, fruit, and beauty it will provide.
The same then goes for Christians. We need to be rooted deep and wide into the soil of Jesus Christ and God’s word. We need to spread wide our roots to tap into the Holy Spirit which the Bible describes as that river of living water. It is here we receive God’s resources to remain vibrant and fruitful. And the deeper we go, and the wider we spread ourselves then the greater comfort, help, and mercy we’ll provide and extend to others.
So, being properly rooted in Christ is important. And to be properly rooted we need to dig deep and grow downward into God’s word.
Dennis Lee is the senior pastor of Living Waters Fellowship.