Be Deeply Rooted In Christ – Learn How From Nature

Every spring in the Northern Hemisphere, gardeners begin ordering their garden seeds and preparing their garden soil for planting.

After putting the seeds in the garden bed, gardeners will spend many hours nurturing their plants so that their roots go deep. Roots anchor the plant in place saving them from the effects of drenching rains or blustering winds. 

Equally important are our spiritual roots. We are like “faith plants” in God’s garden. We need nurturing with the word of God so that we can be deeply rooted in Christ, our anchor in the storms of life. 

What spiritual roots mean

To understand spiritual roots we need to look at the job description for physical plant roots. 

  • They absorb water and nutrients. Without this, the plant would die. 
  • They keep plants anchored in the ground when heavy rains or winds threaten to push them over or carry them away. 
  • If water and nutrients aren’t within close vicinity, they push their way through obstacles to find what they need. Think of the many places you have seen plants coming up in the cracks of asphalt or concrete. 

So roots feed the plant, protect the plant, and are proactive in finding what the plant needs. 

Roots are to a plant like a firm foundation is to a building. Both are vital for survival. 

Deep roots of faith do the same thing for the Christian in the garden of life. Circumstances can be hard with spiritual storms, floods, or drought. But praise God We can survive all of that and even produce much fruit.

In contrast, a weak spiritual root system causes failure to thrive in our Christian life. 

What does the Bible say about being rooted in Christ?

  “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him,  rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.” Colossians 2:6-7 ESV

Photo of a plant start being rooted in water and the caption, "Be rooted in Christ and established in the faith."
The command to be rooted in Christ

“That according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:16-19 ESV

” … continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation[a] under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.” Colossians 1:23 ESV

We see from these few Scriptures written by the Apostle Paul that being rooted in Christ involves:

  • Being built up in Jesus, established in the faith
  • An attitude of gratitude
  • Knowledge of God
  • Being grounded – a solid foundation
  • Stable and steadfast (when the rest of the world is shifting and crashing)

None of this can happen apart from God’s word. We become strong in our faith when we immerse ourselves in God’s promises, beginning with trusting in the name of the Lord Jesus for forgiveness of sins and eternal salvation.

This is all counter to our culture that says “Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps,” or “You are enough without God.” But God’s way is different. 

What happens if we are not rooted in Christ?

One of the best examples of deep roots saving plants is when hurricanes blow through the coastal communities along the Atlantic coastline and Gulf of Mexico.

The trees that are not blown over are the ones with deep roots. Some of the smaller branches might break, but the majoirty of the tree “weathers the sotrm” and lives on.

Those trees with shallow roots fall to the ground, end up being cut up and being sent to landfills or composting facilities.

As Christians, we can’t afford to have shallow spiritual roots. When life gets difficult we would risk spiritual destruction.

Learning from nature how to be deeply rooted in Christ? 

Jesus taught how strong roots develop in the parable of the sower. 

“A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell along the path and was trampled underfoot, and the birds of the air devoured it. And some fell on the rock, and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it. And some fell into good soil and grew and yielded a hundredfold.” As he said these things, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Luke 8:5-8 ESV

Like any good students, Jesus’ disciples asked what this meant. Jesus replied:

“Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12 The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. 13 And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away14 And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. 15 As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.” Luke 8:11-15 ESV

All of this would have meant a great deal to those of Jesus’ day since agriculture was at the center of their world and existence. They knew that strong roots don’t just happen by chance. 

Today we can compare root production to gardening. If you have house plants, flower beds, or vegetable gardens, this will make sense to you. 

Your plants will not survive without water. If you have a houseplant you know that when you bring it home you don’t just water it once and it is done.

Unfortunately, if you are like many people, your plants get forgotten at times. Without enough water, the leaves begin to wilt. When they start looking sad, we remember that they need moisture added to their soil.

Caring for plants requires regular attention. 

I don’t think it is a coincidence that Jesus is called the “living water.”  We can never expect to be deeply rooted in Christ if we don’t spend regular time in His presence. Not only is Jesus called “living water”, but the Bible is called the “water of the word.” (Ephesians 5:26)

So what does this mean for us today? We need to spend regular time thinking about Jesus, praying to our Heavenly Father, and spending time in the treasures of wisdom found in the Bible.

This can happen in our “quiet time” with God, but also in many other activities such as when we are driving listening to Christian music, and getting together with others who love Jesus. These are the initial steps in being deeply rooted in Christ. 

Without soil, nothing would grow in our gardens or flowerpots. But not just any soil will do. Many people buy potting mix, a blend of all things “good” when it comes to soil: not too much sand, no rocks, not too much clay, and a bit of compost added.

Our plants need “good soil”. In a spiritual sense, this is talking about our hearts.

Good spiritual soil is someone who is receptive to the message of God. We can’t be hard, refusing to allow God’s hands to mold and shape us. 

Your plants also need protection from weeds (thorns in the parable). A gardener pulls weeds out of their flower and vegetable beds. Why? Weeds compete for the water and nutrients in the soil. Eventually, weeds will choke out good plants. 

Never underestimate the power of “weed seeds” in your life. Once they start growing, they drop more seeds and before long your life is a total mess.

So where do these seeds come from? Social media, sensual websites and magazines, music crude joking, TV, you name it. Not all social media, magazines, jokes, or music are bad. But we need to evaluate them in light of Scripture.

The Bible calls spiritual weeds “works of the flesh”.

“When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:16-21 NLT

Are you deeply rooted in Christ? 

What kind of roots do you have in the faith? Do you have a good foundation for your life? Are you receptive to the work of the Lord in your life? 

If you are a new believer you will want to learn more. If you are a veteran in the faith, you may enjoy reviewing how well your roots are doing. 

The Creator’s Classroom has a free Bible study to help you. “Rooted In Christ” uses gardening as a framework for the 7-week study.

There is much more to gardening than what has been covered here in this article. As you may have guessed, all of those aspects have spiritual lessons for us to learn about growing strong spiritual roots.

What you will learn in “Rooted In Christ” Bible study:

  • More about soil and your heart
  • The seed of the word of God and germination
  • More on deep roots
  • More on Water
  • How compost helps
  • More about weeds
  • Flowers and pollination
  • Fruit and the harvest

The world is our classroom and God our creator is our teacher, sort of like going on a “field trip” with Him. There is hardly any aspect of nature that can’t teach us about our life in Christ. 

“For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.” Romans 1:20 NLT”

Come join us in this Bible Study. The basic study guide is free. Here is the link. 

Photo of the cover of the Bible Study, "Rooted In Christ".
Rooted in Christ 7-week Bible Study

A Prayer for being deeply rooted in Christ

Heavenly Father

How I long to be receptive to you and be deeply rooted in Christ. Help keep the soil of my heart soft, and ready to receive the seed from your precious word.

I am so thankful for Jesus, the living water in my life giving me eternal and spiritual life along with the forgiveness of sins.

Protect me from the evil one who wants to plant spiritual weeds in my life. Give me the courage and strength to avoid the temptations of the works of the flesh.

I read in my Bible that you have given me everything that I need to live a Godlly life. (2 Peter 1:3). It also says that you are always with me to help me. (Joshua 1:9). Remind me often of these truths.

In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen. 

You can download this prayer as a free gift. Here is the link.

Prayer to be rooted in Christ

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References: Many thanks to Bible Gateway for easy navigation and use of the Scriptures.

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