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Fresh Faith

This life can get to be repetitive, and to be honest, so can our Christian life. It’s easy to settle into a groove and put ourselves on autopilot. We can then fall into danger by allowing our faith the be about rituals more than relationship. Even the disciples were susceptible to this, and they physically walked with Jesus daily. Can you imagine what that must have been like? They heard the greatest teaching daily and were witnesses to countless miracles, yet they were susceptible to letting even that become old hat and ordinary. That’s when someone came up to Jesus and told Him Lazarus was gravely ill and needed healing immediately.

When Jesus didn’t immediately go, I’m sure the disciples started to get shook out of their routine. They thought it was odd that He didn’t immediately go. Instead, He waited two days before beginning the 2 day journey to Him. The disciples objected to Jesus going there because the religious leaders were ready to kill Him. Then, in John 11:14-15 Jesus said, “Lazarus died. And I am glad for your sakes that I wasn’t there. You’re about to be given new grounds for believing. Now let’s go to him” (MSG).

Jesus knew the disciples needed new grounds for believing. If they needed it, how much more do we? I believe when there are things in our lives that don’t make sense to us, it could be God trying to give us new grounds for believing. Notice how urgently we start seeking Him when things happen out of the ordinary. Notice how much more we rely on Him. I believe God allows things to happen to us so we will break out of our rut and find fresh faith. Relationships on autopilot usually struggle. It’s the ones that keep things fresh and new that survive. God wants to have a fresh relationship with us. Don’t let whatever is going on in your life push you away from God. Let it give you fresh grounds for believing.

Photo by John Salvino on Unsplash

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Grow Down To Grow Up

Have you ever grown a tomato plant? I haven’t since I was younger, but I remember that when the tomatoes started growing we had to brace the plant. Sometimes we drove a stake into the ground and loosely tied the plant to it. Other times we made a round cage from chicken wire and put it around it to help it. While it’s body is strong enough to hold the tomatoes, it’s not firm enough to hold them up. The more it produces, the more help it needs.

The same thing is true in businesses. The larger they get, the more structure they need. If they grow too quickly without the right structure in place, they’ll fail. It can also happen in our spiritual growth. The more we grow in Christ, the more structure and support we need. Colossians 2:7 says, “Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong.” Paul knew that as we grow, we need deeper roots to support us.

If you want to grow in your relationship with God, you have to let your roots go down first. You can’t grow up until you grow down. Your success in your ability to stay strong as you get closer to God depends on your ability to grow your roots. A big tree is easily blown over if it has shallow roots. The top side can be healthy, green and growing, but of it doesn’t have deep roots, it will get pushed over by the first storm that comes along.

The foundation for a skyscraper is a lot different than the foundation for a house. A shallow foundation on a large structure will crumble. Our foundation has to be built on Christ. Colossians 2:2 in the Amplified says, “That they may become progressively more intimately acquainted with and may know more definitely…Christ.” We are to progressively know Him more. We are to continue growing beyond our initial salvation experience. We are to move from milk to meat. The only way we can successfully grow more is to put down deeper roots.

We put them down by progressively spending more time in the Bible and in prayer. Your growth is directly tied to how much time and effort you put into it. I’m talking about after your salvation experience. Christ does that work because we can’t. Our growth comes from actively seeking Him. It comes from putting structure in place to help you grow. It comes from reading books on faith, having people in your life who are stronger in their faith than you so they can help you and from having people around you who are weaker do you can help pull them along. Your roots are key to your growth.

In Ephesians 3:16-17, Paul says that he prays that God would empower us with inner strength through His spirit. Then, after Christ makes His home in our heart, our roots will grow down deep into Gods love and keep us strong. The more we trust on Christ, the deeper our roots will grow. The deeper our roots grow, the closer we can get to Him. If your desire is to grow upwards in Christ, spend time working on your foundation. Do the things that will give you a clearer understand of who God is and build on that foundational knowledge of Him.

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