There has been a dramatic shift in our society over the past generation. We have gone from a sense of duty and responsibility to a demand for services and entertainment. The society around us has put great emphasis on ”how do you feel?” as being more important than ”what should we do?” Our society has turned inward rather than outward, a reflection of self-absorption and immaturity.
It is tragic, but the church can reflect society all too much. Probably the weakness of churches today is that they fail to challenge those Christians in the congregation to move on to maturity. If we are not careful, we will strive to make people happy rather than make them Holy, that we will make them feel good rather than make them faithful and Godly. We must be careful not to just encourage excitement and avoid spiritual education.
The story is told about an American Indian who attended a church service one Sunday morning. The preacher’s message lacked real spiritual food, so he did a lot of shouting and pulpit pounding to cover up his lack of preparation. In fact, as it is sometimes said, he ”preached up quite a storm.” After the service, someone asked the American Indian, who was a Christian, what he thought of the minister’s message. Thinking for a moment, he summed up his opinion in six words: ”High wind. Big thunder. No rain.” Yes, when the Scriptures are neglected, there is ”no rain.” Only when preaching is based on God’s Word and His people are challenged to respond and be responsible to that Word, are they blessed and refreshed
Excitement, feeling good, even entertainment can certainly be a part of our experience as a Christian, but it must not be a substitute for spiritual maturity. Going forward with Christ Jesus the Lord means being established in the faith. The word “establish” was sometimes used as a legal term meaning, “to confirm, guarantee, or make irrevocable.” To go forward with Christ, you must make a deliberate effort to be established in the faith.
One of the roots’ functions is to anchor the tree in the soil, providing stability and a firm base for the entire structure of the trunk, branches, leaves, and fruit. Being rooted in Christ simply means that you allow Him to influence your values and priorities. Paul said that there are three things that happen here. (1) you have been “rooted” in Christ. Just as a tree deeply rooted, you are planted in Christ; (2) you have been “built up” in Him. As you are deeply rooted, you are also growing in faith; (3) you have been “strengthened” in the faith. You have been tested, and because of that, you are much stronger and your faith was strengthened too.
• Pray that the Lord would root and ground you in Him. Just as a tree is deeply rooted, you are planted in Christ.
• Pray that you will be built up in Him. As you are deeply rooted, you are also growing in faith.
• Pray that you will be strengthened in Him.
• Declare that your inheritance is to know the height, length, depth, and breadth of the love of God.
• Pray for others in your family and sphere of influence to know the love of God and just how valuable they are to the Lord.