“Blessed is the man, who walks not in the council of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bring forth its fruit in its season.” Psalm 1 verses’ 1-3.
We are an impatient society, dedicated to the quick fix. Instant coffee, instant millionaires and instant solutions. Life in the 21st Century is moving at lightning speed. In all spheres of life people are concentrating on overnight progress and success. Employers expect the impossible..Yesterday! The pressure is on and very few make the grade. On TV you see people getting the reward without doing the work. Society has come to expect instant gratification and are blinded and encouraged by advertising and peer pressure, into living a lifestyle that causes them to live for today, never pausing to think of the results of their actions or of what might happen tomorrow.
Jesus however wants us to build our lives for the long haul rather than sacrifice ourselves for the pleasures of today. This is what He was talking about when He said “everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” Matthew 7 vs. 24. Solid rock living is hearing God and doing what he says. Solid rock living is building for the future, with eternity’s values in view.
While living in the Hogsback Mountains a huge plant grew up almost overnight at the bottom of our garden. Within three months it was more than six feet tall with a trunk as thick as my wrist. If ever a plant had an “anointing” this one did. While digging down to find a burst water pipe near the plant I brushed against it and it toppled over. When I inspected it, I discovered that it had no substance. It looked big and strong, but it was made of some kind of fluffy fiber. It had a crusted bark, but the interior was mostly air. No anointing. All puff! It also had no root system; its root just went into the ground about two inches, where there was a wad of fibers about the size of my fist. When the rains had ceased and the water table had dropped, the plant had died. It still gave the impression of life, but since there was no nourishment, it perished.
In nature God shows us the way to go. Trees know better than to grow upwards until their roots have established them selves below the ground. Trees that last have as many roots underground as they have branches above. Orange trees for instance, grow outward only to the extent of the outer limits of their root line. Those with shallow root systems don’t last. These “weak trees” are easy to spot in the Christian world. Fast growing “Churches” that fail to build “roots” of relationships between members. Roots of covenant love, forgiveness, acceptance of all, fellowship and trust in their leaders. Churches that take time to build with the right root system can be likened to an oak tree. Strong and resilient and full of substance. Rootless Churches however are like those large pumpkin’s that you can grow in three months…. large, empty and tasteless, built on a foundation of sand and not rock.
As a Christian you have the same choice. Build a firm foundation on the “Rock” and let your roots grow down deep fed by the rivers of living water freely available from Christ. With branches overflowing with fruit and able to with stand every storm or flood that comes along. Alternatively, you can choose the superficial Christian life and be swept away when the storms and floods of life come hurtling down on you.
Life is a journey. (Enjoy the ride1) And the journey it self is a learning experience. In short, the means are always more important than the ends. God is not nearly as interested in whether you accomplish your goals as He is in what you become in the process. God wants His people to build for the long haul, to build for eternity. He is talking about relationships-with Him and with His people. Just remember the cement of all long lasting relationships is LOVE. “A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another as I have loved you that you love one another.” Remember that with out LOVE you are a “sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.” All noise and no substance. Love Ken and Sharon.