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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Rooted in Christ

I was recently on a retreat where the Lord gave me a much needed reminder of the importance of my relationship with him - it's really the ONLY thing that matters. I must desire him more than anything else in the world! I must pursue him with reckless abandon, much like the guy who finds a treasure in a field and hides it again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field (Matt 13:44).
Everything else flows out of this passionate relationship with my God. My ministry is useless if I am not spending time with the Lord in prayer. I often get excited about going out and doing a lot of stuff and evangelizing and all that, but I should focus first on my own relationship with God.
It is like a tree. I want to reach out and bear much fruit for the kingdom, but I must first be firmly rooted in Christ. Like a tree's root system, that private prayer life is not very visible or obvious to others. It is kind of the hidden aspect of our spiritual life, but it is very essential nonetheless. We can be sure that those who do great things for the Lord make their personal relationship with God a priority.
The roots provide nourishment for the rest of the tree and also provide stability to weather the storms. If a tree does not receive enough water and nutrients, it may not die, but it will not grow or produce fruit. It will just sit there stagnant, barely alive. That's what happens when we don't get enough time with the Lord in prayer. For our tree to grow, we must first grow deeper in our dependence on God and be firmly rooted in him. It is He who gives us the strength. Let us turn first to the Lord. Everything else will follow.

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