From the desk of Andrew Burchett

As one of God's people who delights in what He cares about, in many ways I can refer to myself as an "oak of righteousness" (Isaiah 61:3).   The oak tree is very much the symbol of our city.  As I look out my window, there are mighty oaks standing next to the stream that drink that cold water flowing by.  They are rooted in good dirt and are massive and provide lots of shade. 

How do I grow my spiritual roots deeper?

1) Deeper Trust

Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NIV) 
7  "But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. 
8  He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit."

One way to grow your roots deeper is found in Jeremiah 17, where it tells us that when we trust in the LORD more and more, we gain more and more confidence.  Finding a deeper place of trust in God brings confidence and anxiety and fear have no place.  We must learn to trust God more deeply if we want a more secure, unshakable spiritual foundation. 

2) Deeper Love

Ephesians 3:17-19 (NIV) 
17  so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 
18  may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 
19  and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

The dirt we are planted in is the love of Christ.  Like the topsoil of our valley that can be as deep as 18 feet, the love of Jesus for us gives us room to grow and an environment where fear vanishes.  It is a safe place to stand and grow. 

3) Deeper Reflection

Psalm 1:2-3 (NIV) 
2  But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. 
3  He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.

When we think over and over about God's words, we are then positioned in a place where we can be nourished and grow.  This kind of growth leads to success and prosperity.  It means that your life is sure to bear fruit - starting with the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).   How much time do you spend with no noise, listening for God's voice and reading and rereading God's words?  The time you spend in this practice of reflection will be like fertilizer to your life. 

Reflection will cause growth and fruit in the proper season - not in all seasons.  There is a time for everything (Ecclesiastes 3), and a season to be pruned, a season for new growth, and a season of bearing fruit in harvest time.  Spending time in God's word will cause your roots to go deep, preparing you to bear another crop of good fruit in the next season. 

Colossians 2:6-7 (NIV) 
6  So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, 
7  rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

So, as ones rooted in trust, love and reflection on God's words, may your roots grow deep as oaks near a cold stream, and may you bear much fruit, all the while overflowing with thanksgiving!   

Andrew Burchett

Lead Pastor