I had every right to leave……according to the world’s standards.
The right to leave a marriage because of the trials and hardships that had come our way. Even though promises were made, love was evident, and good times were had. The right to leave a church due to people and circumstances that constantly reminded me of my troubles every time I walked through the doors. Also, the right to leave a faith. I mean, who in their right mind would stay connected to a faith that promises so much comfort and joy but I was met with uncertainty and pain at times. But what Satan and all his imps, evil devices, and attempts to destroy didn’t understand is that I. Am. Rooted!
Colossians 2:6-7 New King James Version (NKJV) "As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving."
Rooted in a marriage because I had come to the realization that we were just two imperfect people who were trusting and depending on a perfect God. It may have taken time and years into our marriage to solidify the importance of this to us but we did it. In Ecclesiastes 4:12, God’s Word states that a threefold cord is not quickly broken. We had to wake up every day and thank God for the understanding that we knew that we were to work as a team WITH Him. Not only does He guide and instruct in everyday situations but He is also there to lift up and strengthen. He doesn’t just leave us to fend for ourselves once He tells us what to do. He walks with us, seeing us through it, and rejoicing on the other side. And oh the joy that I have come to know from the power of forgiveness. It has been a binding strength between my husband and me, a strength that, as we wound ourselves around God, only grows stronger with Him at the center.
Rooted in a church because this place had become my home. It was the place I had to come to know Jesus not only as my Savior, but as my confidant, best friend, instructor, worship partner, shoulder to cry on, fellow rejoicer, and the One I fixed my sights on. It’s where I had fallen to my knees at an altar, repenting of all my sins, and asking Him to forgive me and helping me not return back to those things that were holding me back from moving forward in Him. It was the place where I went down in a watery grave, being cleansed of all my sins and having the name of Jesus applied to my life. This was also the place where I received the Holy Ghost, hands lifted, and having the very same power that raised the dead now living on the inside of me. I’m connected to this place. So what did I have to learn to do every time a hurtful memory was brought back up by a person I attended church with? Well, this is where the power of forgiveness has come into play again. Just like I don’t always “like” the people I am family with or the people in my very own home because honestly, life and personalities get in the way, I’ve come to understand that at the end of the day, family bonds are strong enough to overcome the junk that may pass between us. I know that God wants me to be a part of a church because in Hebrews 10:25, He instructs us not to forsake the assembling of ourselves. So, I treated this place just like my regular home. Walking through the doors each time, knowing that no matter what may have passed between a fellow church-goer and me, we are all on the same page. All on a mission to grow and love in Him. Traveling through this life with the same Heavenly mission in mind.
Rooted in a faith. Honestly, this one was easier than the others. I learned early on that living for God wasn’t a cake-walk but a race to run. More than once in the Bible, He likens this life to a race. Instructing us to fix our eyes on Him, persevere, and obtain the prize of an eternity with Him. I grew up with a vague idea of living for God. Knowing who He was as my Lord and Savior but having no idea that He yearned to have a close, personal relationship with me. Knowing I could call on Him through prayer but having no idea that He wanted to hold my hand, whisper in my ear, develop my gifts, and teach me to return to others all that He has given to me. The day I walked into an Apostolic setting, felt the tangible love of God, and joined in on the worship that was flowing; I knew there was no going back. Realizing that He was all about relationship. This faith that I had come to know, the one that I am learning new things about every day, is the very same faith that was a comfort during the tough times, the same faith that helped me to hang on, the very same faith that turned my heart toward a God that turns mourning into dancing.
So I encourage you today to take root. Take root in who He is able to be in your life. A comfort, a guide, a heart-mender, marriage counselor, worship partner, Savior and friend. Find a church home that encourages you to know Him in this close, personal way. He is so much more than a man in a book or the subject of a really good story. He longs for you to have Him living on the inside of you. Be rooted in Him so that when the winds do blow and the rains do beat upon you, you know that you will be left standing strong because your roots grew deep and could withstand it all.
Ephesians 3:17-19 New King James Version (NKJV) "that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height-- to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God."
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.