Last year, we had some friends over for dinner and they brought me this very lovely mum. After the fall season was over, I planted the mum. The mum grew throughout this summer and this fall it did not fail in providing some vivid yellow color to the flower bed. I saw the givers of this beautiful mum a few weeks ago and thanked them again for this lovely mum and told them how beautiful it was this fall. The givers replied, “It must have a good root system.” I have pondered this comment and was brought to Psalm 1.
1Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 2but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. 4The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. 5Therefore, the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; 6for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish. (Psalms 1).
So the question before us is “How does a Christian develop a good root system?”
- Where do you walk, stand, or sit? Who do you keep close company with? The people we are with influence our thoughts and actions.
- A person with a deep root system delights in the law of the Lord day and night. Delight means to desire. It can also be looked at as to what brings us pleasure. What is it we long for? What satisfies us? As I think about this concept a few math terms come to mind…mean, median, and mode. As we lay out our life, what we spend our time doing, what we spend our time thinking about, who we spend our time with, what is the average? What is seen the most (Mode)? Does spending time with the Lord cause the most pleasure in your life? When we spend time with the Lord are we easily distracted by other things?
- A person with a deep root system not only delights in the Law of the LORD, they also meditate on it. What do we go to when we are not thinking about work or what we will fix for dinner? Is it God’s Word? What do we go to when we have a problem that needs to be solved? Is it God’s Word?
- Trees need water. The metaphor here in this passage is the stream of water is the law of the Lord-God’s Word. We need God’s Word to be our source of life giving wisdom. A stream that trickles or dries up will cause the tree to not flourish or even die. So is our life with God. If our time with the Word is only meant to check the box and not satisfy the deep longing of thirst in our souls to meet daily with our Creator, we will dry up, our fruit will be small or even non-existent.
- A tree planted by streams of water does not think about its fruit, rather it is a natural by-product of the water it is next to. As we diligently seek God and His Word, the fruit will come. As I consider the yellow mum and other things that have grown in our yard and the garden this year, none of these things concentrate their efforts on the fruit. Deep roots will produce good fruit. Shallow roots produce little fruit.
- The Lord knows our ways. He knows our hearts. He knows what we meditate on. He sees what we delight in. We may put on a show like the religious leaders did in Jesus’ day, but He saw their hearts. When He saw their hearts, He saw whitewashed tombs that were pretty on the outside, but full of dead men’s bones. Tombs produce no fruit. A lack of a strong and healthy root system produces no fruit.
God sees my heart. He knows my fruit. He knows what I delight in and how that is worked out in my everyday life. What fruit does God see from your life?