"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."
- Colossians 2:6-7 NKJV
I recently heard from a young woman who confessed that she had drifted away from all Christian fellowship, and that she was beginning to question God and the truth of His Word. She had made new friends who were living lifestyles that violated God's laws, and she confessed that she could see nothing wrong with how they lived. She was suffering from severe anxiety, and a feeling that she was "cursed." Her mind was constantly bombarded by conflicting thoughts, as she tried to "make sense out of everything." When I wrote this young woman back, I told her that I wasn't surprised that she was suffering the way she was. By doubting God's ways and the truth of His Word, she was making herself extremely vulnerable to satanic attack. I told her that this was just the beginning, and that her anxiety and confusion would continue to grow, unless she stopped this downward spiral by becoming rooted and grounded in Christ.
Scripture says: "So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness." (Colossians 2:6-7 NIV) Many Christians have the idea that once they receive Christ as their Lord and Savior, they can "coast" through the rest of their days here on earth. But that's not scriptural. We must become rooted and built up in Christ, and we must become strong in faith, by devoting ourselves to the Word of God, and planting it in our minds and hearts continually. Why is this so important? The next verse in this passage reveals why when it says: "Don't let anyone lead you astray with empty philosophy and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the evil powers of this world, and not from Christ." (Colossians 2:8 NLT) When we are not rooted in the truth of God's Word, we will leave ourselves open to all kinds of worldly philosophies and human thinking that will cause us to drift away from God and His plans and purposes for us. And that's the devil's strategy, because the closer we get to fulfilling our God-ordained goals, the greater the threat we pose to his kingdom of darkness.
In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus talks about the different responses that people have to the Word of God. He says that those with "no root" are destined to "quickly fall away" when "trouble or persecution comes because of the Word." (Matthew 13:21 NIV) In contrast, a rooted believer will "seize the Word and hold on no matter what, sticking with it until there's a harvest." (Luke 8:15 MSG) The young woman who wrote me was going through some testing and trying times, and instead of steadying herself with God's truth, she "fell away." The Bible tells us that even John the Baptist had his doubts when he was faced with troubling circumstances. He had previously confessed that Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah. (John 1:29-36) But when King Herod threw him in prison, John sent some of his followers to ask the Savior, "Are you really the Messiah? Or shall we keep on looking for him?" (Luke 7:19 TLB) Jesus responded by pointing to the miracles He was performing, and saying, "Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of Me." (Luke 7:23 NIV) The Living Bible puts it this way, "Blessed is the one who does not lose his faith in Me." (Luke 7:23 TLB) The Lord has extraordinary blessings and rewards in store for those who refuse to doubt Him, His goodness, and His Word even in times of trouble and trial.
I think it's interesting that the young woman who wrote me said that she felt "cursed," because Scripture tells us, "Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans and turn their hearts away from the Lord." On the other hand, the Bible promises that "Blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence." (Jeremiah 17:5,7 NLT) We are told that these fortunate folks "are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water," and they are fearless and fruitful. The next time YOU are struggling with anxiety, confusion, or depression, check your faith level, and ask yourself, "Am I rooted and grounded in Christ?"
Prayer: Lord, forgive me for the times that I've doubted You and Your Word. Teach me how to become firmly rooted and planted in Your truth, so that I won't be an easy target for the forces of darkness. Thank You that as I am anchored in my faith, I will be peaceful, productive, and prosperous!
- J. M. Farro