rooted in: Him

“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.” Colossians 2: 8-10

I’ll go first – I need to repent. Far too often have I bought in to a belief system created by the world. I’ve found myself with opinions, thoughts or values that are not actually of The Lord even if / when they were being taught by those who claim to follow Him. The philosophy of work, martial status, home ownership, relationships, church, personality types, etc. etc. etc. have been watered down and tainted from their original intention and design to produce a lesser version. There is a good design intended for the daily movements and workings of life and I’m quick to buy into The worlds ideas of what that is. But here in Colossians 2 we see that being rooted and built up in HIM leads to thankfulness.

Being rooted in Him isn’t only for the daily, ordinary moments of living. In psalm 66, the psalmist writes, “ For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried. You brought us into the net; you laid a crushing burden on our backs; you let men ride over our heads and we went through fire and through water; yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance.” (V 10-12, ESV)

and in 1 Peter 1:6-7 Peter writes, “In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith – more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire – may be found to result in praise and glory and honor of Jesus Christ.” (ESV)

Can you see it? How we root ourselves in Him, in the truth of WHO He is (sovereign, good, just, merciful, kind, holy) so that it orders our everyday. And when those every days become difficult + filled with trials (whether trials just from living in a fallen world or trials from the enemy) we may have these roots in the right place. Those roots produce thankfulness. And we rejoice! We rejoice not because we enjoy trials + suffering but because our faith may be made all the stronger, our roots even deeper in Him. Right? Can you feel it? How when it hits the fan, our roots found in idols are easy to be pulled out and crushed. They can’t hold. But eyes fixed on eternity, knowing that in trials we can praise Him for this life is not it. We worship at the cross for His death means this world is not our home and we press ever further towards hearing, “well done, my good and faithful servant.”

It’s not done perfectly, right? Or maybe it’s just me. Maybe it’s just me here, so I’ll speak for myself. I want to maintain a posture of kneeling, worshiping at the cross, not dependent on my circumstances. Not only when things make sense, when my todo list is being crossed off, when the baby is sleeping, when plans are clear, when relationships are easy. I want to be in that position, eyes fixed on eternity. While the world is still exhausting, causing difficulty and grievances there’s a hope. A confident expectation of the future based on the promises of Him who is faithful.

So we lean in. We don’t numb the difficult days with pleasures meant to stir our hearts towards affection of Him. We don’t find our peace in a glass of wine, a pint of ice cream, a Netflix binge. They aren’t bad, but they make really crummy comforts. They neither last nor satisfy our souls the way we long for.

But the cross. But the one on the throne. But the hope in eternity. But God.

He does.

He satisfies.

He brings us from the brokenness into life.

He brings us life abundant.

He brings us to praise and worship, steadfastness and strength.

He is the only, the only, one worth rooting in.

faith military

blessing follows obedience

there’s sometimes a gap, ya know, between what we read and claim to believe and what we actually practice. We believe that the spirit guides and directs, that Jesus calls us to follow in obedience even when we can’t see through the other side. It isn’t logical nor does it make any kind of sense for a man to step out into a roaring sea… except when it’s his friend and savior that’s beckoning. I don’t know what the rest of the guys in the boat were thinking when Peter stepped out into the water to walk towards Jesus but I’m betting they were thinking what we would think: BRO, it’s water. You like for sure can’t WALK on it. But Peter? Eyes on Jesus. It legit didn’t matter what they were saying, he knew where Jesus was and he was going. Or what about Abraham who was asked to sacrifice the very son for whom he had waited and believed God was going to fulfill His promise through? Obedience. Not contemplating, making a pros and cons list, logically thinking through or trying to make sense of. Obedience.

We felt the call to a specific city almost 4 years ago now after The Lord lead us to a certain place 5 years ago. I can’t go into details just yet but 4 years of believing we’d be there eventually but never knowing how or when. We didn’t know if it would be years or decades. And honestly I don’t know that we were completely confident that it was a desire from The Lord or just a fleshly desire.

Ryan came to me in October 2020, after officially being out of the army since June 2020, to say that he felt The Lord telling him he wasn’t done with the army. *cue all the emotions from me.* I was like wwaaaayyyy not on board. We spent the next four months praying, talking to mentors, literally met with a counselor more than once, talked with friends, did an marriage study. We spent hours upon hours upon hours walking through this decision. And maybe another time I’ll share more details but it came down to this: The Lord made it very, very clear through a series of events that the army was what was next for our family. And I was still like “uhhh, can we not?” But we were clinging to this phrase: “blessing always comes on the other side of obedience.” And knowing this is what he wanted, to do anything else would be direct disobedience which really would just be us (read: me) believing I know better than The Lord what’s best for our life, that surely signing up for military life can’t be best. But I was faced with the reality of this: if I believe He is good, He is sovereign, He really works all things for our good and His glory then what He’s asking of us is best. Maybe it brings deployments, maybe it’s living a contenannt away from family, maybe our kids grow up losing and making new friends every few years. From my view it made actually no sense. And yet… I knew it’s what He was asking us to do.

Peter did walk on the water. The Lord did provide a sacrifice for Abraham and The Lord did fulfill his promise to Abraham through Issac.

So, here we are. 57 days down of training. And we’ve got projected orders for his first duty station. And would you believe me if I told you that out of the 17+ duty stations he could’ve gotten, this one being one of the least likely for a whole slew of reasons, The Lord in his grace is sending us to the very place we’ve felt pulled for the last FOUR YEARS. We can’t say anything quite yet but we’ve talked to a dozen people who have confirmed that The Lord had to be at work in this because there is no other way we would end up here.

The Lord is faithful. He is kind. He is gracious and merciful. My doubt and unbelief does not deserve this goodness!

This is not a testament of how The Lord gives us what we want, because I believe that’s mostly not true. That he grants the desires of our heart when HE is the center of our heart. When we are so IN Him that His will IS the desire of our heart.

Blessing comes on the other side of obedience. Maybe weeks, months or years later. But The Lord is faithful to do a good work, to work all things. And friend, as a speak this over myself I speak it over you: stay rooted in His word, in the spirit that you may recognize His voice when he beckons, that like a sheep knows his shepherds voice, we may hear the quiet voice of the Father when He speaks.

Stay rooted, friend, in the only thing that lasts.