Pushing out those roots…
A tree planted by streams of water does not need to push its roots far before nourishment is reached. But when a tree finds itself far indeed from this life-giving source that tree must push out its roots with all the more determination toward that life-giving flow.
In light of Pastor Andrew’s message this past Sunday I found it intriguing when earlier this week I received a ten point devotional about how a Christian can enhance his or her quiet time in the Presence of the Lord – i.e. how to encourage those “roots” to push on out when the soil gets dry and the pushing gets tough.
It’s always assuring when the Lord confirms His Word by such “coincidences.” We do well to take note of them. So I thought I would share some of these points with you today. (I may pick up on these further in my Facebook lesson this Saturday).
The first two points have to do with one’s spiritual preparation and are in my opinion the most important, the rest are more practical in nature.
Meet God in the Morning
Rev. Bishop Ralph Spaulding Cushman (1879-1960) wrote “The Secret,” a poem often referenced by its opening line “I Met God in the Morning.” It describes well the urgency to begin one’s day by first setting one’s mind and heart on Christ.
I met God in the morning
When my day was at its best,
And His presence came like sunrise,
Like a glory in my breast.
All day long the Presence lingered,
All day long He stayed with me,
And we sailed in perfect calmness
O’er a very troubled sea.
Other ships were blown and battered,
Other ships were sore distressed,
But the winds that seemed to drive them
Brought to us a peace and rest.
Then I thought of other mornings,
With a keen remorse of mind,
When I too had loosed the moorings,
With the Presence left behind.
So I think I know the secret,
Learned from many a troubled way:
You must seek Him in the morning
If you want Him through the day!
This was the practice of Jesus as Mark clearly records: “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” (Mark 1:35). In fact, as Luke tells us, Jesus often took other times to get away to be with the Father and pray, “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” (Luke 5:16).
Wait for God before you begin to talk to Him!
We’d laugh if on his wedding day a groom were to say, “If I’m not there on time just start without me!” Yet, Christians often do this in their prayers. A holy silence ought to preface our praying. We must turn out hearts toward Him before we open our mouths to Him. Begin by perhaps reading scripture, offering praise, asking the Spirit to search your soul.
More than this we need also to stop at times to listen, or to just be silent… silent in the Presence of God. Is the Spirit speaking to your soul? Is a scripture leaping out at you?
Patience and perseverance are needed by root-pushing trees and patience and perseverance are needed by God-seeking saints. So push out those roots and…