Do you want to get better fruit in life and ministry? Develop stronger and deeper roots.
A while ago I ran across an obscure verse in 2 Kings that spoke to me years ago and reminded me of an important life principle.
“And the surviving remnant of the house of Judah shall again take root downward and bear fruit upward.” 2 Kings 19:30 (ESV)
Now, I know it is speaking of some Jewish people’s future, but there is a spiritual principle here which is repeated in Colossians 2:6,7 (ESV): “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.”
I think there is a tendency in leadership today to focus too much on the fruit (the result(s) of life and ministry) and not enough on the roots (the foundation and wellspring of life and ministry.)
We tend to measure a person’s godliness and ministry effectiveness by what we can see (the fruit)–not taking into consideration what we cannot see, which produces the godliness and fruitfulness (the roots).
I think that 1 Timothy 4:16 (ESV) is saying essentially the same thing: “Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.”
Keep a close watch on your roots and your fruit (in that order) and be persistent at it by keeping a close watch on your root system, which will result in a good fruit system.
Here Are Three Practical And Simple Ideas On Developing A Better Root System:
1. Consistently practice a set of spiritual disciplines – I Timothy 4:7
2. Regularly be in authentic community with a few good friends – Hebrews 10:24,25
3. Quickly own your sin through confession and repentance…don’t be a confessional procrastinator – Psalm 51; Psalm 119:59,60
As ministry leaders, let’s go from being fruit inspectors to being root inspectors for the honor of Jesus and for the development of additional leaders