The redwoods of California grow for over 3,000 years. When settlers first went west in the 1800’s and saw the massive trees they identified where certain notable trees could be found. Some of the great Sequoias were given names. Friends were told about them, roads cut through them and tourists began to trek across the country to see those incredible trees. Everyone expects trees to be exactly where they have always been. In the thousands of years since a redwood sapling first pushed through the soil, not one tree has taken a walk. Being a tree implies fixedness.
Trees have the marvelously ability to stay put. This obvious fact gets taken for granted, but imagine the confusion that would result if entire forests decided to lumber off into the sunset. The ability of trees to remain upright and stationary is not a trivial facility. Tons of heavy wood is held vertical against gravity and remains that way despite the constant pushing of the wind. When a tree is toppled by a storm the root system beneath the surface is revealed and the trees strength becomes plain. As the tree grows up it also grows down and out. A great tree does not drive a little root into the surface of the soil and then shoot up a large trunk with many branches. Trees send out long fingers of roots that plunge deep into the ground and spread far in the earth.
Christian stability comes from depth in the Christian life. Growing in Christ requires a depth of personal, private knowledge of Him. Stability and strength in the Christian life is not found in service, great gifts or respect in the church. The Christian remains steadfast in the faith by a deep rooted, personal understanding of the Word and an in-depth, intimate relationship with Jesus.
The Christian must remain fixed in Jesus. At times this fixation may seem to lack a certain novelty, creativeness or interest. Just as it would be disastrous for a tree to lurch off through the forest in an effort to stretch it’s roots for a little while, so it is disastrous for the Christian to leave his fixed position in Jesus alone for a novel approach to salvation or sanctification. Once in Christ, stay in Christ. Let nothing distract or turn aside. Stay fixed on the Son of God.
Trees are also noteworthy for their growth. Most trees do not spring to a brief height and then remain a 2 inch sapling for the next five hundred years. Trees grow. Arboreal ancients continue to grow throughout centuries of life. Their deep roots allow them to grow to massive size. Great boughs hang off gargantuan trunks. A wide canopy hangs high in the air, all supported by a vast expanse of unseen roots. As growth continues the ever increasing root system allows the tree to prosper.
For Christians to grow they must be rooted and fixed in Jesus. Rooting in Him produces abundance. Fixing on Him creates increase. The Christian life is a life of adding to saving faith and of increasing Christlikeness. Just as the roots of the tree gather nourishment and fuel it’s growth, so the Christian’s roots in Jesus gather a sufficient supply for abundant growth.