Friday, 25 May 2012

The Roots of the Righteous (2)

Think back to the first few years after your conversion.  You are likely to find out that those years, the instruction you received and the encounters you experienced, have defined the quality of your spiritual development.  This is so because the roots of your spiritual life began to develop during those years.

In the same way that the first five years of a child are crucial to the eventual course of his or her life, the first five years of spiritual development are most important.  That is why we are to desire the sincere milk of the word in the way that newborn babies do (1 Peter 2:2).  Sadly, due to the environment to which many believers were exposed in the first five years of their new life, the roots of many are partly in the word, partly in tradition, partly in religion and partly in church personalities.  Is it any wonder that many are not producing the fruit that the Father desires?

When the crowd got converted on the day of Pentecost, "they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers" (Acts 2:42).  What a way to start one's new life in Christ!  The New Believer Classes in many churches are miles away from this ideal.  Instead of connecting directly with the Father and learning the ways of the Spirit, the root structure of too many connect them with programmes and the ways of man.

I am grateful for the first five years of my spiritual life.  My conversion itself was a spiritual encounter that left a residue of spiritual grace upon my life (I believe it so for everyone, only that we need to discover over time the uniqueness of the grace that came upon us at conversion).  It was also during a prolonged spiritual revival, the Faith Clinic revival in Ibadan (Nigeria), which exposed me to the reality of the power of God, faith and the authority of the believer.  Then was my five years in University and involvement with the Evangelical Christian Union (ECU).  This exposed me to the evangelical tenets of faith and an awareness of calling, purpose and service in the Kingdom.  Those first years were not about what I can get from God but what I can give to Him.  I am still drawing nourishment from this solid spiritual heritage.

Sure, it is not the end of the world if a believer has developed a faulty root system in the things that pertain to the Spirit.  Corrections are possible, though sometimes painful to the flesh.  It is written that "if the foundations (roots), what can the righteous do?" (Psalm 11:3).  The righteous can seek God with an open heart and allow the axe of God's word to fall upon every root that has not been planted by Him.

Lord, let my roots be in you and you alone!

(To be continued...)


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