It was the discussion I had with a young, new-age lady that stirred up the dust. One point that comes up again and again as I share my faith is that of walking the talk. “ Many Christians don’t act according to their confession’’ she said. “They live defeatedly and have a low mentality to life.” That day, the thought slammed my head that more than what we say in church, more than what we tell family, friends, and colleagues, our posture in the face of life toward a sick relative, unemployment, a bumpy marriage, disappointment, ill-treatment from people is a far greater witness. Our actions and responses to life outside the walls of the church prove our convictions
For Every 100 Decisions for Christ, 80 – 90 Fall Away
The statistic from the organizers of a Salt Lake City concert revealed that “ Less than five percent of people who respond to an altar call during a public crusade in 1991 are living a Christian life one year later. In other words, about 95% of people do not continue to live the faith life after their faith confession. Despite the absence of intense persecution like those experienced in the Middle East, our conviction is fast eroding. How can we develop a strong conviction in our Christian faith?
Knowing the challenge of continuously living out our faith, Paul exhorts us in Colossians 2:6-7, saying “And now, just as you received Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.“
I firmly believe there’s a correlation between our roots and being built up. There is a strong relationship between our initial reaction to the Word of God we hear, the strength of our faith, and our resulting impact.
Rooting Affects Building
The strength of a tree lies in its roots. Amidst toils and life challenges, we must keep at making every effort to keep Jesus’ Word and His love nature at the focus of our view. From the scripture above, I notice two key strategies from a tree that makes us people with an emboldened faith whose confession match their walk: developing deep taproots as well as fibrous/lateral roots.
1. Developing Taproots through Consistent Meditation
Taproots are critical in the formation of a tree. They are usually large, central, and deep-rooted; taproots are the base from which other roots sprout laterally, and they enable plants to gain water from greater depths.
Setting out regular quality time to meditate and ponder God’s word is akin to developing taproots. Most of the problems we face today arise from a lack of understanding. However, the insight we receive from any Word or scripture verse is directly dependent on the quality of thought and time we give it. Just as farmers must work the soil to get their produce, so must we work God’s word into our minds and heart to receive light (Psalm 119:130).
Meditation requires diving in and thinking deeply about God’s truth for our lives and situations. The need for meditation became critical for me when I embarked on a master’s degree with four little kids in 2013. Inundated by chores, academic work, and family responsibilities; I found gazillion reasons why I couldn’t carve out solitude time to digest God’s word. As a result, my emotional life began spiraling downward until I heeded the Holy Spirit to meditate regularly. Consistent meditation eventually opened my eyes to God’s grace, mercy and strength, helping me go through that season in my life victoriously. Meditation equips us with the spiritual muscle to delve deep into God’s fertile soil to access His grace for now and for the rainy day
2. Developing Lateral roots through God Consciousness
The lateral or fibrous root, unlike the taproot, does not penetrate as deeply into the soil. Instead, the lateral root helps to create a thick network of roots that are good at holding the soil together. Similarly, there are seasons in our lives where we find our selves in a maelstrom whirlwind. In those moments, we’re unable to find a foothold for our legs let alone set out regular quality times with God. Being constantly aware of God’s divine presence in the midst of life disruptions keeps our minds intact.
With interruptions in our lives like new routines in the home, a sick family member in the hospital, arrival of a new baby, as arduous as it may sound, we still want to strive to fill our days with times for prayer and reflections.
I encountered such a disruption at the beginning of this school year when we moved our daughter to a new school. My daily routine turned upside down. I remember, one-time God led me in setting alarms at different times in the day, reminding me to pray for my husband, my kids, and the church— Five-minute prayer here, three minutes mulling over scripture there, an encouraging text to a friend in there — all go a long way. Christ consciousness is about seeing and finding God in our mundane tasks. Talking to God about now and reaching out to hear Him. Like the lateral roots, Christ-consciousness keeps our mind sane in the uproars of life.
Here are some ways I’ve learned to practice God-consciousness throughout the day
- Pondering a part of scripture while taking a shower, walking or driving to work
- Praying while doing the dishes or folding the laundry
- Praying for a friend as they come to mind
- Setting alarms to pray for kids, spouse, and relatives
- Setting a time to pray for leaders, pastor, and church
- Call an old-time friend or a relative
- Send flowers or drop by to visit a senior
- Praying during morning jogs
- Sharing my faith on the street
- Conscious of God’s help when trying a difficult task
- Thanking God often for seemingly small things throughout the day
Being aware of God, what he has done and what he is doing in our lives, in our cities and people around us builds us up according to Psalm 28:5.“ Since they care nothing for what the LORD has done or for what his hands have made. So he will tear them down, and they will never be rebuilt .”
While meditation helps us build long-lasting habits of waiting, hearing and receiving bountifully from God, God-consciousness helps us apply the truths we already know about God, His ways and His character in seasons when life tries to dictate otherwise. Both principles are crucial to making our roots grow down into Christ, and our faith grows strong in truth.
We must hold firm to the faith in which we first believed. “Because of the multiplication of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold. But the one who perseveres to the end will be saved.” Matthew 24:13
God Bless You!