Roots And Fruits

Mike Focht 6/7/2024

The picture of plant growth is the most common picture used in the Word of God to illustrate our spiritual life and growth. One of the most familiar and beautiful in all the Scriptures is that of the righteous man in Psalm 1. 

   But his delight is in the law of the LORD and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season. Whose leaf also shall not wither and whatever he does shall prosper.

   What does a life of spiritual growth look like? Like this beautiful picture! Here, we find a person delighting in God’s Word, thinking and praying daily, and constantly drawing life from living water. What is the outcome of this life? Continual and constant growth and fruit.

   If you desire to be and do all that God would have you to be and do in this life, you just need to abide in Him. A tree goes through stages of growth. It begins as a seed that is sown and then dies to live. The plant emerges as a tender shoot. It develops the strength to grow up as its roots grow down. It begins to produce small fruit harvests because its trunk and branches are not fully mature. Finally, when it has deep roots, a mighty trunk, and strong branches, a mature tree begins producing bountiful fruit harvests.  

   What does the life of a person planted by the river of life look like? A constant, daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly drawing from the one life-giving source! We draw in our youth, in our teen years, through college, our careers, marriages, family, and later years until we die. The Psalmist testifies, The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree. He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those who are planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age, they shall be fresh and flourishing.

   In the same way, our leaf also shall not wither because no outside conditions can stop the transfer of life that happens by abiding. That said, you and I do not experience our growth like a plastic pipe that is simply a conduit of water. You and I experience our growth in Christ like a living organism—a tree! A tree takes in nutrients from the soil, sun, and water but then makes those things a part of itself. The fruit produced depends on that particular tree’s specific nature and environment. In the same way, you and I take in spiritual life through God’s designed elements and then produce spiritual fruit suitable for our particular life, environment, and character. And the fruit that God produces through His Spirit’s life is always new, wonderful, and delightful.  

   As we remain rooted and grounded in Him, we will find our lives producing the proper fruit, at the proper season, in proper measure, and of the proper kind. We will discover God producing maturity, strength, and godliness in our character, marriages, families, businesses, and churches. All of this will happen by simply abiding. If you remain like a tree planted by rivers of water, one day, you will wake up where, who, and what God wants you to be!

   Again, don’t mistake fruit for ostensible results. The strength of the flesh can produce synthetic fruit, but true spiritual fruit only grows through the transfer of God’s own life. When it grows through His processes, it contains the seeds of more life within it! The fruit of a godly, mature life will always be glorifying to our Father in heaven. Do not fear to embrace the simple and slow process of growth God has encouraged by pointing us to a tree planted by a river of water. Embrace it. God will not let you down! Everyone has the chance to prosper like this!

   If you fear that past mistakes have hindered you or you have wasted too much precious time, begin your abiding now, and God will grow you as fast as He desires. And the remnant who have escaped of the house of Judah shall again take root downward and bear fruit upward.