Nourish the Hidden Root of Godliness

Imagine with me a warm, sunny day. We’re in a field, next to a small river. The sunlight is bouncing off the surface of the water while it bubbles over the rocks. Next to this stream is a tree. It’s a small tree. It’s branches are sturdy, the leaves are vibrant, and the fruit is ripe. This is good, healthy tree.

And this tree is a picture. It’s a picture of a healthy Christian. In the first Psalm we find this metaphor of a tree planted by streams of water. It’s leaf does not wither and it yields its fruit in season. And we ask, why is this tree so healthy, vibrant and full of life? Because it’s planted by the stream. The unseen roots of this tree have been constantly nourished by the fertile soil and plentiful water provided by the stream. And so is the person who meditates regularly on God’s Word.

Meditation on God’s Word is like a stream of water that nourishes the hidden root of godliness in our lives. Our hearts and our affections are changed as we give ourselves to slow, careful thinking over God’s Word.

We all want to be like that tree, don’t we? Strong, healthy, fruitful. Regularly drinking from the crystal clear, refreshing streams of the Bible. And yet, how often do we meditate? How much time do we make to slow down and sit with God’s revealed word?

We live in a world drenched with distraction. It’s everywhere - we can’t escape it. There are radios in our cars, smart phones in our pockets, earbuds in our ears, and TV’s or tablets is multiple rooms in our homes. It seems that our culture has attempted to design our lives in such a way that silence is going extinct, and deep thinking is in short supply. We allow ourselves to be overrun by the incredible technology available to us, and consumed by our favorite social media sites or sports teams. We live distracted lives, and so we neglect the grace of meditation.

If we would be health, maturing, multiplying Christians - if we would be that tree planted by streams of water - we also need nourishment. We must turn away from a life of distraction and give ourselves to nourishing the hidden root of godliness in our hearts by meditating regularly on God’s life-giving words.

So I exhort you: turn off the TV. Put away your phone. Take a break from social media and fantasy football. And give yourself to God’s Word. Soak in it. Drink it in. Nourish the roots of godliness in your life, that we may bear much fruit for God.

Pray with me.

Father, we confess that we are often distracted. We don’t feel the weight of your glory and your word as we ought to. We choose the trivial over the treasure. We often waste time rather than stewarding it as one of your most precious gifts. We don’t recognize the glory and the gift of having your Word, the Bible, so readily available to us. We ask that you would convict each of us of our own sin in this area, and help us to make meditation on your Word a daily retreat. A resting place. A source of great strength and joy as your glory comes alive to us through this discipline of delight. We know that if we cherish sin in our hearts, our prayers will be ineffectual. So would incline your ear to us and hear as we seek your mercy in this moment of silent confession.

Kyle McIver