From our Campus Pastor, Michael Booth:
Eph. 3:16-19 “… He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man. So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you being rooted and grounded in Love may be able to comprehend…..and to know the love of God which surpasses knowledge that you may be filled up to all the fullness of god..”
“When I purchased my home in Lancaster city I told a friend about my desire to plant a garden. He promptly told me “good luck with that, nothings gonna grow back there.” He said that the property that the house was built on was previously a vacant lot, where people dumped trash and that the soil was probably in bad shape. I had to rent a commercial tiller and turn the ground over to discover that there were rocks, metal and various other types of debris that would have prevented root development and plant growth. I then had to bring in new soil, compost, and other nutrients and work them into the soil before I could begin to think about planting the following spring.
Since becoming an avid urban gardener, I understand that the key to successful plant growth is the development of a good root system. To develop a good root system requires a good soil mix, nutrients and a good water supply. Just like plants, humans have a root system. Roots are the lifeline of plants and humans alike. Roots seek out and drink in water and nutrients. They also provide stability in the time of storm and soil damage.
Unfortunately, many believers come into the kingdom having been rooted in the rocky soil of guilt and shame. Roots in this soil become bound. They can’t sustain growth and are not able to take in nourishment to be sustained.
The sanctification (transformation) process for many us is like a gardener taking a potted plant and transplanting it into new soil. It has to be pulled out of the old environment. God sometimes has to pull us up out of the dry, rocky soil of shame and then plant us in the soil of His love. In the rich soil of love, fragile roots can begin to stretch, grow and take hold. In this soil real nourishment (His word) and real stability are possible.
Transplanting a plant looks like a simple matter but it’s not and sometimes it causes stress on the plant and it may take a while for the plant to recover and start growing again. No matter how gently God pulls us up out of the soil of shame, there will be distress. And sinking roots in new soil will feel like an unfamiliar and risky adventure. As our roots sink deeper into the soil of God’s love we will begin to experience growth that never could have been achieved in the soil of rejection and shame. We will become “rooted and established” in God’s Love. I believe that this is the goal every day when we come to WSM. To help uproot and remove the residue of guilt and shame from our guest and help them to become established in the love of God.”