Are You Hungry for God’s Word?
This week’s blog is another excerpt from my latest book where I, as a long-time gardener, expound on Jesus’ beautiful metaphor of abiding in Him the Vine (Jn 15). I want to help gardeners and non-gardeners alike to know how to actually abide in Christ the Vine.
A 30-Day Walk through The Master’s Garden
Day 12 Hungry Roots
New Dawn, a spindly rose longing to be more, says…
“What are we supposed to do now?”
Their new friends answered, “Our Keeper…wants us to become deeply established in the Vine. That will make us stable like one planted by a stream of living water.”
New Dawn listened and did her best to become more grounded in the Vine. One day, with much frustration, she said, “There’s so much I don’t understand!”
Oh, there were so many questions and concerns the undeveloped rose had! So as recommended by others, she turned to the Master Gardener Himself for answers. [Chapter 4]
When a gardener places a plant in a new area, it needs to develop a good root system that goes deep and wide. In the beginning, a good gardener will give it plenty of water and nutrients because it has few roots which are only on the surface. It’s important that a plant have easy access to these essentials until more roots develop. Fairly quickly though, he will water deeply and less frequently to stimulate the roots to go down.
However, no matter how good a gardener may be, the plant has to develop its own roots. He can only provide the right environment. If a plant doesn’t get established by producing a good root system, it will suffer greatly during drought.
I used to assume that Christians who attended a good Bible-preaching church were reading the Bible for themselves. That’s because I was ravenous to know God and His ways immediately after I was saved. Perhaps it was because I had a dramatic conversion from atheism, or because God’s plans for me were to be a teacher and writer, or because I’m simply a very curious person. I don’t know why I’ve always been hungry for God since I became a Christian; I’m just grateful that God has given me an insatiable appetite for Him.
However, I do know that God implants this hunger for Him inside all born-again believers. And the more we feed on His rich nutrients, the hungrier we get for Him. It doesn’t make sense that something so satisfying would make us hungry for more. But if you have experienced sweet fellowship with your Creator, you know exactly what I mean!
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! (Ps 34:8 NKJV)
It saddens me that so many people are missing out on the wonderful soul-nourishing truths of God’s Word because they are content to be spoon-fed by other people. It was great for me to learn about God from others and to hear their insights and testimonies, but when I started understanding the Bible straight from the Holy Spirit Himself, I got downright excited. To think that God would care to talk to me directly—wow!
To insure I was grasping His truths correctly, the Lord would confirm my understanding through biblically-sound preachers and teachers. It was important that my interpretation of the Bible did not stem from my own ideas or desires.
As I began to apply these Holy Spirit-revealed truths, they literally became a part of my inner being and part of my life’s experiences. They were my truths, not just the truths in the Bible. They were my experiences with the Lord, not others’ experiences. I began to have my own testimonies of God’s faithfulness to proclaim.
There are many reasons why people don’t reach down into the depths of the Scriptures for themselves. Busyness, laziness, uncertainty of how or where to start, and Satan’s interference are just a few. One of the biggest reasons is ignorance of what’s contained in the rich deposits of God’s Word. If people knew how truly satisfying it really is, their roots would hungrily search for more.
Although the Gardener doesn’t force any of us to grow, He will do everything He can to coax our roots to go down deeper, including bringing in periods of drought. He knows that if we don’t get more deeply established, we’ll never be able to thrive in this imperfect world.
Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked…. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. (Ps 1:1-3)
We need not be concerned with how to proceed or where to start. The Holy Spirit Himself guides the roots of each hungry plant to get the nutrient-truths necessary for its current stage of development. Our job is simply to seek after Him in His Word.
Tending Your Own Garden
† If you’re not hungry for God, ask Him to increase your hunger for His Word. (Jer 24:7, Mat 5:6)
† If you are not consistently and deeply taking in God’s Word for yourself, start today and start small. Commit to just ten to fifteen minutes/day. Trust God to help you develop this life-altering habit. Enlist others if you need accountability. (See the “Extra Nutrients” section for tips and resources in reading and studying the Bible.)
† Don’t get caught up in the details or stumped when you don’t understand something. Just keep reading and seeking. The Holy Spirit will give you the comprehension of the principles necessary for your spiritual growth— at the right time, in the right way, and in just the right amount.
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. (Col 2:6-7)
“Oh Gardener, …thank You for helping me understand so many of Your freeing truths!” [Chapter 15]
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Read last week’s excerpt: Of Great Worth in the Gardener’s Eyes
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Scripture taken from New International Version (NIV) THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica. All rights reserved worldwide.
New King James Version (NKJV) Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.