Trees, plants, fruits, and vegetables have roots. Weeds do too, but I'll focus on the positive. Whatever seed is planted will produce roots. Those roots provide the grounding and stability needed for that tree, for instance, to survive, grow, flourish, and fulfill its destiny. The same is true with Christians. Every Christian has been planted, if you will, into Christ by the Holy Spirit, according to 1 Corinthians 12:13. We've been placed into what the Bible calls the Body of Christ. Jesus is the Head; we are the Body. As with any new life in the natural, we must begin to grow roots. Those roots lengthen and strengthen as we hear God's Word, believe it, and act like it's so in us.
Without a strong root system trees stop growing. Sometimes they die. Why? In part because the roots weren't protected; they weren't watered, kept weed-free, and allowed, in the case of an apple tree, to bear fruit. The same is true in our lives. Without a strong root system of God's Word, prayer, fellowship with other believers, and service, spiritual growth is stunted, even ended.
Neither God nor I want that to happen. Our root system depends on us to guard it, to see that it has every opportunity to reach its potential, in Christ. Our root system-our foundation if you will-needs our constant vigilance. It's up to us to, as Proverbs 4:23 points out, to keep (guard, protect) our hearts with all diligence. Why? Because the devil is a meanie; he'll try everything to keep your roots from even getting started, much less growing. If he can't do that, he'll try to isolate you, to keep you from influencing others to grow in Christ.
Guard your roots. Make the time and effort to check your roots, your foundation, to ensure that they are being fed what they need, to grow as they ought. Make sure your roots are both lengthening and strengthening. Someone out there needs to see your life as a living example of what the Christian life looks like in everyday life. Without your roots in place, branches and fruit won't be much to look at.
How well are you guarding your roots? What are you doing to ensure your roots are growing on a consistent basis?