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Friday, August 4, 2017

Radical Roots - 101

Faith is what makes real the things we hope for. It is proof of what we cannot see. 
(Hebrews 11:1 ERV)

Look up faith in any dictionary and you are likely to find a definition referring to the belief or trust in God one might have. This morning, I'd like us to consider what "radical faith" looks like - because I think this might just be what God intends for each of us. Faith is more than just a belief - it is a lifestyle - an allegiance and loyalty to someone or something. I have said it before, I can believe my car will start when I hit that ignition button each time, but I am like the rest of you - there have been times when I have just plain had a dead battery! The engine doesn't kick over - the car goes nowhere - and I am stuck wherever it is I am until that changes. In Arizona, the cells of these batteries dry out way too quickly and even "maintenance-free" batteries need maintaining! In our spiritual walk, sometimes what needs to happen is a little less of that "blind trust" - we need "roots" to our trust - and those roots need a little maintaining. 

Radical faith is that which has roots - solidly planted, immovable, and tapped into that which will nourish and make complete. Did you ever realize we get our word radical from the Latin word "radix" - the same word we get the word "radish" from. It refers to a root - that which gives anchorage and support. It refers to the "essential core" of something or someone. Our faith is defined by what is at the "essential core" of our lives - be it ourselves or God - that "core" is what will give us immovable anchorage or give way whenever the undermining effects of sin and pride get the best of us. We need deep roots - they help us stay "anchored" in what is going to see us through - they are always hopeful because they continue to grow toward that which gives them continual and ample supply!

Paul goes on in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews to remind us that faith helps understand what we cannot see - but which is all-powerful and all-knowing. It helps us understand the "unseen God" of the universe. God wants us to enjoy the blessing of knowing him deeply - of full restoration into fellowship with him. From there, we grow deeper and deeper in our devotion to him. That devotion fuels our passion for living and our delight in even the simplest of things. There is much to be said about having "good roots" - but equally as much to be said about where it is we find "a foothold" for those roots! Maybe it is time to not so much say we have "no faith" or "faulty faith", but that we look at where it is we have taken root. That place of our deepest roots should be will be where we go to find our strength. If it is barren ground, we can have all the roots we want, but we will still live barren lives. Just sayin!