When you want to grow stronger or wiser, you have to put forth some effort. I have friends who are into strength training and body building. They are often at the gym. They have a particular diet. They take steps to ensure they are building their strength. When one wants to grow wise, they study—sometimes this includes seeking a degree or taking classes.
In Colossians 2, we read about being deeply planting in Christ. Paul speaks of having roots that are firm and deep. How can we be planted in Christ? This takes effort. He has already promised that it can happen. He has already given us what we need to accomplish this firm foundation, these strong, deep roots. We need to make the effort.
To be fixed and founded in Him, we need to spend time with Him. We need to read His Word and write it on our heart. We need to pray. Note the phrase “continually built up in Him.” It’s not something a person just does one day—it’s a lifetime my friend. It may sound hard. It may sound time consuming. The truth is He has done all the work. We simply need to seek. Soon enough, you will find yourself wanting nothing more than to spend more time with Him. Wait till you see what He builds in you.
“Have the roots [of your being] firmly and deeply planted [in Him, fixed and founded in Him], being continually built up in Him, becoming increasingly more confirmed and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and abounding and overflowing in it with thanksgiving.” – Colossians 2:7 [AMP]
During the hot summer months, chocolate, gum, and lip balm do no fair too well. The heat does a good job to melt the items. Being a Hershey girl, I love chocolate. When you purchase chocolate at a store, by the time you carry it from the store to your car, the chocolate is already melting from the high temperatures. I always advise my kids to not open it, but instead to put it in the refrigerator so it can harden again. When the chocolate is eventually opened, it is interesting to see the new form of the chocolate.
Heat is often affiliated with changing the shapes of items so it’s no surprise to read about heat in the Bible. We read and the refiner’s fire and the furnace of affliction. We also read about taking a new form. When we accept Christ, we start to become a new creation.
There are times when we can feel the heat of the furnace of affliction. We are being pruned and built up. We are being challenged. We are being tested like gold. We find ourselves in these situations because we are called to be a holy people and little by little God gets us to where He created us to be as His child with a purpose. “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4 NIV)
“I will bring that group through the fire and make them pure. I will refine them like silver and purify them like gold. They will call on my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘These are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The LORD is our God.'” – Zechariah 13:9 [NLT]