The first requirement is to BE THE RIGHT PLANT---A tree is known by it's fruit. Orange trees yield oranges, apple trees yield apples, etc. The tree that we are will determine the fruit we will bear. The contrast between a shrub and a tree is interesting. Both have the same environment, but a very different outcome. Shrubs do not bear fruit. They represent a life that is empty, a life that exists, but there is nothing there. No sense of well-being, no meaning, no sense of accomplishment. The tree, however, represents a life that is really fruitful. God wants us as believers to be fruit bearing. the tree that we are will determine the fruit we bear. Fruit is the expression of the inner nature. You are capable of bearing fruit! Fruit is the life of God being demonstrated in your life. Jeremiah 17:7 says "Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord, He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for it's leaves remain green and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit."
We might ask how does God develop fruit in us? He does that by allowing all types of circumstances in our lives such as a difficult diagnosis from the doctor, loss of our job, our home, loss of a loved one, financial problems. relationship problems, and the list goes on and on.
Second, WE MUST BE PLANTED IN THE RIGHT PLACE---We must have confidence in God and believe God and His word. We are not in control, it is not our will that will prevail, it is His! Finally, when we are exhausted from trying everything on our own, we give it over to God. We need to be planted close to the heart of God, our inner "hidden stream". We must be willing to say "I trust God in the midst of the drought, in the midst of the heat, and I will NOT be shaken just because there does not seem to be any rain, because I have a secret stream (Jesus), and I'm planted next to it and I CAN make it!"
Third, WE MUST GROW TO THE RIGHT DEPTH---Jeremiah 17: 8 says "he is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream." A very interesting fact about trees is that there is as much beneath the ground as there is above the ground. In other words, that trunk and root system goes down as deep as the tree is high, and then it extends its roots everywhere. When we face a drought, we need to be like the tree, which when thirsty, begins to send its roots down deep to find water. We don't need to fear when the heat comes, because our roots planted in Jesus will give us stability. We will grow straight toward the heavens, just like trees, and we will be able to withstand the storms because we are nourished by God's word. In a time of drought, a more extensive root system is developed. God brings drought into our lives to develop us. One of my favorite things I've learned about trees is that there are some types of trees such as Poplars or Redwoods, that share a common root system, which is extensive. They form an underground network like a spider web and they support each other. This is what the body of Christ is meant to do! When one of us is sick and we don't know where to turn, there is a fellow Christian to uphold them, when you're hurting so much that you can't pray, there is someone who will pray with you and for you, when you're going through a difficulty of any type, there is someone in the body of Christ to help you! We grow together, and we can't grow alone! Remember, God brings us time of drought to develop us. We CAN bear fruit in our desert. Our fruit is our witness to the lost world around us. We must maintain our "green leaves", because the world is watching! Both Christians and non-Christians go through the same trials and hardships. The difference is how we respond. We respond without fear, because our hope is in the Lord and only in Him. Your root system must be planted in God. Are you planted by God? Do you know Him personally? Have your roots gone to the hidden stream of God?
We need each other and we need the word of God. Pray for our church body to be united and one in the Spirit as we go through this time in the desert. Pray and fast for revival in our church body. Pray that there would be no dissension in our body and we would see His face and seek His will for us. Pray for God's mighty, righteous right hand to remain on McGregor Baptist Church! Send your roots deep in Jesus, my sweet sisters!