Yesterday, we met with the church here in Konomala for our regular time to study the scripture for the week. Some extra people came who haven’t typically been engaged, so we adjusted and did a bit more thorough job of “framing” the text within the book of Romans before we started studying. Knowing what the text would be dealing with, we took even more time to set our minds properly within the larger narrative of scripture as well.
Then after a really helpful and encouraging time studying together, we spent a couple hours just discussing how God is continually leading us back to Himself as the source of life. HE is good; HE is what’s best; HE is what we need. We don’t need any more rules or man made “good things”. We need Him. We all had a good laugh at our own expense as we recognized all of the silly ways that we have been living for so long. The sobering reality is that we live so much of our lives in prideful independence as we rely on our own “strength” and efforts.
We remembered back to the very first day that we all sat together. Everyone had been quietly expecting us to reveal some sort of new and exciting secret that would unlock all the power and blessings hidden in the Bible. Instead, we introduced a simple picture of what we hoped to experience as we each humbled ourselves under God and His word. We pointed at a big tree and recognized how it produces fruit as it draws life from the earth through its ROOTS. Then we looked at a dead piece of wood that we had stuck in the ground and literally nailed some sticks and fruit to. We sounded like fools as we “convinced” everyone of how nice our own “tree” was because it had nice looking fruit stuck to it. We purposefully left the dead tree in the ground to show how the fruit would rot and decay as the days went by. Not long after that, a pig had a serious itch, and it rubbed our dead tree so hard that the whole thing fell over. Kind of a fitting end to the whole analogy, I guess.
Looking back there were only a few people whose hearts were ready to see and hear what God was revealing in those early days. So much of our lives have been spent in an effort to make a dead piece of wood look alive by nailing some rotting fruit to it. This is especially true about all of us “religious” people. Everyone praises us at first, then it all rots away because there was never any true life flowing through us. We get frustrated; some of us give up all together; some of us try again and again in an effort to convince ourselves and the world that we’re good and acceptable.
But the proposition is simple: we need to be SOURCED in true life in order to EXPERIENCE true life. Our independent efforts will never produce life because our roots are not connected to a life giving source.
Obviously there were so many layers that still needed to be properly built on that foundational principle. Now almost a year after that controversial introduction, we are getting to see God’s Spirit produce His fruit as people are humbly sourcing their life in Him alone. It’s amazing to watch God do the things that He has promised to do. When our hearts are postured appropriately in relation to our good Father, He does things that only He could do.
Keep praying for the church here in Konomala! And give God so much glory for the awesome things that He is doing in people here!
Pray that we keep growing deeper in our love for Jesus and in the conviction that He is all we need. He is better.
Pray that we model that real dependence faithfully within our family so that our kids can see it, desire it, and grow in it.
Pray for the couples, families, and individuals in the church. The truth is not hard to understand intellectually, but the natural things of the flesh will wage war against the things of the Spirit. People are growing as they engage with truth each day, but it’s uncomfortable and it’s messy.
Pray that we would collectively fight well and encourage each other on in the battle.
5 thoughts on “Root Work”
Seth, Thanks for the update and your insightful wisdom. Marcia and I have been busy getting old, and also moving to Idaho to be closer to our daughter’s family and some of our grandkids. Bob for both.
It’s encouraging to read your letters. Praying for you guys! Keep up the good work.
It’s good to hear these reports from you.
Love the analogy and that it is beginning to take root in the original observers. Aaron
Seth I really enjoyed this last letter from you guys. I think the thing that really stands out to me is how you & Kaitlyn have allowed God to work in & through your lives there in Konomala. We can see the progress & the lives there that are being changed…it’s very real. I can see & sense that you and Kaitlyn are growing as well. I can still remember back maybe about six years ago when we first met & then fast forward to now….wow God has taken you guys quite a ways in your journey !! And I’m well aware it has’nt all been a walk in the park…life really never is….missionary work really never is….God never really said it would be. However, God does provide absolutely everything that we need…even our faith & trust & strength to keep it going….day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute He is out there before us making the way. Jesus Christ beside us…holding the light so we can see ahead….the Holy Spirit giving comfort, guidance, & assurance. These are all things I’m sure you are aware of….you have a very keen understanding just like your dad…a very proud dad I might add !!Seth I’m a old guy & it seems I’m talking a little too much here…(normal for me ) Always my young friend, pray pray pray over everything….pray without ceasing….God absolutely loves our prayers….He calls our prayers a “sweet fragrance” unto His nostrils…WOW….amazing !!well I probably do need to end this note before I start to bore you to tears. Your pictures of your family are very sweet…I really liked every one of them !When you parents came to our church they shared everyone of the pictures from their visit with you, and we had a huge attendance that day….it was absolutely great. The highlight was the video clip you made that your dad played at the end. The gentleman & his wife’s testimony ( I think his name was William !?!) had me in tears ….what a blessing to see that clip the whole way to the end !!!As you know your mom & dad stayed with us….Seth you have the sweetest parents in this entire world….I love them !!!And they are so proud of you & Kaitlyn….and it’s not hard to see why….we love you guys the same as your mom & dad & look forward to seeing all those smiling faces in person some day.We send our love & prayersGod Bless You, Rick & Carolyn Keller
p.s. I just got WhatsApp and I need your phone number