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The Setup



And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,


Ephesians 17b


Before any great accomplishment, there is the setup. Great meals don’t just fly out of the microwave or pop out of the oven. They all start with great ingredients, tried and true recipes, and techniques that have been perfected over time.


The same is true with great construction projects. They don’t just fall completed from the sky. There is a tremendous amount of prep work, planning, and investment before the any concrete is poured.


Even though I’ve watched many documentaries on the building of the Hoover Dam[1], I still just can’t get over it. The idea for the dam had been around for many years, but it took a decision to do it. And that decision was backed with plans, resources, and power to make it happen. Without the setup, there never would have been a Hoover Dam. Or worse yet, they may have built it only to have it collapse.


The same is true with our lives. There is no big change, no important accomplishment without the setup. There are smaller things that come before the bigger things. A foundation for change and growth in our lives has to be setup before the bigger, larger, more substantial changes and accomplishments come.


And what’s God’s setup for our lives to experience his power, so that we have some idea of the height and depth of his love for us? What’s his setup for us to know and be filled with the fullness of God? It’s not a light switch. It takes time for these two setups to be established in our lives.


  • Rooted – God has securely settled us, having deep roots that go way down, anchoring us to him. But more than just holding us in place, roots find and get lifegiving water for the entire tree.

  • Established – God has laid an unmovable foundation for the rest of the structure to sit on. Lose dirt and stones are removed so the foundation sits on bedrock.


God has rooted and established us. It’s not only done, but we continue to experience them today. They are not going anywhere. God has rooted and established the faith in Jesus Christ. He’s not going anywhere. He’s not going to change his mind. He’s not going to sell his house and move to another part of the universe. He’s not going to drive away in his RV.


With God’s rooting and establishing already in place, we have the opportunity to build our lives on him. When we’re rooted and established in him, we’re not going anywhere. With God’s deep roots and his firm foundation, we can securely face the trials and temptations of this life. And not be moved.


When God put these roots down, and established his foundations, they were put in place for the long haul. His plan is for us is not to avoid the storms of life, but to be able to withstand them. There is no guarantee that life will be without trouble, but that God is unmovable, he does not change[2]. and he has us in the palm of his hand.


For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.


Isaiah 41:13


When God takes hold of someone, he never let’s go. There is no prying his fingers from his tight grip on us. But God does more than hold onto us. There is a purpose, a plan for his holding on. When God holds us, we can release our fear. And why can we do this? Because God will help us.


He’s not just there, holding onto us. He’s there to hold onto and help us. God is actively holding onto us, and hard at work helping us. He’s not distracted from us. We’ve got his attention. He’s holding onto us so we can let go of our fear. And on top of all that, He’s helping us.


I don’t know about you, but that’s all good news. Through who he is, he’s rooted and established us in Jesus. His once-for-all sacrifice brings us back into full and complete fellowship with God.


If you are in Jesus, he’s holding onto you. Right now, you are the object of his loving attention and affection. And he’s helping you right now. You may not feel it. You may not see it. You may not sense it, but God is holding and helping you.


No matter the circumstances that have come over you like a flood. No matter the fear about the upcoming procedure or biopsy. No matter how people have hurt and abused you.


He is holding you. He is helping you. And that’s really good news.


Noodling Questions


  • How rooted and established do you feel?

  • What can shake your roots? What can knock over your being established?

  • How can you help someone know that they are rooted and established?

[1] https://youtu.be/n9Gy_1Ppw5U?t=134 [2] Malachi 3:6

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