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Psalm 92:13 says those who are planted in the house of the Lord will flourish.
I suppose people could read about being planted and conclude that as long as they are going to church somewhere, they are planted, even though they might be in a different church every third year, give or take.
But is simply going to church to punch your time card what it means to be planted? I submit to you that this is not what God has in mind.
The word planted in this verse expresses the image of being immovable and in a fastened location. When a tree is planted in the ground, for example, it does not move from place to place. Anything that is planted is, by definition, stationary.
The fact that Psalm 92:13 uses the term planted in reference to being in the House of God makes it seem as though God is telling his children to find a place of worship and then sit still. Like what a parent might say to a restless child, it seems like God is saying to his children today, “Find a church and plant it!”
The Greek word for church is “ekklesia,” which means, “called out assembly.” It is not until you assemble together with other believers that you have church, or an assembly. While Christian conferences and TV are wonderful in many respects, they do not constitute an assembly, because they do not provide opportunities for you to serve or be under any ecclesiastical authority, which is part of God’s plan to propel you into your ultimate destiny.
It is vitally important that you find a pastor with whom you can partner, and then come alongside him to support the vision that God has given him for that particular church and body of believers. When you do, you will flourish if you serve with the proper attitude.
The word flourish in Psalm 92:13 provides an image of blossoming like a bud. Flourish is defined in Webster’s as a period of thriving; to grow luxuriantly; to reach a height of development or influence. The promise of God here is that if you allow yourself to be planted, you can expect to experience productivity, luxuriant growth and influence.
In keeping with this agricultural picture, we must also note, however, that nothing can blossom and flourish unless it is planted and stationary for a long time. If a plant gets uprooted and moved from place to place, its root system will remain undeveloped, and it will never get the opportunity to experience growth.
Being planted (stationary) is a requirement for experiencing God’s promise of blossoming and flourishing. Therefore, it is imperative that you find the church where you know God wants to plant you, and then stay put through thick and thin so you can experience luxuriant growth in time.
1 Corinthians 12:18 tells us that God has placed each of the members in the body of believers just as he decided.
If, then, it is God who sets the members in the church body, at least two corresponding truths emerge.
First, you do not get to decide where you go to church. You have to be led by the Holy Spirit and not your changing emotions. And once God’s places you, you cannot then decide to pull up roots and plant somewhere else anytime you want and for any reason, unless, of course, you wish to exercise your own will over God’s.
Secondly, if God sets the members in their places in the church, don’t you think the devil would be hard at work trying to get those members out of their places through offense, discouragement, etc.? When members are out of their places, they do not fulfill their roles in the body. And when they don’t fulfill their roles, they also do not fulfill their personal destinies.
This is a very effective strategy Satan has been using since the Christian church began. Yet this tactic goes totally undetected by millions of churchgoers. No wonder the modern church is so weak compared to the first century church.
In this time of shallow commitments, I believe God is teaching his children the value of faithfulness. It’s time to get planted.
Edinburgh’s Andy Robbins is a former worship leader who pastors Columbus’ Blessed Life Fellowship. He can be reached at blessedlifefellowship.com. This column is an excerpt from his latest book, “The Shepherd and the Flock: Understanding the Blessing of Spiritual Authority in the Church.”
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