Growing in the Kingdom of God

Desire to have roots…

God is first and foremost a story teller. He teaches us by stories. So, I am going to tell you a story about trees and what one scientist found out. This is taken from an episode of the Bioneers: Revolution from the Heart of Nature series an interview with Suzanne Simard, Professor of Forestry at the University of British Columbia, is an expert in the synergies and complexities of forests and the development of sustainable forest stewardship practices. You can also watch this video TED Talk, How trees talk to each other | Suzanne Simard.

Simard’s research has found that – although the forest is a raucous symphony of life – it also has amazing soloists. Among these soloists are “Mother Trees.”

Trees Image by jplenio on Pixabay

Image by jplenio on Pixabay

It turns out they’re crucial to the vast below-ground cooperative networks that connect, protect and nourish all trees – connections well known to ancient aboriginal cultures. There’s good reason to call them “Mother Trees.”

Most people don’t know this, but when you’re walking in the forest, you see these big, tall trees, and you think, Oh, that’s the tree. But actually, there’s as much going on below ground as above ground. A tree grows tall, but it’s got a root system that also grow outwards. And a mature tree in our temperate forest will have root systems that go out about 30 meters. That’s like 100 feet. The systems are as wide as the tree is tall. So that means that in trees, in a fully occupied forest, are only like a few meters apart, so that means that their root systems are completely overlapping.

On top of that, every root tip on those trees, those massive overlapping root systems, every root tip has got a mycorrhizal fungus that’s linked to all the other trees.

mycorrhiza

Illustration by 2D animator and illustrator Jules Bartl>

Mycorrhiza - Mycorrhiza, which means “fungus-root,” is defined as a beneficial, or symbiotic relationship between a fungus and the roots of its host plant. This relationship is a natural infection of a plant’s root system in which the plant supplies the fungus with sugars and carbon and receives water and/or nutrients in return.

A big old tree will produce cones and set seed. The seed falls at whatever time of the year. It disperses its seed often in the spring. seeds fall to the forest floor, and immediately, there’s a lot of communication going on between the seed and the bacteria and the fungi in the soil.

So, then the seed germinates, and within a month or two, the and becomes colonized by a mycorrhizal fungus. That fungus is actually part of the big old tree that produced the seed, so that big old tree has already got a network of fungi, and the seedling, with its little root system, hooks into the network of the old tree.

The old tree immediately starts communicating with the seedlings through the network. And the way that the old tree does that is it sends carbon down into its root system, into the mycorrhizal network, and then the little seedling takes it up, and when a seedling is really young, just like in our own kids, they can’t look after themselves completely. It takes a little while. They’ve got to build leaves and they’ve got to grow a little taller, and they’ve got to photosynthesize enough that it’s more than respiration so that they can produce their own food. But at first, they can’t do that, especially if it’s shady.

(Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms where sunlight splits the water molecules (made of hydrogen and oxygen) held in a plant's leaves and releases the oxygen in them into the air.) Image by Markéta Machová found on pixabay.com.

That’s a behavior that has got intention and consequences, and there’s decision-making going on there. Right? There’s a choice. And we could deconstruct that to physics or something like that, but when we were starting to discover that she recognized her kin and could send more resources, I thought that’s wisdom, because there’s intention there. There’s a sentience.

Image from Wikipedia

Photosynthesis
permaculture

A healthy polyculture system would consist of a mixture of plants that communicate with each other and interact with each other well. There would be deep-rooted ones, middle-rooted ones, some that are—maybe the vineyards are shallow rooted. And what happens under a drought situation is that those plants, the deep-rooted ones, like the trees, will access water in the deep aquifers, bring it up, and share it with the vineyards, for example, through mycorrhizal networks. And then you keep the whole system watered. The water cycles through the system and it keeps it living, and a living canopy will trap more water, there’s more transpiration going on, there’s–you know, they’re accessing other parts of the soil profile that are bringing up nutrients as well, and then if you do that, you have a resilient system. But that’s all based on our understanding of how these plants are able to communicate with each other and access different pools of resources in soils that results in a really healthy and resilient plant community.

Suzanne was sent in to find out why some of the firs in the tree plantations were not doing as well as the healthy young fir trees in the natural forest. She found that in the natural forest, the more the birch trees shaded the Douglas fir seedlings, the more carbon in the form of photosynthetic sugars the birches provided to them through the mycorrhizal network belowground.

Birches are also full of nitrogen, which in turn supports bacteria that do all the work of cycling nutrients and creating antibiotics and other chemicals in the soil that counter pathogens and help to produce a balanced ecosystem. It is the diversity that make the system strong and healthy. God created a symbiotic relationship between the Douglas fir and the birch tree. We need each other.

We are not meant to live in isolation. Planting all one crop in one area for years depletes the soil. Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death. God’s way is diversity and community we just need to seek God for His way of doing things.

I encourage you to watch some the videos which explain in more detail this process. When I saw this video, TED Talk, How trees talk to each other | Suzanne Simard I saw how God created the trees to live in harmony together. No competition but a nurturing relationship. Creating a thriving community. I believe God expects us to be the same, living in harmony and nurturing others in the word of God.

When you get born again, you are that new sapling just beginning. This beautiful gift God gave us in the trees shows us how staying connected to God and our elders is important. To lean on their experience of living for God by faith, but always pointing us back to Jesus and the word of God. As elders we are to nourish the newborns with love, respect and peace. Share our wisdom and understanding of the scripture, show them how to develop a relationship with their Father. Romans 14:17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Create an atmosphere where life can flourish and the spirit of God can move.

This beautiful example of a healthy forest community is a depiction of the abundant life Jesus died to give us. A community of giving relationships of love and respect just like God.

Your background may not have been a good one. That makes community in the church even more important. Purposing in your heart to renew your mind to the truth. Living with intention and learning patients. Romans 12:2 “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

Matthew 13:11 He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.

You now have the spirit of God living inside of you and will guide you into all truth. John 16:13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. The next few scriptures show God’s opinion on growth in the kingdom.

Ephesians 1:18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

Matthew 13:16 But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; 17 for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

Matthew 13:23 But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”

Matthew 13:31 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, 32 which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.”

I think you can see God put a heavy emphasis on growth. He wants us to be fruitful and multiply the kingdom. There is a purpose He has birthed in you to be blessed and be a blessing. Pray God will create a knowing in you of who you are in Christ and your purpose.

Isaiah 55:6-13 Seek the LORD while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the LORD, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon. “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts. “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower And bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. “For you shall go out with joy, And be led out with peace; The mountains and the hills Shall break forth into singing before you, And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree, And instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree; And it shall be to the LORD for a name, For an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”

I asked God, "What is failure to you, God? His answer was - Not trying!

I asked God, "What is success to you, God? His answer was - Not giving up!

Below are guidelines to knowledge of God's will, wisdom and spiritual understanding. God bless you on your journey as you grow in the kingdom!


Studying the Word of God
  1. Read the Word of God daily
    • Set a special time every day
    • The Word is alive and will renew you
      • Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
      • Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
      • Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
    • Always ask for your eyes to be opened
      • Ephesians 1:18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
      • Colossians 1:9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
      • Proverbs 29:18 When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild. But whoever obeys the law is joyful.
    • Knowledge of the Word of God is key to victory
      • Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing you have forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
  2. Pick a subject and study it out
    • Who you are in Christ!
    • What is the blood covenant?
    • What is the kingdom of God?
    • What are my rights as a child of God?
    • What is the nature of God?
    • Find Jesus in every book in the bible.
    • YouVersion bible app has many studies you can go through.
  3. Create a Prayer journal or War binder
    • Write down YOUR vision
      • Habakkuk 2:2 And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that reads it.
    • Write down the wonderful works of the Lord, that you may remember His goodness.
      • Deuteronomy 6:12-15 “be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
      • Psalm 106:13 But they soon forgot his works; they did not wait for his counsel.
    • If you have not had many borrow them from someone else. Find a story in the bible that matches your situation and pray for victory in that area.
    • Create pages with special scriptures to you.
    • Write prayers based on scripture.
    • Pages with list of things and people to pray for.
Fellowship
  1. The story of the trees is a wonderful example of community.
  2. Communicate with your Father daily and receive His wisdom and spiritual refreshing.
    • Genesis 3:8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
    • Isaiah 54:9 “For this is like the waters of Noah to Me; For as I have sworn That the waters of Noah would no longer cover the earth, So have I sworn That I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you.
    • Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
  3. Get established in a community of believers that are strong in faith
  4. Join a bible study group, or create one
  5. Meet with strong well establish believers with lots of wisdom, discuss issues and take council.
    • Proverbs 11:14 Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.
  6. Seek peace and pursue it.
    • Psalm 34:14 Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.
    • Eph 2:14-22 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. 17 And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. 18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.
Serving
  1. Attitude of Gratitude
    • Ephesians 5:19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;
    • Proverbs 17:22A joyful heart is good medicine, But a broken spirit dries up the bones.
    • 2 Corinthians 9:12 For the ministry of this service is not only fully supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God.
  2. The blessing is in giving with a pure heart into the kingdom of God
    • Acts 20:35 In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
    • Hebrews 13:16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
    • Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure, you use it will be measured back to you.”
  3. Find your purpose or talent
    • 1 Peter 4:10 NIV Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms.
    • Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
    • Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Evangelism
  1. Testify of the Goodness of God
    • Isaiah 61:1-3 “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, 3 To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
    • Mark 16:15-18 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who [d]believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
    • Hebrews 2:4 God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will.
  2. Ask a question, if God could answer one prayer for you, what would it be? Then pray and believe God will answer that prayer. Enter in your pray binder and continue praying.
    • Mark 11:23-24 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. 24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.
    • 2 Chronicles 20:9 And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.
Never give up! Never Surrender!