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Revive Israel Ministries

"Rooted in the Faith"
 (A Call for Authenticity)
©January 12, 2007 Asher Intrater

We are called to be rooted and grounded in our faith through a strong personal relationship with God through Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah.

Ephesians 3:17
That Messiah may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love

Yeshua likened the word of God to a seed (Matthew 13), our faith to a tree, and our good deeds to the fruit (Matthew 7). One of the most important parts of a plant is its roots. The root can be seen as the character or integrity that backs up our faith.

Matthew 13:20-21
This is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. When tribulation or persecution arises because of the word immediately he stumbles

If our faith is not rooted in character and integrity, then we are likely to fall when difficult times come. The root, of course, is the part that is under the ground, not seen. Integrity and character are proven in situations where no one sees you, and there is no publicity.

Don't Be a Baobab
In our recent trip to Mozambique in cooperation with Iris Ministries, I couldn't help but take note of the Baobab tree. This is an enormous tree with a huge trunk, sometimes the width of a house. However, I was told by the local people that the Baobab tree is famous for its very short roots. An African saying goes, "Don't build your house next to a Baobab tree." The meaning, of course, is that by the first storm, the tree could fall on your house and destroy it.

The parable of the root is applicable not only to our individual faith, but also to ministry organizations and operations. Many ministries look good on the outside but lack character and integrity on the inside. They may be able to produce large attendance at meetings and large budgets, but their lack of rooting may cause them to fall in the long run.

In modern business terms, I would phrase it this way: we need to put more emphasis on Product Integrity than we do on Marketing Strategy. Too many ministries today are based more on their advertising power, than they are on the reality and purity of what they are producing.

Yeshua's name was greatly publicized because of the quality of what He did, without any advertising at all (Mark 1:45, Luke 5:15).

Jewish Roots
The parable of the root can also be applied to Israel and the Church. The faith of the ancient Hebrew forefathers and prophets is the root of the great tree of faith that has stretched out to all the nations of the world in the name of Yeshua.

Romans 11:16-18
If the root is holy, so are the branches. If some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you

God called the Messiah to be both a covenant to the people of Israel and a light to all the nations (Isaiah 42:6; 49:6).

If our messianic movement is to have authenticity worldwide, then we must have real roots established here in the land of Israel. Our branches and our fruit have to do with our spirituality, but our roots have to do with our being indigenous. Our movement is authentic and indigenous to the degree that our faith is involved in the real life of the people here in Israel. That includes speaking the Hebrew language, being citizens of Israel, paying taxes here, raising our children, serving in the Army, buying homes, and being involved in the daily work world.

It also means that we must be sharing our faith locally, caring for the needy, raising up Israeli disciples, and being a part of the history and culture of our people. Such a community that was truly authentic and indigenous can be found in the example of the first century messianic community, described in the Book of Acts.

The Remnant of Israel
Because Israel is the holy land, it is a fascinating subject for Christians around the world. This fact, coupled with the difficulty of sharing the gospel with our people and of becoming a part of the indigenous culture, can often present a dangerous temptation to the ministries based here in the land. We too have the danger of becoming like the Boabob tree, with much advertising and reaching out to the nations of the world, but without having an authentic community and indigenous movement here in Israel to back up what we are saying.

Isaiah 37:31
The remnant, who have escaped of the house of Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward

I believe this prophetic parable refers to the restored messianic remnant in Israel in the end times. We have a dual destiny, both to take root downward and to bear fruit upward. However, that dual destiny also represents a double challenge. For those who are immigrants, who came to faith somewhere in the nations outside of Israel, it is very difficult to take root within the local Israeli people and culture. For those native born Israeli (sabra) believers, it is also a challenge to learn and embrace everything that God is doing in the community of faith around the whole world.

May the Lord give us the grace both to be authentically rooted in Israel, as well as branching out to share the light of Yeshua around the world.

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