Is there a difference between the thinking of a 20- or 30-something-year-old single male and a 40- or 50-something never-married single male about getting married? I will share some information on that subject in the next article. In the meanwhile, first, view this film clip released by Columbia Pictures in 1955. Then view the conclusion on the HERS page. It is quite humorous.

Man Praying

Roots Take Hold

By Justin Coleman

Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.” – Philippians 3:12 (NKJV)

In this passage, Paul states that he isn’t perfect, but he is pressing forward. He is moving towards something. He is reaching out to ‘lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me’. He is reaching out to ‘lay hold’ in response to what Jesus has already done. He has already taken hold of us. In response, Paul is reaching out to lay hold of the Lord in the same way.

How has the Lord laid hold of us? What does it mean to lay hold of Him in return?

Jesus often told stories and parables where he related spiritual truths with natural examples. This gives a visual representation to spiritual realities so that we can better understand the concepts and laws that govern the unseen realm. Let’s look at a natural example that can help illustrate the concept of the Lord laying hold of us and then us responding by laying hold of Him.

Think of a gardener planting a vegetable garden. They prepare the soil, plant the seeds, cover them over, and water them. After that, they might water the seeds regularly, but then it is up to time and the natural process to make the plants grow. When a seed is first planted it really isn’t doing anything. It has been placed into the soil. The soil, in a sense, has taken hold of the seed. The soil is holding the seed in place. The soil is impacting the seed. The water and nutrients of the soil are nourishing the seed and causing the seed to change.

The first big change is that the seed will sprout and start to grow. Roots will start to grow into the dirt while a stem may start to emerge through the surface. As the roots grow, the seed starts to take hold of the soil. If the root system is strong it can actually help keep the soil in place and prevent erosion. When the process first started the soil was holding onto the seed, but as the seed grew it started to embrace, hold onto, the soil.

In this illustration, imagine that we are the seed and God is the soil. When we first call on Jesus as our savior, He is holding onto us. He is embracing us. He is surrounding us. He is nourishing us. We aren’t really doing anything. We may not even understand what is happening. We don’t comprehend what He is trying to do in our lives nor the impact He is having on us, but if we allow Him to continue to embrace us, lay hold of us, then it will cause us to grow and change.
As we grow, we will sprout roots to lay hold of Him, just like a seed—by way of its growth by its root system—lays hold of the soil.

…that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love… – Ephesians 3:17 (NKJV)

Paul prays that we would be rooted and grounded in love. We know that God is love. If we want to have strong roots, we need to let our roots sink deep into His love. As we do that, we will begin to lay hold of Him in the same way He has laid hold of us. An embrace of love that will never let go. The soil holding the roots and the roots holding onto the soil.