“And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.”
The words above are some of the words that Jeremiah sent to those who were captive in Babylon. In his letter to the captives, he told them to build houses, plant gardens, get married, have children, and “seek the peace of the city” where God had carried them captive. What God was telling these people through Jeremiah was that they needed to set their roots where they lived until the LORD chooses to bring them back to Jerusalem after seventy years of captivity. God knew that not setting their roots would create instability in His people, and He wanted them to be a stable people who could influence the city where they dwelled for righteousness.
Getting rooted where you live is critical to how much the LORD will use you. I have lived in several places since getting married. When I lived in Hammond, Indiana, my pastor counseled me to purchase a house and get rooted for my family’s sake and for the sake of my stability. When I left Hammond, I moved to Martinsburg, West Virginia, where I purchased a house and got planted in the church where the LORD had me. We left Martinsburg and moved to Longview, Texas, and again I purchased a home because I planned on living there for the rest of my life. Now that I live in Oklahoma City, I have purchased a home because I plan on living here for the rest of my life. In each of these places, I planted myself in the city because I planned on being in those churches until I died, and I wanted to give my whole heart to the church where I was rooted.
My friend, you will never be who God wants you to be as a believer until you get rooted in the church and place where you live. You will always be looking for greener pastures if you don’t set your roots in the city where you live and in the church where you attend. Getting rooted and not planning on moving has a way of placing your heart in your city and church so that you can influence people for Christ. In my experience, people who refused to get planted are people who struggle with having fruit in their Christian walk. I don’t know where you live or what church you attend, but I believe it would be wise for your stability, and for the stability of your family to get rooted in the place where you live.
Moreover, being rooted makes you a better servant for the LORD. It is hard for God to work through the person who is not all the way in. Setting your roots in the place where you live also sets your heart in that place because of the investment of money it takes to set your roots. Matthew 6:21 says, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” It takes time, money and effort to set your roots in a city and church. However, the time, money and effort it takes to set your roots will set your heart in your church and for the people of the city. Until your roots are set, you will be up and down in your dedication to your church and God.
You then ask, what if the LORD wants me to move in the future? If the LORD has you move as He has wanted me to leave each place, He will help you as you transition to the new place where He wants you to set your roots. Stop worrying about the “what if” and start living in the now. Let God take care of your future. You cannot be who God wants you to be without setting your roots where you live. For the sake of the souls of the people where you live, let me encourage you to set your roots deeply where you live.