An image of a tree with all its leaves and a view into the ground underneath it showing the roots
Spiritual Growth - Living a Life of Faith

How to Get Closer to God – Roots Before Fruits

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Have you desired a deeper relationship with the Lord, but feel like you don’t know how to get there? You may wonder how to get closer to God in the midst of life and its trials. You may feel stagnant in your faith and wonder if that is how you will always feel.

A few years ago, when living in South Carolina, we went through Hurricane Matthew. I never dreamed this Hurricane would result in a lesson on how to get closer to God, but God has some unique ways of teaching us what He feels we need to learn. So let’s look at how you can grow in your relationship with the Lord by examining our roots!

An image of a tree with all its leaves and a view into the ground underneath it showing the roots with text that says How to Get Closer to God – Roots Before Fruits

How to Get Closer to God – Looking at the Roots

This Hurricane frightened me quite a bit. For one, my husband was mere inches from being killed when a tree fell right next to the spot he had been standing in seconds before when he went outside to pull a loose shingle off the house before it could fly off and break a window.

When they say “stay inside” during a Hurricane, take it seriously!

That tree hit the house but thankfully didn’t do much damage (and didn’t hit my husband!).

On top of some other damage (minor really) that our home went through, our driveway started to buckle.

We had a very old, VERY large oak tree in front of the house and its root system ran under the driveway.

When the strong winds and torrential downpours pulled the tree slightly to one side, it pulled on the roots under the driveway and made them burst through some of the concrete. The tree was still standing, mostly due to the fact that, at its age, it had a substantial root system keeping it from toppling.

We appreciated that fact as it was right in front of the house.

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Building a Relationship With God – Being Rooted in Jesus

But looking at this driveway and seeing the roots underneath made me think about the roots of our faith.

It made me consider how to get closer to God and being rooted in Jesus.

We are called to produce fruit. There is much written in the Bible about the fruits of the spirit but also about our production of fruit as believers.

Matthew 7:17-20 is one such verse. It says:

Even so, every good tree produces good fruit, but the rotten tree produces bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will recognize them by their fruit.


You see, in order for a tree to produce fruit, it has to be healthy. A tree that is unhealthy will not produce good fruit, or any fruit at all.

In order for a tree to BE healthy, it needs to gain sufficient nourishment.

It needs water, it needs healthy soil, it needs food (which it gets from the soil) and it needs sufficient light based on the needs of that particular tree.

Everything, except the light, is provided to the tree by its roots. Without a viable root system, the tree will not gain what it needs to produce fruit.

It will likely just continue to exist without fulfilling its intended purpose or it may wither and die.

Like that tree, if we do not have a strong root system, we cannot bear fruit and be a light to the world if we are not well rooted (in our case, rooted in Jesus).

Matthew 13:3-8 says:

And He told them many things in parables, saying, “Behold, a sower went out to spread some seed. As he was scattering the seed, some seeds fell by the road; and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they didn’t have much soil. They sprang up immediately, because the soil wasn’t deep. 

But when the sun came up, they were scorched; and because they had no roots, they withered away. Other seeds fell among the thorns, and the thorns grew and choked them out. But others fell on good soil and were producing fruit. They yielded a crop—some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.


This parable that Jesus shared demonstrates the importance of developing strong roots thereby showing us how to grow closer to God, building a relationship with God and deepening our relationship with others.

He said “since they had no root, they withered away.”

Jesus made it clear; the lack of roots caused this withering to occur.

How to Get Closer to God by Developing Strong Roots in Good Ground

We too, like the seeds that fell on rocky ground, will wither away without producing fruit because we lack those roots.

So how do we ensure our roots are like that big old oak tree that was in my yard, resisting wind and rain and the storms of life?

Ephesians 3:17-19:

…so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.


Being rooted and grounded in love!

1 John 4:8:

Those who do not love, do not know God; because God is love.


God is love! Knowing God is knowing love!

How do we know God?

His Word!

How do we develop our relationship with God in love?

Through prayer!

We become rooted and grounded and produce fruit when we know His Word and do it, showing love to others!

Rooted in Jesus Through the Word

His Word is the light that gives us growth as the sun gives the tree the light it needs!

Jesus is the bread of life! He is the living water! He fills us, through His Word just like the tree gets its nourishment through the soil!

The more time we spend in the Word, the deeper our roots run and the more fruit we will produce.

As God’s love takes root in us, we will do that which He desires of us!

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Yes, producing fruit is important for the believer in pursuing how to grow closer to God and in being a light to others, but cannot be achieved without healthy roots.

Focus on the roots…being rooted in Jesus…and we will overflow with fruit!

Have you discovered other ways to draw from the living water, deepen your roots to help you learn how to get closer to God? Share what you have learned in the comments!

And be sure to get your FREE SOAP Bible Study Workbook below!

Lyrics Translated:
The voice of the Lord is on the water, on many waters
The voice of the Lord is in power, the God of glory thunders
Let him who thirsts come and drink water abundantly
Let him who hears come and know living waters given freely

How precious is Your grace my God
Those who find You will trust in You Adonai
Fountains of waters will be revealed for us in the desert
(Rivers of living waters will burst forth from within us)
For there is no lack for those who fear the Lord

There is a river that flows from His throne
We will rejoice and be glad in it

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CJB – Taken from the Complete Jewish Bible by David H. Stern. Copyright © 1998. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Messianic Jewish Publishers, 6120 Day Long Lane, Clarksville, MD 21029.

NASB – “Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Copyright by The Lockman Foundation”

Tree of Life (TLV) – Scripture taken from the Holy Scriptures, Tree of Life Version*. Copyright © 2014,2016 by the Tree of Life Bible Society.  Used by permission of the Tree of Life Bible Society.

Originally published 1/20/2019


  1. Powerful message, Diane. Sounds scary to have to go through the hurricane and thankful your husband was not hit. Love all the verses you shared and the insight about being rooted and grounded in Christ, God’s Word, and bearing fruit. It also reminded me of Psalm 1.

    “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.” (Verses 1-3, NIV)

  2. Natural disasters are definitely horrifying experiences. I’ve been through both hurricanes and tornadoes. We had several trees uprooted through tornadoes and it’s amazing when I see those root balls on top of the ground instead of underneath where they belong.

  3. There is so much truth here. We must be deeply rooted in our faith in Jesus Christ. I know there have been times in my life that I was not rooted and it had heartbreaking outcomes. When the storms of life come in we must be prepared. Thanks for spreading Truth and Love Diane.

  4. I’ve visited that tree in the picture before. It’s awe inspiring! When we compare our roots in Christ to the roots that tree has, we can understand that we all can grow even more rooted in the word and grow more and more.

  5. Oh, how much I long for good roots! It’s easy to get distracted by all the things we see (and the things everyone else will see), but more than anything I want to be deeply rooted in God. I want to have strong roots that withstand the storms.

    (and I’m glad you’re all ok!)

  6. I just love this comparison! The tree would have been damaged, and so would your house have been, if not for it’s strong, healthy roots! Thank you for sharing this, I needed to read this right now.

  7. Living in Atlanta, I had an oak in the front yard. It probably saw Sherman march through. We were concerned it would fall, it has gone through tornadoes and ice storms, it is still there. I wish I did know the age of it, I read so much history, some soldier may have taken cover there when it was young. I can’t say it was there for sure but it is possible. Having deep roots keeps us standing in any storm.

  8. I see so much lately that promotes getting into God’s word deeply through reading our bibles. And really spending time knowing who God is and our identity through Him. This gives me hope that God’s word is becoming a focus of many so that we can stand tall and steady throughout any storms or attacks by the enemy! Thanks for following God’s call and bringing this message to others.

  9. The hurricane story was so scary! Glad to hear the your hubby was not hurt. The verse from Matthew is one of my favorites. “Roots before fruits” is a great way to live your life.

  10. YES! I love this! It reminds me of Psalm 1 – I want to be the tree that never withers. George Muller had a lot to say about the necessity of time spent in prayer and God’s Word in the life of a fruitful Christian. (I was going to share a quote here, but there are too many. 🙂 )

  11. Such great points! I know the “be fruitful” tree analogy well, but I tend to forget about those details of how trees actually get their nourishment. We need deep roots for sure. For me right now, I’m trying to grow in my prayer life, specifically in praying continually throughout the day.

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