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Passionate Christian, devoted to the propagation of the Gospel of Christ.

Monday, 14 April 2014

The Tree of Life

And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." (Genesis 2:9).

I have experienced God's miracles and I have no doubt that the story related in the book of Genesis literally happened. There really was an Adam and an Eve, a Tree of Life in the garden, and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. But this is not the point. What we need to do is get to the signification of those trees, and understand what they represent for us today.

God told Adam not to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, with the words, "For on the day that you eat of it, you will surely die". But there was no such prohibition concerning the Tree of Life. If Adam had eaten from that tree, he would have lived forever and never died. Instead he and his wife ended up eating from the forbidden tree, because they listened to a voice which tempted them to doubt the goodness of God. This is Satan's tactic today with us. We neglect the LIFE God gives and end up trying to attain it by going on a path forbidden by God.

How good it would have been had Adam instead chosen to eat from the Tree of Life! God had said, "Of every tree in the garden you may freely eat..." Adam could have eaten from the Tree of Life! In doing so, he would have known God in an even greater way, and would never have died in any way! If he had eaten of the Tree of Life, he would never have been interested in the forbidden tree. But having NEGLECTED the tree of life, it was really only a matter of time before he would fall to the temptation of eating the forbidden fruit.

A lot of times we get into trouble because we focus on the forbidden thing. We fight with temptation, and lose, because we focus on the temptation. God wants us to get our eyes off the temptation, and even off the moral rules of what would be right and wrong, so we can get our eyes onto what He is wanting us to focus on. We inevitably move towards our most dominant thought.

What does the Tree of Life represent? I believe in represents Jesus, the source of Life! Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth and the LIFE, no one comes to the Father but by Me!" (John 14:6). The gift of Jesus that is available to us represents far more than the forgiveness of sins. It represents the very life of God by which we can truly live abundantly! The whole secret then, is to focus on Jesus and not to be distracted by lesser concerns, even the concern of "is this good or is this evil?". If we learn to focus on Jesus, we will tap into the unlimited source of life, power, joy and strength that we need to be "more than conquerors" in this life.

When we truly "eat" enough of that tree, of Jesus, we will live forever. Sin in some form will always look attractive to us unless we get a new focus. I find Jesus is amazingly wonderful. He is looking for our worship, our fellowship, our attention. Along with the Father, He is the center of attention in heaven. In heaven there is nothing better than to be wrapped up in Jesus! The angels worship Him day and night, and stand in continual amazement. The only reason we don't feel like that here sometimes is because of our spiritual blindness. But however blind we may be, if in our hearts we begin to turn to the Lord, something will happen, and we will begin to change. We will come to know Him if we seek Him with all our heart.

Good change doesn't happen when we focus on ourselves. This might be a surprise to some readers. But it is true. Satan loves to get us to look to ourselves. A sure mark of a satanic religion is one that tells you to look inside yourself for the answer. There are many variations on this theme. One is the eastern meditation type thing, where you are told to get in touch with your own godhood. There is another variation, far more subtle, and far more likely to appeal to Christians. That is, to measure yourself up against certain moral or spiritual principles, and consider how well or badly you are doing, and resolving to improve. Multitudes of sincere people are doing this, and fail to realise that in this way they will never become what God wants them to be.

Looking at self is a fruit of eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Just knowing good and evil doesn't give you the power to do what is right, however. When Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden tree, they began to be self-conscious. They started looking at themselves. They knew they were naked. Until then, they weren't even aware of that. In fact, they were clothed with a kind of spiritual glory before they fell, and they lived in the presence of Almighty God without shame. After eating of the forbidden Tree, they lost that glory and began to be selfish and desire to escape from the presence of Almighty God.

The problem with looking at yourself and your problems is that you inevitably end up focussing on the evil within you. It is a law of the mind that whatever you primarily focus on ends up dominating your life. Its very important that God is Lord over the imaginations of our heart. Satan is doing all he can to oppose this, using such means as television, video games, unclean music, false religion, personal ambition, lying philosophies ... the list goes on and on. When Jesus doesn't have a major part of your imagination, something else does, and it works to make you fall short of the glory of God. No one ever became holy or better simply by seeing their weaknesses and resolving to change in their own power. No, the answer is still to go back to the Tree of Life, to Jesus. Adam and Eve lost this opportunity, but we regained it because Jesus Himself paid for all our sins at the cross, making for us the way to return to true God consciousness.

If you look at yourself, judging yourself by your knowledge of good and evil, you will either end up congratulating yourself for your good performance (self-righteousness) or becoming depressed because of the guilt of failing to live up to those standards. Neither of these results is what God wants. God made us for Him, and He is not satisfied when we prefer to ignore Him and become wrapped up in our own righteousness or lack thereof. He wants us to enjoy Him, to trust Him, and that only happens when we dare to take our eyes off ourself, trust the power of His cross, and begin to get our eyes on Him.

How To Get Your Eyes on Jesus

Attitude is very important here. God requires an attitude of faith. True faith comes through the recognition of Jesus. This knowledge of Jesus can come to us through anointed preaching and teaching of God's Word, through times of worship, through the direct action of the Holy Spirit enlightening us, through the study of the Bible, or through seeing Christ in a true Christian. In each case we have to see beyong the means God uses to reveal Christ to us, to Jesus Himself. We must not give our hearts to the methods and forget who it is about. If we focus on methods, even methods of Bible study, praise and worship, or anointed preachers, we once again fall short of the mark, and end up turning to the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, rather than to the Tree of Life.

Make Jesus your passion, and you will change. Don't be distracted by anything. Don't even allow yourself to focus on the ways God could bless you. Trust that in everything He brings you to, there is a way to see Jesus. Then your faith will grow strong, and more than that, you will be filled with the life of God Himself. This is the true fountain of satisfaction for the soul of man. Accept no substitutes.

Culled From: Christian-faith.com
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