Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Reflections on the Tree of Life - Reproduction

“The Tree of Life: Reproduction”

We got a crop of apples off of our stick apple trees in our backyard this summer. They filled our trees and delighted us when we picked one and ate it. It was a gift to have a harvest because it had been two years since we got apples on the trees.

It seems that we’ve had to wait for long stretches to see harvest happen both physically and spiritually. But, things are changing. The Spirit is moving very intentionally right now; we are in a season of greater breakthrough in many places within God’s people.

I keep returning to two passages that make my spirit leap with joy. The first one I mentioned last week in Ezekiel 47: Fruit trees of all kinds will grow along both sides of the river. The leaves of these trees will never turn brown and fall, and there will always be fruit on their branches. There will be a new crop every month, for they are watered by the river flowing from the Temple. The fruit will be for food and the leaves for healing” (Ezekiel 47:12).

Trees go through seasons. Right now the leaves are turning beautiful colors of red, orange, yellow and gold, but soon the leaves will begin to fall off and the trees will stand naked with nothing to attract us to them. They lie dormant so that they can begin the process of growth, fruit bearing and harvest again.

But, notice that in Ezekiel 47 the leaves never turn brown and fall. The trees will keep their leaves for all seasons. The next statement is astounding: “There will always be fruit on their branches; a new crop will grow every month.” This doesn’t follow the natural rhythm of reproduction; it is very supernaturally exponentially multiplied.

Just so we won’t miss what God says in Ezekiel, he tells us again in Revelations 22:1-2: “Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit,[a] with a fresh crop each month.”

There it is. The tree of life will bear twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month.

How can this be? How can trees which are meant to bear a harvest once per year suddenly start producing a crop every month?

Look at what Revelations calls the tree: The Tree of Life. God created the Tree of Life to give us life! He put in the center of the Garden of Eden so that when Adam and Eve ate from it, they would live forever. The more that they ate from it; the more that it multiplied.

It doesn’t surprise me that we will find the Tree of Life again in heaven as we all know that we are meant to live forever in heaven. But, it does surprise me that the Lord showed Ezekiel earthly trees that will produce fruit monthly! It seems that the Lord wants us to experience “Heaven on Earth.”

He wants us to experience life in the way that he designed us to live. He wants us to swim in the river that both Ezekiel and Revelations speak about. In Ezekiel the river started out as a trickle but the more that the Lord was present, the deeper the river got until all they could do was swim.

Swimming is about letting our body go into a position of submission and rest. When we swim we no longer stand on our own two legs, but we trust the water to hold us up. It is much like that as we live life with Jesus. We have to be willing to let go so that he can move us through the river to the Tree of Life where we can experience the fruit of the harvest and to eat the leaves for healing.

Ezekiel 47 finishes the paragraph by stating that “the trees will bear a new crop every month, for they are water by the river flowing from the Temple. The fruit will be for food and the leaves for healing.”

Revelations 22 finishes by stating “The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations.” There it is again. Repetition. The leaves will be available for healing. Healing of our bodies, our souls, our relationships, and even entire nations. Could it be that the world could even live in peace with one another? Oh, the dream of a world that resembles heaven.

That is God’s dream. It happens as we swim in the river of life, eat from the Tree of Life and pick the harvest of monthly fruit. It happens as we understand that the leaves of the tree are meant to restore of the Garden of Eden, Heaven, to earth today.

How about you?

Where do you long to swim in the River of Life?

Where do you need to take the plunge rather than staying rooted to your comfortable and safe spot?

Where do you want to see a harvest of fruit every month? What dreams are you praying into? Not dreaming? Then ask the Lord to awaken your lost dreams.

Where do you need to eat the leaves of the Tree of Life so that you can live again?

Taste and see that the Lord is good, and that he wants to bring you life. Not just life in heaven, but life today! A life on earth that gives us glimpse and experiences of heaven.

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