Two Trees, Two Fathers
I have spent some much needed alone time with Father, seeking His face for a fresh infilling of His Spirit. He has promised me a few months ago that He would fill me with His love. I sought His face and wisdom being determined to do what it takes. The Word says that He who has been forgiven much, loves much.
Reading 1 Corinthians 13, I wonder how it was that Paul could write about love with so much wisdom and understanding. Paul was never married and at a young age he grew up under the tutorage of Gamaliel. He chose to not be married in order to not be distracted as the servant of the Most High. Trust God to use the unqualified to write a whole chapter on love. Father reminded me that Paul, who not only killed many Christians in the "service of God" also persecuted Christ. He who has been forgiven much, loves much. At this I knew that for us to receive this great love of the Father, will not be by understanding or anything we do. It will be by a heart of repentance. Much like we find with Mary who being a prostitute broke the alabaster box and lavished her love on the feet of Jesus with many tears. She had been forgiven much and therefore loved much.
Most of us grew up in Church or have been taught about the basics of the Gospel, that God so loved the world that He gave His only Son. Love is almost a given to us. But the realization of God's love for us comes not because He says so, but because we have a very real sense of what we have been forgiven of. I realized that a deeper sense of what I have been forgiven of was needed and when I prayed about this, Father reminded me of Romans 8 where we read that we have received the Spirit of adoption. For us to have been adopted by our heavenly Father, we must have been rejected or walked away from another father. Most of us are not orphans in the natural, but there is another father.
The Holy Spirit took me to the garden. Adam and Eve were told that they were not to eat of the tree in the garden. That once they ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they themselves would die. And die they did, spiritually and physically. Sin entered in at that very moment, not just in their hearts, but even in their nature and from then on those who are born, are conceived in sin. The originator or father of sin, is the devil. The Word states in multiple places that the hearts of man are evil. In Jeremiah 17 we read that the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. When God looked down on the earth He saw that man's heart is wicked and continously evil. In Psalm 51:5 David says that he was shapen in iniquity and in sin did his mother conceive him. In John 8: 39 we read that Jesus said to the Pharisees that they do the deeds of their father, the devil.
We may have earthly fathers, but in reality we start off with another father. There comes a point in our lives that we no longer wish to be a child of the devil. Having seen that the price is just too big, we being persude by the Spirit of God, surrender our lives to Him and receive the Spirit of Adoption. But let us contemplate what I just wrote here. Eve is known as the mother of mankind. And the truth is that we all ate the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Not just Adam and Eve. The Tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil, is the FLESH. This is why we read in Galatians 5 about the fruit of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit. We are also told by Jesus that we will know false prophets by their fruit. Your fruit gives away who your father is. And this is where reality hit me square in the face. Jesus came in the flesh to crucify that flesh on a tree. For the Word says that cursed is he who hangs on a tree. Unless I understand of what I was guilty of, my understanding of His grace are limited. For what I was guilty of, was the original sin that changed the course of life for all mankind. It was not just Eve or Adam, it was me. Because I myself, conceived in sin, obeyed not just myself, but my father the devil. Whatever he told me to do, I did. I relished the fruit of that tree and my heart grew more wicked every day. There is no middle ground here. It is not Adam and Eve and the devil, and we are the recipients of their bad choices. No, we ourselves are being held accountable for the choices we made and the Word says that every man will answer to God about his works, whether they be good or evil. The flesh is in enmity with the Spirit (Romans 7) and this takes us back to the garden. Because the curse pronounced over the enemy was that the Lord puts enmity between the devil's seed and her seed. Her seed would crush the devil's head. This seed crusching the enemy's head is Jesus Christ on the cross...on the tree. The FLESH in which we were born, the nature of our father, the devil, is in enmity with the Spirit...it hates Him. This is what I mean with there is no middle ground. We all were once the children of the devil, we hated Christ, and we all ate of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. We deserved hell not just because of the particular sins we did, but because of the fact that we were the children of the devil. Let that sink in. Because this is what He has forgiven us of. We cannot look at sin just from a micro level, but we also need to from a macro. Because sin is not just little "boo boos" we make, sin is the nature and fruit of the flesh, the flesh that hates God. Therefore God does not distinguish between "little" sins and "big" sins. Because it comes from the same root.
He who has been forgiven much, loves much. When we truly contemplate the enormity of what we have been forgiven of, we cannot but fall on our faces and love Him. Love Him for dying for us whilst we were still His enemies. Love Him for adopting us, so that now we may call Him Abba. I am failing horribly at expressing the gravity and weight of what we have done before we were saved. Sin has been downplayed in life by so many different ways, but the reality of sin is best expressed by the cruelty and suffering of the cross. What it cost Him to save us from not only the death that sin brings, but from our father the devil. The truth is that you are even a child of the devil or a child of God. There is just no middle ground.
When we receive this revelation, we will know that we have been forgiven much. From out of us will flow a love for Him so rooted in gratitude and unworthiness. We will like Paul say that we are the least of all and that we are nothing. It will be authentic and it will be expressed by how we love. Not only Him, but the least of our brethren. Because there will be in our own eyes nobody least than ourselves. Extravagant love like that of Mary, will be poured forth from a heart broken by true repentance, just like her alabaster box. Because we know that we, being children of God, are now partaking of the fruit of the Tree of Life. Not because we have any good in us, but because He has been so tremendously good to us. The fragrance of this broken life is the knowledge of Him. No longer the knowlege of good and evil, but the knowlege of Him. To live from Him, rooted and grounded in His love. Strengthened with might by His Spirit in the innerman. Knowing the depth, width, height and length of His love. Not just by mere knowledge, but by experience - Eph. 3: 16 - 21. This knowledge of Him transcends human understanding, where we may enter into the knowing of Paul who wrote 1 Corinthians 13, not because he was so wise, but because he was a man who have been forgiven much, and therefore loved much.
"They will know that you are My disciples, when you love one another" - Jesus Christ.
When we take communion we no longer partake of the flesh we have lived from. When Jesus said we must eat His flesh and drink His blood, He in essence said that unless you consume Me and allow my nature to become one with you, so that you may now bear the fruit of the Spirit, and not the flesh, you cannot have any part in me. For where you once lived from the flesh nature of your father the devil and had his sin nature in your blood, now I am giving you my flesh, so that you may have My nature and live from Me. My blood now redeems your blood, your life, for life is within the blood.
Now we understand why He says there is no condemnation for those who no longer walk after the dictates of the flesh, but are controlled by the Spirit - Romans 8: 1. May we remind ourselves every single day of what and whom He saved us from, and just how great His love is for us, and that He loved us whilst we were yet still His enemies.