In the Garden of Eden, there was a tree of life and a tree of the knowledge of good and evil. One of the trees gave life on a daily basis, whereas, the other tree meant death. Then as we know, about 4000 years later, Jesus died upon a tree which we call the cross of Calvary.
“Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” I Cor. 1:20b
I don’t know about you, but my senses, touch, eyesight, hearing, etc. tells me that if I go to the cross, I will die, and it will be painful as well as horrible. What I feel and see is what I understand. Sometimes this understanding (my carnal or flesh) screams so loudly, that I have to really fight to do what is right. The basis of many people’s wisdom, it is what they understand and believe to know.
I understand more than the ancients, (aged) because I keep Your precepts.” Psalm 119:100.
“Behold, I have taught you statues and judgments. . . Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding. . .” Deuteronomy 4:5a, 6a.
From these scriptures, we can see that it is in obeying the Word of God that we gain wisdom and understanding. Wisdom and understanding is life and joy when it fills us. So, let’s walk this out and learn just how to apply this!
Jesus said, “He who saves his life will lose it, but he who loses his life will save it.” Matthew 16:25. The verse right before that He talks about taking up your cross.
When you die to your understanding (as we discussed above) then you are free to obey the Lord, which means you give away yourself and throw yourself (understanding etc.) onto the cross. The painful part is getting there (to the cross). Once you lay yourself on the cross and submit to letting Christ have His way (rather than your own) ~ that surrendering immediately ushers in peace and joy! Such a release! You are free! You have just let Christ come in, so the Holy Spirit will then bring you the liberty; which Holy Spirit ALWAYS does. The more you do this (and loving God is the power to do this) the easier it gets.
So, now you have partaken of the Tree of Life. It’s always a choice. Life or death. “Choose you this day which way you shall go.” Deuteronomy 30:15&19.
When you choose death, you have then chosen to lean on your own understanding (see Proverbs 3:5), which means that you desire to have your own way instead of letting God have His way. You do not want to choose death. That would lead to guilt, depression, lies, pride, and any number or names of darkness. Those names then have easy access to you when you choose your understanding over trusting God. This of course, just widens the door to more sin (and the curses that come with that; and every time you choose your own way over God’s, you are given in to rebellion or stubbornness.
Therefore, if we take up our cross daily, we are eating the bread of Life, our daily bread, the Tree of Life. Jesus said He IS the Truth, the Life, and the Way. He also said that His bread is to do the will of God. Christians do what Christ did, which means we put on His Holy Spirit to hear God’s will for us.
When you choose the Tree of Life, the curse of sin is broken off of you and you get to receive Eternal Life!! Living in repentance ushers in the blessings of the covenant and the promises of God.
So now we can see that the two trees still exist, the choice we daily are confronted with. If you are going to the cross each day, each day you have a testimony! It is going to the cross that gives you life and victory. It is the cross that gives you peace and power of supernatural proportions that the world does not know. It is the cross (because of His sacrifice and shed blood) that sets you free from sin and fills you with a love that the world cannot give. This is what shows in your daily life, and this is what separates you from the world. The world will see and want what you have, because they don’t have it.
Let’s pray. “Father in Heaven, thank You for giving us the keys to life through the cross of Calvary. I choose this day Life! I choose to surrender the easy and the difficult things to You so that I can walk in that Life, and more abundantly! I thank You for equipping me with grace and mercies to make the right choice (choosing You) each and every time. I thank You that this leads me from glory to glory, and that the world will see Your glory, Your light in me, and want You too! I love You Father, with all of my heart. I want all to see You in me. Thank You for this, in Jesus’ great name, amen!” (Amen = so be it)