The Tree of life by Klimt
"And out of the ground the Lord God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." Genesis 2:9
Yesterday I posted about things that don't work. They may seem to be light on our path to living life to the full but in reality they still leave us defeated, tired, frustrated and looking. Why is this so? Below is yet another quote from Side tracked in the wilderness by Michael Wells which sheds light on this.
"God commands righteousness of us, and yet we are told every righteous deed is like a filthy garment. Good and evil come from the same tree and are treated alike by God...they are BOTH REJECTED. (empahsis mine) Doing evil is a sign of disbelief that God exists or will judge, but doing good is a sign of unbelief in God's standard of acceptence. We prove that we do not believe God at all when we add to this standard. We are touching upon one of the greatest deceptions in Christianity. God does want us to do good works, but what makes a work fitting is not the content but its origin; if the source of the work is faith as Christ expresses himself through us, then it is acceptable. First Thessalonians 1:3 mentions work produced by faith, which is acceptable. But all other work is unacceptable, based on unbelief and self-righteousness." pg 30
In the Bible Jesus recognized the tax collectors and sinners as bad. They had eaten from the evil side of the tree. He knew they would be given to repenting for they knew they has done something wrong and most of those around them knew it too. However, Jesus did not hold the same hope for the Pharisses and teachers of the law. The tax collectors and the sinners would enter into heaven before those who had eaten from the good side of the tree and could not see that they needed to repent from their good works.
"No one around them (Pharisees) would testify to how truly repulsive and unacceptable their good works and self righteousness really were. There is a blindness that comes from eating from the good side of this most forbidden tree." pg 30
"Eating from the tree will cause us to advocate a very simple teaching that goes like this: You did evil, now do good." pg 31
"Are today's teachings yielding more additions to God's standard (faith) or promoting performance that would apply equally well to the Hindu, the Buddist, the muslim or the Morman?" pg 31-32
Suppose because of God's leading, I decide to spend my day playing with my kids in the park. It is the clear leading of the Lord that I do so. That may not appear to be very significant work, and yet it will reap for me in heaven a rich reward! WHY! Not because it was a great work or sacrifice, but because it was led by the Lord. It's derivation was from Him. His life in me! If I am living out His life I need not worry; the action, no matter how insignificant in my eyes or the eyes of others looking in on my life, will always be good. On the other hand, I might preach to thousands for my own benefit, glory, and exaltation. This work will be wood, hay, and stubble burnt up on the last day. The magnitude of the work was tremendous, but the source was not Christ's life within but my own efforts.
"The supernatural life is manifested in the small, often unseen areas of our lives in such things as peace, mercy, and lack of condemnation when wronged." pg 35
I have begun a habit each day as I awaken and begin to think about the coming day. I ask, "Jesus what would you like to do with my life today." The next good idea or thought that comes into my head is where I begin. Throughout the day my ear is listening for his gentle voice and His way through the day. He gets me over obstacles large and small, shows me how to handle difficult situations, and when I am in over my head he takes the wheel and deals with the issue. He points out kind things to do for those I am living around that day, gives creative ideas for homeschooling. He is my life...a life more abundant full and free!