The Tree of Life
By: Alan Smith
In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (NIV)
"You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die." (NIV)
I once heard a preacher say, “How good is good if God did not want us to know it?” We usually see in the verse above the word “evil” but not the word “good”. Why did God not want us to have this knowledge of good and evil? What else was there to know? Well, look again, because there was another tree mentioned. It was called the tree of life. God wanted us to partake of the tree of life every day. Why, you might ask? Could it be that God was trying to tell us something? Let’s consider this in the natural for just a moment. Why do we need to eat food every day? We eat food every day because our bodies need the nourishment to sustain life. However, it is also vital for our body to get “healthy nutrition” every day. There are all kinds of diseases and viruses trying to take over our bodies. They are like unwanted parasites: parasites that are sucking the life from us. When we feed our physical body life-giving food, it helps to strengthen our immune systems so that we can fight off physical diseases, viruses, and infections. Just as our physical body needs healthy food, our spiritual body needs healthy food to fight off spiritual diseases, viruses, and infections. Our spirit needs life-giving food poured into it, not death. When we spend all day judging what is good and evil, it seems to make us feel weak, depressed, and sometimes sick. I know we have to make assessments of events throughout the day, but we can do this without passing judgment.
Now, back to the tree of life mentioned in the scripture above. Maybe we could ask God to give us life from this tree. If you have asked Jesus to come into your heart, guess what you have access to? New Life! You have access to this new life through the tree of life, which is Jesus Christ. For some of us, though, this new life seems to be uncharted territory. Can we explore this thought further? In John 15:1 Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.” So if we have asked Him to live in our heart, and if He is the true vine, then can’t we partake of this tree of life to feed our spiritual body healthy food each and every day? Let’s look again in John 15:4-5 where Jesus said, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” Wow!!! Jesus is the tree of life in the garden, and in order to sustain our spiritual body each day, we must abide in Him on a daily basis.
I want to make this journey: a journey that will take me from where I am to where I am going, and I am assuming you do also. The first thing we must do in making this journey is to head in the right direction. I heard the following said: “A ship will end up where it is heading.” Jesus is saying to us, “Let’s change your heading. Abide in me, follow me, and experience life.”
If “life” is the journey, let us experience all of it that we can. Jesus just wants to walk with each one of us on this journey: just you and Him. He will walk with you and talk with you and call you His own. He will lead you and guide you in the direction He has for you. Isaiah 30:21: “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.” Now, just reach out for His hand this day. He is waiting.