Your Spiritual Person is it healthy?
Each of us has a spiritual man or woman inside, one who is as real as our physical, emotional and mental person. To deny this spiritual person is like ignoring imagination, creativity, the breath of the wind. We cannot see it, but the effect of it can be seen.
When this spiritual person is well, the rest of the spiritual person is well and all other parts of him/her function better.
When my personal spirit is not well it is as if I am constantly looking for something, hunting for a sense of well-being inside of me. A sense of peace and togetherness, so that “it is well, it is well with my soul.”
There are two kinds of spiritual persons described in Jeremiah 17:5-8, which I have come to recognise all around us. They are the person who leads a cursed life versus a blessed life:
This is what the LORD says:
| “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh
and whose heart turns away from the LORD. That person will be like a bush in the wastelands; they will not see prosperity when it comes.
They will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives.
|This describes a person who trusts in the abilities of people and what people can achieve, she relies on her own abilities and strength and her heart is not focused on God. This person lives in a wasteland of life where she does not prosper, in parched places (spiritually dry), isolated in a life that stings (salt), a stony wilderness where nothing is produced, a life of lack.
| “But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”
|This person has a heart focussed on God, she trusts Him. It describes a life of submission(faith), a life of total dependence and trust in the Lord for all her needs. This is her source of confidence, not herself or people. She finds her strength in Him. This person lives planted at a continuous source of spiritual nourishment upon which she establishes her life (rooted and sending out roots). A life that is always productive (fruit), always flourishing (green) no matter what the season. She lives confidently and abundantly.
Why type of tree are you?
I like the description of believers as a tree, because a tree can be at different stages of life. It may be a young sapling, a maturing tree or an old stately specimen. But the overriding characteristics of trees are that they are growing, alive and productive. I like that God describes us as growing, alive and productive. Are you spiritually growing? Are you spiritually alive? Are you spiritually productive? God expects that from His trees…
We often think that the passage above refers to believers versus non-believers, but the difference between the two lives described, if you look at the passage again, is that they have different sources of trust. The first trusts in man, or themselves, the second trusts in God. Even as believers we may be in a season where we trust more in ourselves and people, than we trust God. In those seasons of our lives, our lives will be like desolate places, dry, spiritually thirsty, hardened and unproductive.
|New International Version(NIV)
The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
planted in the house of the LORD,
they will flourish in the courts of our God.
They will still bear fruit in old age,
they will stay fresh and green,
|Amplified Bible (AMP)
The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree [be long-lived, stately, upright, useful, and fruitful]; they shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon [majestic, stable, durable, and incorruptible]. Planted in the house of the Lord, they shall flourish in the courts of our God. [Growing in grace] they shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be full of sap [of spiritual vitality] and [rich in the] verdure [of trust, love, and contentment].
Notice where the tree is planted: in the house of the Lord, in the courts of God. Fully growing and developing amongst the body of believers, regularly in the presence of God.
We are to be like trees and “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 3:18)
Looking back over the last year, can you say that you have grown spiritually? Really grown? Are you more rooted, flourishing in the courts of the Lord, full of fruit no matter what your age, still green with vitality in the Kingdom of God?
Are you a tree woman?
Father, help me to become planted in You, growing everyday into a deeper and more meaningful relationship with You. I want to have that confidence of knowing that I am secure in You. I want to know exactly who I am, in my relationship with You. Grow me Lord, please. Help me to become ever-green no matter what the season. Help me to flourish, full of spiritual vitality, growing in my relationship with you and bearing fruit.
For more reading:
Water in your Spiritual Garden
A Large-rooted Woman
Growing Your Spiritual Garden
A Vital Spiritual Discipline
Five Obstacles to Spiritual Growth