Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Psalm 1- Where are you planted?

He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, Psalm 1
Rev. 22:1- And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal proceeding from the throne of God and the Lamb.
There is a river that flows from the throne of God.
Ezekiel 47:12 tells us that along the bank of the river, on this side and that, will grow all kinds of trees…
I am a tree planted next to the pure river of water that flows from the Throne of God. How do I become this tree that does not whither, but bears fruit in due season?
I delight, or take great pleasure, in God and His Word. 
I have a picture in my head of a river bank, lush, green, pure- next to it are trees, some large, some just beginning to grow. All kinds of trees- all healthy and full of leaves. Next to this river is a road, a path. It looks like a trail, something that leads you through the mountains, except, along its sides it is barren- there is nothing growing.
I am a pilgrim, walking down this barren path and I come upon this valley, all these lush trees ripe with fruit are next to the river. The path ahead is barren, looks dark and chaff is blowing in the wind. I see dead, shriveled trees blowing across the path. But to my right, there is this river; it is calling out to me. Its trees are ripe and lush with all manner of food and nourishment.  Which way do I go?
We are the trees that God has planted next to His River of life which flows from His throne. We are planted on both sides, and we are bearing fruit if we are grounded and rooted in Him. If we are delighting ourselves and spending time with Him- then we are bearing lush, ripe fruit.
Some of our fellow trees were planted, but they saw someone they knew, or met a traveler on the path and left the river for just a few minutes to stand and sit with this traveler. But as they stood and sat with this traveler, they began to whither and stopped bearing fruit. Why? Because they left the river of water, the river of life that was feeding them. They thought that a few minutes with these sinners and scorners would not harm them. “What can a few hours or days do to this tree? I have plenty of water stored in my trunk- I can step away for just a few minutes.”
The other trees, the ones that stayed next to the river are now producing fruit- so that when sinners and scorners walk by on the path, they see the fruit and want to taste it. The fruit is good, it draws them. They see the life and the joy that they can have- if they eat the fruit. When the sick and the weak walk the path, they look at the leaves of these trees, and they come to them. They sit under their shade and they are healed. They use the leaves to gather water from the river of life and drink from it- receiving healing, salvation. They too become planted and rooted.  
There are some travelers that will walk the path that will be so focused on getting ahead that they will not see the trees, the lush, healthy trees. But they are the ones that will perish, and the travelers that stop and partake of the fruit and the water, they will be saved.
Which tree are you? Are you planted, rooted and grounded in the banks of God’s river? Or have you stepped away for just a minute to go and stand with a sinner that is walking down the path of life? Jesus tells us in Luke 6:45 that “a good man, out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good, but an evil man out of the evil of his heart brings for evil. For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.”  What we expose our hearts to the most- that is what comes out.
We are told also by Jesus that “you can tell a tree by the fruit it bears.” If we are spending time with God, if we are planted next to His River, then the fruit we bear will be His fruit- it will draw weary and weak travelers from the path to His River of Life. If we are spending more time with sinner or sinful behaviors, then we will be as the chaff, blowing across the path, the travelers kicking us out of the way.
Ezekiel 47:12- “Along the bank of the river, on this side and that, will grow all kinds of trees used for food; their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail. They will bear fruit every month, because their water flows from the sanctuary. This fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing.”
Where are you planted?