Choose Your Fruit
Sometimes there is nothing like a good teacher to show us just how true it is that Godís Word is a "lamp to my feet and a light for my path" (Psalm 119:105). The Lord used Rick Joyner and his book There Were Two Trees in the Garden to show me how Genesis 2 and 3 shines a very bright light for my path away from legalism.
From There Were Two Trees in the Garden, by Rick Joyner, pp.9, 10 and 12. (Italics mine):
Satan did not tempt Eve with the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge just because of the Lordís prohibition. He tempted her with it because the source of his power was rooted in that tree. Furthermore, the Lord did not implement this restriction just to test Adam and Eve; He prohibited the eating of its fruit because He knew it was poison. When He instructed Adam not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge, He did not say, "If you eat from that tree Iím going to kill you," but "On the day that you eat from it you will die." It was not just manís disobedience that brought death to the world; it was the fruit from this tree.
The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil is a powerful Biblical model of the Law. As the Apostle Paul declared: "The power of sin is the law" (I Corinthians 15:56). This is because it is through the Law that we derive our knowledge of good and evil. We may wonder how this knowledge brings death until we see the fruit. The knowledge of good and evil kills us by distracting us from the One who is the source of life: the Tree of Life--Jesus. The Tree of Knowledge causes us to focus our attention upon ourselves. Sin is empowered by the law; not just because the evil is revealed but the good as well. It drives us either to corruption or self-righteousness, both of which lead to death.
It is significant that the Tree of Knowledge is found in the center of the garden (see Genesis 3:3). Self-centeredness is the chief malady with which it afflicts us. After Adam and Eve ate its fruit, their first response was self-inspection. Before eating they had not even noticed their nakedness; their attention was on the Lord and the purposes for which He had created them. After eating, the good and evil which they now understood forced them to measure themselves by it. There is no easier way to keep us from the Tree of Life than to have us focus our attention upon ourselves. This is what the Law accomplishes. Because of this Paul called it "the ministry of death" and the "ministry of condemnation" (II Cor.3: 7,9).
The Lordís first act of creation was to bring forth light. The very next thing He did was separate the light from darkness. There can be no cohabitation between light and darkness. When the Lord re-creates a man and he is born again, He immediately begins to separate the light from the darkness in his life. Almost inevitably, in our zeal for Him, we try to take over this work and perform it by the only way we have ever known--through the knowledge of good and evil. This struggle between law and grace--flesh and Spirit--is the source of the inner discord afflicting most Christians. It is also the single greatest point of conflict between the truth that sets men free and the lies of the enemy that are meant to oppress and subdue them.
Prior to my reading of this book God had put within me a desire to fast. (A desire to fast must be from God!) All I really knew about it was that I was fasting because of this desire. I didnít have an agenda other than for my hunger for Him to be the strongest hunger I had. I did talk to Him, however, about other issues, my battle with legalism being one of them. During the fast I read the Two Trees book. Within a short while I knew God was telling me I needed to "fast" from the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and to eat only fruit from the Tree of Life.
I also knew what that meant. I was to refuse to "chew on" thoughts such as "You are not needed here," or "You donít hear from God," or "God doesnít have a plan for your life," or "I am further along than they are,"--any thought that churned up self-centeredness. Instead, I was to "devour" Jesus. My thoughts were to be about Him, about His sacrifice, about His power, about His love, His grace, His mercy, His sufficiency. I was to become so intimately acquainted with Him that His attributes came to mind as readily as my own ever had. Jesus Himself said, "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you" (John 6:53). His was the life I would have in me if I chose to eat only from the Tree of Life and refused the smallest nibble from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
I can see that this will be a life-long endeavor. The temptation to be self-centered has been succumbed to for nearly as many minutes as I have been alive. Oh, Lord, lead me not into temptation but away from it. And when Iíve succumbed to it, deliver me from the evil one who wants to keep me all wrapped up in myself.
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