I think it is safe to say that we as humans beings are in pursuit of a certain quality of life. Whatever our own reality may be, we want it to be abundant in joy and provision. We can worry ourselves into a frenzy over unmet expectations and find ourselves wallowing in the mire of disillusionment. We believe that if we fill our lives with possessions and accomplishments we will be happy. Unfortunately humans suffer from a spiritual condition that is never satisfied, the more we have, the more we want or think we need. I know some of you may think I am overgeneralizing and that you are perfectly content with where you are and what you have. If this is true for you then one of two things are happening. Either you truly have made it to your tree of abundance, where the fruit falls at your feet daily; or you’re not being completely honest with yourself.
Speaking for myself, I know where I have come from and how long the journey was get to this place in time, but I also know that I am no where near where I need to be. I am speaking from a spiritual perspective. Provisionally, nine short years ago I was living in a borrowed camper shell up on blocks with an extension cord running across the yard to power my meager fourteen-watt light bulb and tiny truck-stop issue AC/DC car fan. Today I live in a walled community with four cars in the driveway, a quad in the garage and yes, central air. I am not boasting, simply contrasting, the quality of life conditions I have experienced over the past nine years.
The growth has been both incremental and exponential depending on the season I was in, (spiritual season), that is. Yes, spiritual seasons reflect monetary and material provision. (This is where I will lose some of you, have a nice day.) For those of you you who stuck around, let’s dig in. Provision both spiritual and material come from the same place, the Lord God Almighty, but we’ll just call Him Jesus. (This is where I will lose the rest of those folks clinging to some abstract spiritual idealism, have a nice day.) This provision that comes down from on high begins in it’s most rudimentary form through the doting arms of a mother and the inherent desire to seek out our creator. Material provision or lack there of should lead us to seek out its source. The Scriptures say, “that the goodness of God leads us to repentance.” ( Romans 2:4 NKJV)
What is repentance and why is it necessary? Repentance by definition means: (a change of mind; a change in the inner man; turning away from something and turning toward something else). The change is focused on a moral standard, God’s standard, which is perfection. I know, nobody’s perfect, so why bother? We bother because we know we aren’t perfect but are called to be. Observe:
13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— (Ephesians 4:13-15 NKJV)
6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; (Philippians 1:6 NKJV)
Once the vested interest that God has in us has been made a profound reality in our hearts, we begin our journey to the tree of abundance. Some folks are born into wealth some to poverty, but abundant joy is not dictated by our circumstance. Our joy comes from knowing God and His Christ. Jesus said:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
For they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
For they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
For they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
For they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
For they shall be called sons of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, (Matthew 5:3-12 NKJV)
Jesus covered the spectrum of humanity’s condition in ten short sentences. You’ll notice that He didn’t address the rich and famous, for they have already received their reward. But for the weary, downcast, destitute and persecuted a great reward awaits them, just on the horizon, not too far but within reach. Contemplating that being in an adverse state or condition demands a just reward lift’s the head and puts things in perspective. Knowing that God is looking upon our afflictions and preparing our future grants us inexplicable hope; and faith is built as abundance begins to rain down from Heaven.
The storehouse doors of Heaven are open to the obedient. We walk this life in search of making our own way, so that we can say, “look what I have done,” But it is in humility and maturity that we confess our dependency on God. When we have had our epiphany, (divine revelation), we make our choice to serve or to be served, to believe or reject, to obey or rebel. It is at that moment, that we choose our eternal destiny. When we choose Jesus as the pathway to life we choose to obey and trust the Word of God to: save, heal, deliver, comfort, reveal truth and provide abundance in both the material and spiritual realms. The Word of God is the final authority for conduct and rule of faith for all humanity. With and in Jesus we are set free to love and to be loved, to live and to have life more abundantly, too it’s fullest!
How does the transference of Heaven’s power and abundance into the earth realm happen? Through the work of the Holy Spirit, observe:
5 “But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ 6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. 8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11 of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.[a]
Look closely at verse 15, Jesus claims that ALL that belongs to the Father has been transferred to Him (Jesus) who then transfers it to the Holy Spirit who then transfers it ALL to us. What a glorious illustration of the Godhead working together in unity to give so abundantly to His children! The Holy Spirit becomes the giver and distributor of every good thing including the power to live a victorious life over sin and shame. Observe:
16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery,[a]fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders,[b] drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Verse 16 gives the command, “Walk in the Spirit!” Why??? So that, “you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” It doesn’t say, “so that maybe you wont fulfill the lust,” or, “will help you curb the lust.” NO, it say, “shall not.” In other words when you are under the influence and direction of the Holy Spirit you “shall not” fulfill the lust of the flesh, now that is POWER!
Now let’s look at verse 17: “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.” This reveals a spiritual truth that must be understood. There is a war being waged in the paradigm we call our bodies that transcends time and space. Man being a tri-part entity occupies a three dimensional reality all at the same time. Within the construct of this three dimensional reality, spiritual hosts of wickedness compete for our attention through demonic influences, including thoughts, images, music, behavior patterns and anything else that can be thrown at the poor unsuspecting human. The objective is to get him or her to focus on anything but Jesus. The enemy wants us isolated and sick with no where to turn for help. As a matter of fact these spiritual influences are so strong, that verse 18 calls this dynamic a law. We support this view by referencing (Romans 7:21-25.)
21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. 22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man.23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin. (NKJV)
Now that we have exposed the enemy and discovered a powerful truth, let us reach out to the heavily laden branches of the tree of abundance and fill our basket with the fruit of the Spirit: 22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Again, abundance comes from knowing God and His Christ, not possessions or accomplishments. When our basket is full of the good fruit of the Spirit we lack nothing and are ready to give to those in need. Our actions speak volumes of who we truly are, let us reflect the attributes of our King, so that it may be seen and known, that we were created in the image of the Living God. Amen.
See you at the tree!