Living from the tree of life or tree of knowledge

   American Christianity has had The Word preached, taught, spoken, shared, and prophesied. Christians know the Words of God as the pages of their Bible. For many Christians to hear a scripture he/she will with ease in his mind finish the scripture before the speaker completes the quote, saying Amen. But has he/she heard he depth and true meaning? . Our minds shift to the tree of knowledge, or our memory. We go immediately to where we have stored the scripture being spoken; we then shift to the memory of the sermon and experiences we had in church when we heard the scripture. We have not heard God; we have simply remembered the past. I call this living from the tree of knowledge of “good”.Having counseled more than a few people, I found the hardest person to reach is the person who continually says “I Know.” “I know what God wants; I know what I need to do and what my problem is.” If that’s true why are you asking for help? Why are you here? I understand we don’t mean to do this but why listen to new teaching if you want to keep your old answers?  Much of what we were taught has been vital and many of the lessons we have learned reading and listening to scripture have saved (soteria) our lives in one way or another. Our personal understanding of Scriptures and the teachings have become our SAFE PLACE. Is this the image of an old wineskin? If all you see is a safe place where safety and comfort are found, you have created a prison. Safety mentality is born out of insecurity, fear and lack of knowing God. When we use scripture to hide or cover up our hurts and fears we build walls and we keep out revelation and the tree of LIFE. .   Hearing things for the first time is to live in now revelation, not in the tree of knowledge of past experiences and dead works. We remember what we want to remember and what is convenient for us, even to the twisting the Word of God for a personal excuses and justifications for behavior and excuses. There is an element of safety involved in living in the past because I can have control and keep out insecurity and fear of past stuff. I am comfortable in what I already know. If I always believe the same thing I’ll always have what I have and what I have always had. I am not writing this because I need a real relationship with God, I have a wonderful relationship with God, YET I don’t want to produce old fruit out of the tree of knowledge. Christians live and die in old stagnant revelation all the time, too safe to take a risk and get in Gods face. I knew a wonderful man in the Lord years ago, who has since gone on to be with the Lord. He was older than I was and a very accomplished individual. He was a retired Navy ship captain and a high school teacher. He was outspoken and opinionated. I loved being in his presence. He was a man’s man, if that sort of thing makes sense to you. During one of our discussions he asked me a question. “Is this all there is?”  He was not questioning his place in Christ, or doubting God or in doubt of making heaven his home. He longed for a depth of relationship he had not seen as yet. A longing to fill what man cannot fill out of the tree of knowledge.  Our opening scripture says that every Word of God is God Breathed, God Inspired. Now I have a question of my own to ask you. Have you gone past all the rhetoric, past all the doctrine, beyond all the teaching both past and present, beyond all the words printed on the page? Have you felt the Breath of God?   I’m not asking you if you are filled with His Spirit, speak in tongues, prophesy, work miracles, get goose bumps during worship or hear God’s voice, what I am asking here IS Have you felt God’s Breath ? “I must be about my Father’s business.” a young Jesus explained to his mother when she questioned him, assuming she understood His relationship with His Father. We may almost hear him express; “It’s not about Me, Father, it’s about you”. Is this a new add on to your to do list, It is not another doctrine or way to accomplish or perform for more blessings. Nor a shallow surrender to obedience, this is loyalty, a loyalty, and zeal that can only be born in the Breath of God. Jesus prayed “Not My will, but Your will be done” was not in the garden of Gethsemane this is the continual lifestyle of Christ.  The greater contains the lesser. Your city resides in your state, which is located in your country, which is on a continent, which is on the planet, etc. Which is greater Loyalty or Obedience? Much is said about being obedient to God, Obedience without love is slavery but what if love was birthed in my heart out of intimacy and relationship would that love become loyal? I was in a church meeting after returning from a ministry trip to Colombia South America. One of the men in the group had also been to Colombia on a business trip and he said to my wife, “how can you trust your husband alone in Colombia, they have the most beautiful women I have ever seen. Immediately my wife answered, “ I know my husband loves God”. The same brother asked me, “have you ever thought of cheating on your wife while in Colombia? I answered, “ yes my brother but I love my wife more than the thought or dead doctrine that brings forth condemnation AND I love God.  Jesus said the most important commandment was? “Love God.” But the verse does not end there, there is a further and more profound ending to the verse yet this is not an order from God, it is a prescription for life. It is the kind of love that invaded your heart and those around you. I’m not challenging your love for God, but what is that love to you personally?   Are you one of those who have begun a journey to see the face of the Father, who wait on God and find Him for who He is, Love is a passion? Can you become so intimate with the Father that He holds you in the palm of His hand, gently lifts you up to His face, and breathes on you the Breath of Life?  God longs to pour into you everything that pertains to Life and Godliness, He longs to hold you and love you beyond any self-centered lifestyle.   I was saved in 1949 in an Oral Roberts tent meeting; actually it was several weeks or months after the meeting. What really moved me about the meeting was the ministry after the preaching; at age 11 I was in total awe and wonder as people came up in wheel chairs, stretchers and carried by family members.         

  The people came and the evangelist prayed for them with strong language at times yelling at the spirits which then caused them to fall to the ground screaming and twisting their bodies. The ones that were touched and healed screamed with joy and praised God. This created feelings and goose bumps with fear in my heart and being. I don’t know if what I felt was the now famous anointing or just fear as when the apostles saw Jesus walking on the water. What I do know as a fact is that when I was in need of healing myself I did not forget that meeting and the miracles. In my time of need I did call out to the Lord and He did heal me.. So I called on the name of the Lord and He did save me.True intimacy with God is a journey of relationship with Him I call the Agape Road. Love is not real love unless there is freedom or liberty. Scripture talks of, “continually looking into the perfect law of liberty.” Freedom then comes through an Agape relationship with a person, not just through words written about Him. The entire Bible was written to bring the hearer to the lover of our soul, the author and finisher of our faith. It is in this intimated love relationship that we find peace and comfort YET there are times we stop at the words that are written on the page and we revert back to our intellect and tree of knowledge.. After Cain killed Able, Cain went out from the presence of the Lord in anguish and despair. So he covered up his state of mind by being busy doing good things; He built a city, a city is a good thing. We can all be busy doing good things. Martha was busy with all her stuff, but her sister Mary chose the better part. The Pharisees were busy, being angry with Jesus over what day to heal but the fruit of doing good out of the tree of knowledge brings forth death. Good is the enemy of “better” Do you have your own personal idea of God’s love that incorporates the kind of love you’ve seen here on earth, a love that you have been taught as a work? Constantly trying to get past condemnation and a feeling of worthlessness by quoting all the scriptures that you know but nothing has changed? Tired of being told you need more faith? Let God Breathe on you! Faith works by Love. Can you truly love what you do not intimately know? “They that know the Lord will be strong and do exploit.”  Exploits out of the tree of knowledge are hollow selfish works even when they are birthed out of scripture so I can have a name, a ministry and riches, TRUE Exploits are the fruit of the breath of God on my face and spirit.. Exploits are something we do WITH God and NOT FOR God. Jesus was moved with compassion and healed the sick, he spoke of Jerusalem as the love of a hen for her chicks.. Moses desired to see the face of God, the bringing Gods people out of bondage was not sufficient, hearing Gods direction for deliverance was not enough; in Exodus 33 he said to God “I want to know you and see your glory” We can all hear Gods voice for others but can we hear his voice for God? “if I have found favor in thy sight, show me now thy ways, that I may know you”. Moses saw the works of God but seeing what God does is not the same as knowing Him. Seeing God’s face is not enough, the journey there’s even greater, We can know Him, We can know His nature and character personally. Personally knowing goes deeper it says, “ I want to know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, becoming conformed unto his death”. This knowing brings me out of self “it is no longer me that lives but Christ that lives in me”.  God is moving ever forward and we in order to keep up must ever have a progressive walk with God. It is not a work, a toil and labor, a ladder to climb, a city to build or an obligation. As we seek the Father for who He is and His essence and nature, inspiration is born in our hearts and we may now understand the words of Jesus, “the works that I do you will do also, and greater works shall you do because I go to the father”. The Breath of God reveals to us the life and love for others and which tree brings forth life. “man shall not live by bread (knowledge) alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth (tree of life) of God” There was a time in my life when calling God, God was just a title I used for the most powerful being in the universe. Only after seeking God for God did I know HIM as Father and best friend.. It changed my whole life and brought a peace I cannot describe. Now I saw the futility of, “seeking God” and understood the reality of His ever presence in my life, that He had established residence in my human spirit because of His great Agape for me, YES ME! Perseverance, will power, sacrifices and works were no match for His love and Grace God is ready now, don’t believe the lie that says you’ve missed so much and wasted so much time. It’s His heart’s desire for a relationship and has ALREADY MADE THE WAY, “Jesus stands at the door and knocks” This is not a way for you to go to heaven it is His desire to have intimacy and oneness with you. To reveal God’s face and Gods Breathe to you! This IS only the beginning.  Pastor Seby    

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