23 March 2010 (Shleshi/Tuesday)|
Day #8, 5934 AM
Always In Such a Hurry
Learning the Leisure of Trusting
We human beings are always in such a hurry and will take any shortcut that presents itself to us if we can. This Western 'fast service' mentality has, unfortunately, also negatively impacted our Christian life - we seek instant maturity, instant sanctification, instant marriage, instant success, instant everything, and if it doesn't come as fast as we want or expect it to, we will typically move on to another 'product', 'church', 'assembly', 'religion', 'philosophy', 'marriage', 'job' or whatever. What a huge contrast to the enormous leisure of Yahweh in His dealings with us!
"Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the Torah (Law) of Yahweh, and in His Torah (Law) he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. The ungodly are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For Yahweh knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly shall perish" (Psalm 1, NKJV).
The psalmist affirms Yahweh's promise that the person who delights in the Torah - in the Law and Teachings of Scripture - will be "like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season" (vv.2-3). A growing Christian, whether a new believer or a seasoned saint, is like a healthy tree - planted, nourished and fruitful. Trees do not mature in a day, however.
The olive tree is mentioned a great deal in the Bible and symbolises or represents the man or woman who excells in Christian love. But do you know how long it takes an olive tree to mature? In countries where olive trees flourish, there is a saying that you "plant olive trees for your grandchildren." Though some species of olive tree can mature within 7 years, it is more usual for a tree to take as long as 35 years to mature from a seedling to produce fruit. Learning to be loving like Messiah takes time. But remember another thing about the olive: to get the oil from it, it has to be pressed. For a soul to learn to love, it has to be crushed.
We are known by our fruits (Mt.7:16) which are the result of a long maturing process that requires suffering and the crushing of our own wills. I do not speak of the suffering that comes from our sins but the suffering that results in following Messiah and loving as He does. Needless to say, this kind of life is highly unappealing to the carnal soul or for the fake Christian or Messianic who would prefer to be known by the less painful process of acquiring knowledge. There is no end of Torah-teachers and Bible-teachers but there are very, very few who produce the olive fruits of love. The former is more showy, which is why many are attracted to them, whereas the latter tend to be more hidden.
Love - and I mean ahavah or agape love - is neither showy nor is it noisy because it is acquired through suffering and produces quietness, shalom and spiritual ease of leisure. By that I do not mean that it is lazy - rather, that it is at inner rest. It takes a long time to produce and is therefore one of the most precious of all fruits. A man who lives by this kind of love is said to "dip his foot in [olive] oil" (Dt.33:24).
If our roots are in Yahweh's Word "day and night" and our hearts are drawing sustenance from Him, then we are assured spiritual prosperity and shalom. And growth toward maturity brings simcha or joy to the Elohim of Patience.