Some of you know I am taken with the two trees in the garden and their symbolic significance in our living our lives. These thoughts reflect another pondering on the trees.
I am not an expert on this topic. I find myself exposed to many people with varying views on the topic of divorce. I find myself swayed as one presents one view and another another view even though I once studied the topic extensively. I’m challenged in ministering to people in difficult places in their marriages and this remains an area of my continually seeking Him for wisdom.
Today, I heard a word from Him in my spirit. It may not be the end-all in my questioning. It may only be the pivot from 1st base to 2nd base and will need two more pivots to come ‘home’ to Truth. However, I am amazed at this word as it resonates within my spirit as ‘correct’ – for me, for this time.
*Note: These thoughts relate to the general case in our world that might be referred to ‘irreconcilable differences’.
People favoring or allowing divorce often speak of its appropriateness when there is no love, no oneness or no intimacy. As I ponder this I find myself with the thought that ‘there is no more law’. Christ died to fulfill the law and we are no longer under the law but under grace. We are freed from the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil to partake only of the Tree of Life (His life).
The tree of The Knowledge of Good and Evil has been uprooted. Hebrews suggests this when it states that the worshippers, once purified, would have no more consciousness of sin…IF the priest could with sacrifices take away the peoples sins permanently they would remain unaware of sin forever (Heb 10). Well the High Priest who did this has come and we have been released from our sin consciousness. We have been released not to license but rather to live His life within, in which there is no desire for the ungodly, unholy, or impure.
With the removal of the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil came the removal of ‘musts’ ‘expectations’ and ‘should’s’. Jesus fulfilled the law. When I judge by this tree – comparing and evaluating – I’m eating forbidden fruit. Scripture said when we eat of this tree we will surely die. There is no life in this tree, only death.
If this tree has been ‘satisfied’, ‘removed’, and we are to have no more sin consciousness (arising from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil), there can be no offense, no sin of commission or omission. This is the place Jesus turned the other cheek, offered His cloak, walked the second mile and did not defend Himself allowing even death to be received….Yes, He wrestled with God in the Garden as we get to, but on the other side – on our other side if we are willing – is our death – death to self – wants – pride – entitlement.
The other side is also the place we experience the reality that love does cover a multitude of sins. Both ours in withholding and not loving the unlovely and theirs where they may have hurt us by whatever method.
Yes, it is easier to imagine a way out. However, the chastening of our flesh to reveal His life within will occur. If we don’t allow it in the marriage, it will be experienced in other places. It is for our good. For the good of separating flesh and spirit. For the release of the Christ life and the fragrance that permeates a life laid down to Him that His life may be the life they live. From the Christ-life only comes righteousness, peace and joy. The other tree? Death only.
Please don’t hear me as a ‘Grace-Legalist’. Divorce is not an unpardonable sin. I don’t know your circumstances or what you have heard God say. Do know that I have been there. I have been divorced. In part, I know your pain. My decision was not God-led but rather one of avoiding the perceived injustices and failings of both parties to make the marriage ‘work’ and choosing to leave.
I think it’s in the going through the fire that the refining happens. Backing out leaves the impurities.
Consider also, that everything that Jesus spoke was actually Old Testament. A recent writer referred to Jesus as Moses 2.0. Jesus came preaching the law and the need for repentance and to believe on Him, to eat and drink of Him. He pointed to the ‘solution’ but His preaching raised the stakes on the law. No longer – do not murder – but – do not hate. No longer – do not commit adultery – but don’t look upon a woman with lust. Jesus was a raise-the-stakes-law-preacher speaking of the at-hand overcoming through Him.
Christ’s sacrifice frees us from the law into the place of grace. A place where the last are first, the servant is master, and where His love within trumps every offense as we love even our enemy, who at times may appear to be our spouse!
This isn’t something we can ‘do’ or ‘gut out’. We don’t possess the ability. I think it’s only possible when we embrace His hearts desire in ‘getting to’ prove to ourselves that within us – within His life within us – within the supernatural power of the indwelling Spirit – is the ability to love unconditionally and to see the miraculous in ourselves and our spouses.
We can’t do it ‘for’ God. We can’t do it ‘obediently’ or ‘sacrificially’. We can’t do it!!! We can only walk this out arm in arm in union with Him. As we know His favor, His love, His tenderness for us which encourages our trust in His ability and invites us to step out in difficult times – letting His life be ours -we manifest Him in and through us in loving well and often.
These thoughts all come down to these ideas.
– If there is no more law (to fulfill or fall short of) and we are purified forever then there can be no offense.
– If there is no offense there is nothing to separate us from loving our spouse.
– If there is offense we are partaking from the wrong tree in which is no life. He invites us into the Garden to wrestle with Him, with our flesh until in that heated contest purification occurs and we are able to do what we desire – to love.
– We have a choice which tree we eat from. One leads to death and one to His life (the experience of righteousness, peace and joy).
– We cannot love our mate without the supernatural ability of His life within us – the indwelling Holy Spirit.
– In Him is life and life abundant.
Your feedback and thoughts are welcomed as I continue to ponder this topic. Your thoughts may be the fodder for contemplation as He walks me from 2nd base toward 3rd. I don’t believe absolute truth can be known this side of Heaven on this topic, yet I am encouraged that He is not silent and continues to give morsels to challenge my thinking…. No condemnation, just some box shaking.