Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Apple and the Cross

We live in a world that is obsessed and addicted to knowledge. We are feeding from the Tree of Knowledge and becoming spiritually malnourished. In her book, The Four Levels of Healing, Shakti Gawan described spiritual emptiness as the root cause of most of our social, political and environmental crises. When we lose contact with our Creator, we become alienated from one another and from the beautiful world that God has created. We pollute, overconsume and destroy the natural resources God has given us. The story of Adam and Eve is a picture of our human condition – like Adam we are alienated and afraid of God. We hide from God and need to hear God calling out to us, “Where are you?”

We are in need of spiritual healing for we are spiritually dead. In Christ, God has invited us to return to the Tree of Life and to feed our souls with the Living Bread so that we can begin a new life through a loving relationship with Him. We have been reborn again in Christ and we are to grow into the likeness of Christ. Unfortunately, many of us may have begun a new life only to remain in spiritual infancy as we seek only spiritual milk instead of solid spiritual food (Hebrews 5:11-14).

We need to grow up in order to live as citizens of heaven and shine like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. But we cannot live in God’s Kingdom in the here and now if we see heaven only as a place that we will go to when we die. Solid spiritual food is feeding on God’s Word that has been revealed through Jesus Christ.

But there is a big difference between seeking biblical knowledge and feeding on the Bread of Life. The bible is but a map to guide us in our quest to live in God’s Kingdom – it is not our destination. We are to apply the spiritual truths from the bible in our lives so that we will not conform to the world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds in order to know God’s will for our lives.

We need to make the choice between the apple and the cross – to feed on the Tree of Knowledge or the Tree of Life to find the answers to spiritual questions such as “What am I here for? How can I make this world a better place? How can I turn the ordinary events in my life into great opportunities to use the gifts that God has given me?”

Let us hold fast to the truth that we are new creations in Christ and that we can do all things through Him who strengthens us. Og Mandino made the following observation:

"We expect mastery without apprenticeship, knowledge without study, and riches by credit. Born in an age and country in which knowledge and opportunity abound as never before, how can you sit with folded hands, asking God's help in work for which He has already given you the necessary faculties and strength?”

The good news is that we are not to work FOR our salvation but to work OUT our salvation with the excitement of having God’s power working in us.  We need to cultivate new habits of paying attention to God in the world around us, to practice the awareness of the Holy Spirit working in us and to be a better “Mary” by abiding in Christ so that we can become more effective “Marthas.”

As we do so, let us share how God is working in the mundane events of our lives for His glory to encourage each other and to be accountable to one another.

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