Now the serpent was more subtle than any other wild creature that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree of the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’“ But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons. Genesis 3:1-8
Have you heard any of the following? God is not telling you enough; you need more details. Yes, He did say that; but you know He is really not going to do it. Why look at you; God knows if you had a little more … you would be doing better or you would not be in this situation. God is really withholding something from you. God should be doing more for you. If you were just,…you’d be able to take care of…, the circumstances would be different, or you could change the situation, or etc…
Do these statements have a familiar sound to you? Remember back when… it wasn’t really so bad, remember the…
Lack of trust and insecurity in God’s promises towards us motivates us into trying to do it ourselves, causing something happen. Realizing something is not working, our first instinct is to cover up with something, usually the very something God has given us for our good. We take His provision and make something out of it He never intended. We know we are exposed but we don’t want those around us to know.
Take just a minute; really picture this in your mind. A grown man and woman together with some type of clothing made out of leaves. The leaves are beginning to turn brown, the edges are curling, dry, and brittle, and they are sitting in the bushes hoping not to be seen. If we can really picture this, we cannot help but laugh.
There is a difference between a covering and a cover up. God is our covering. The times when we do not feel we have what we need, things aren’t going according to our plan, and these are the times when we are tempted to make our own covering, causing something to look better resulting in a cover up. God in His faithfulness brings us to a place where we will trust in His love covering us. He wants us to rest in His provision, sit under the tree and know He loves us.
Each of them will sit under his vine and under his fig tree, with no one to make them afraid, for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken. Micah 4:4)
Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses. Proverbs 10:12
And Judah and Israel dwelt in safety, from Dan even to Beer-Sheba, every man under his vine and under his fig tree, all the days of Solomon. Proverbs 10:12
Above all, hold unfailing your love for one another, since love covers a multitude of sins. I Peter 4:8
When we set out to cover up there is deception involved. We think we can hide, when in reality all we are doing is drawing attention to ourselves and probably looking ridiculous.
Eve told Satan they were not touch the tree. God told them not to eat, He did not say anything about touching. We are the one who sometimes make situations more difficult by adding an additional requirement. We are enticed by what is pleasing to the eye. If we look at something long, enough it begins to look like the very thing we think we need to accomplish what God has spoken. Our mind says if our eyes were opened and we knew good from evil, we would be better equipped to take care of this garden. How many times have we said in our hearts, If God would do… then I could… or I would be… or if I just had?
We are to allow the Lord to cover us in His love and rest in His provision.
We have been laughed at and ridiculed because we are trees with leaves and no fruit. The gifts have operated in our midst, but we are seen as self-righteous by the world due to our lack of love and fruit of the Spirit. We’ve seen a trickle here and there, but our heart’s cry is – more, Lord! More, Lord! We are to come into the place of rest in the Father’s love, rest in His provision, and rest in His plan, rest in who He is and rest in His ability to do all that He has promised. We are to cease from our labor and enter into His rest. God expects there to be the Fruit of the Spirit in our lives. We can no longer take what we want and cover up. .
Have you felt dry and wondered where the water is? Has it seemed like there has been an unusual amount of dust – clouding of your vision? These are prime conditions for fig production. Figs are best produce in soil that is well balanced. We can have faith in God, operate in the gifts, and still have bitterness, unforgiveness, and anger in our hearts. It sounds like acid or maybe self-righteousness. If the soil of our heart is, too acid it will not produce fruit and many will be defiled. Jesus is saying the world won’t eat from that fruit any longer
On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. And he said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it. Mark 11:12-14
Figs were a food staple in Bible culture with some varieties producing three different crops. They were God’s provision. They were easy to come by as all one had to do was shake the tree. Fig leaves appear later in the season than those of other fruit trees. The unfolding of the leaves is thought of as a symbol of a new season.
From the fig tree, learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. Matthew 24:32
Figs are formed on the tree as soon as the leaves appear. The leaves and fruit also disappear together. The culture of the fig tree was “no leaves – no fruit” and “no fruit – no leaves”, not one without the other. If it was not a time for figs then there were to be no leaves. Figs are green until just before they ripen, so they remain hidden within the leaves, hidden in their immaturity. The offering of leaves is saying there is fruit. Leaves without fruit were offering an empty promise – deception.
We seek to cover ourselves with the things of God rather than be producers of the Fruit of the Spirit. Gifts or words without fruit are showy, but deceptive. Do we show our leaves without the real fruit? Deceptive thinking has allowed us to operate in the gifts or do the works of the Kingdom without fully knowing and being known by the King.
On that day, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers. Matthew 7:22-23
Now is a season for fruit. People will keep coming to partake of the leaves, self-righteousness, empty words, promises without power and a lack of genuine love. People are desperate for the real fruit! Be fruitful.
And he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. And he said to the vinedresser, ‘Lo, these three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down; why should it use up the ground?’ And he answered him, ‘Let it alone, sir, this year also, till I dig about it and put on manure. And if it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.” Luke 13:6-9
When the root of something dries up it can no longer produce life. We’ve sought to cover ourselves with the gifts, – leaves of God, we become deceived, thinking our works are acceptable to the Lord because as people we are being blessed. The world will not know us by our gifts, but by His love and power.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this, all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:34-35
He expects fruit, but He does not expect us to produce the fruit on our own. Fruit comes from seed, the seed of His Kingdom that He has planted within us. He is accomplishing His word in us and we rest in Him through the process. We are to praise Him with a grateful heart. We have a new, a new season.
Rest in Me, trust in Me and you will see Me do those things you have desired, even longed for, but first let Me do that within you that will produce good and lasting fruit.
For God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world. Philippians 2:13, 14
Linda was born in the mountains of Colorado she discovered her gifts and abilities, she developed a passion for others, to know their gifts and abilities. She is constantly seeking clarity in her own life and realized it is something that she can give away to others.