“On either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month”
“There is one River, not four as in Genesis, where two of them, Hiddekel and Euphrates, were one day to become scenes of sorrow for God’s people. Here one river of life, full of water, proceeds out of the Throne, to make glad the City of God.
And there is one Tree, yielding its fruit every month. There is no fall, no barren winter, no need to store from last month’s supply. By it, we shall go on knowing Christ with ever-fresh knowledge, for in its different fruits we shall taste Him at all points, not just at one.
River and Tree, Christ’s fullness and Christ’s ever-newness: we cannot move without them. Wherever we go we must carry them with us now–Christ’s way of life to give light and healing to the nations.”
– Watchman Nee
“…the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way”
The purpose of the Way of God is to bring purity and freedom. By design it shatters our self-seeking and self-realization. It is not an easy way. Our concepts and aspirations will be crushed in the wilderness. It is there our presumptions must die in order to prepare us for the Land of Promise. The Land of Promise is where “we live, move and have our being” in Him. It is where resurrection Life arises out of the grave of self. That carnal self ever seeks to have the pre-eminence; it is the antithesis of all that God has purposed in Christ. Unity in Him is the result of a people who have laid aside their carnal selves for the joy of relationship in Him. They understand and feel the cords of Life binding them to one another. Humility is a necessity for those who seek the reality of being “hid with Christ in God”.
The Way will dry up the springs of self. Obedience is the Way into the provisions of Christ. The life of obedience is what gives us access to the “Tree of Life” and the abundance of all Christ is.
“Blessed are those who do his commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter in by the gates into the city”
The Tree of Life gives its fruit in every season. It is rooted deeply in the River of Life and in fact the River runs through this living Tree.
“…on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month…”
Let us be not discouraged by the Way of Christ. Let us not fall victim to self-pity, murmuring, blaming others, and the bitterness that can so easily contaminate our being. The Way of Christ is sure. His end is glorious and His Wisdom beyond our own. Blessed are we if we continue to “do Truth” in spite of the hardness of the way. The Passover was eaten with “bitter herbs”; a reminder that the bitter way brings us to sweet waters and the “oil of Joy for mourning”.
Faithfulness is revealed in our obedience to Him regardless of our feelings and disillusionment. It is here the mettle of our faith is tried, the reigns of our hearts tested, and the power of His Life is increased within us.
“Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation”
He is worthy of a faith life which continues to do of His good pleasure regardless of the situations in which we find ourselves.
“And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet”
May we be of such a disposition that when He comes to our tree He may find fruit even in the time when by “nature” the season has not yet arrived. Save us oh Lord from a life of fig leaves (the religious garments of Adam) and cause us Lord to bear fruit in every season!
“And on the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither, nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing.”
Where the river flows, there is fruit. Fruit is the outflow of any life whose roots drink in the wonder of the river. Christ is the river, He is the vine and He is the only source of True Life. The trees on the banks of this river not only bear fruit but provide nourishment for others. It is the food of the Spirit; food that strengthens the hearts of His own to walk and live and bear fruit for the welfare of others. The expressions of substance and nourishment reveal the verity and source of life of the tree.
The phrase “there will grow” is powerful. “There”. Where? By the River. Those who are drinking of this river grow. There is no stagnancy or sense of just holding on. The life here is eternal life; ever increasing, ever pulsating and always developing in the glory and beauty of Christ Himself! How vital it is for ourselves and others that we learn to be rooted and sustained by His living waters.
“Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters”