I had an epiphany… And I can’t wait to share it with you all. You remember that verse in Proverbs 13:12 which says – Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life? Well, this is just amazing… For one thing, I never really noticed the second part of this verse before – where it says once what you hoped for arrives it comes like a tree of life – I am paraphrasing here. For some reason I always stopped at – Hope deferred makes the heart sick. Ugh… that hopeless feeling – I am sure all of you are fully aware of that dark cloud, aren’t you? If not, well…. I don’t know what to say… lol But anyway, I must admit I am sadly familiar with its lonely embrace.
Anyway – Hope deferred or rather – delayed or seized from us, removed – can make our hearts sick. Well that was a true eye-opener to me. I got the delayed part – but stick with me for a bit here – because it also means a hope seized away and removed from us… I just love how comforting clarity in the Lord’s words are to us, don’t you? This surely explains a lot – doesn’t it? When we have hope in something and it is taken away or removed from us, it does make our hearts sick at times, right?
Moving on – Heartsickness… The heart in this reference is the soul of a person, our inner man – our conscience – where our emotions and passions and even courage resides – it is actually what makes you, you… the unique part of us which defines and sets us apart from all others – outside of the flesh body. We may lose these flesh bodies, but our souls remain – just like the ones who cry out from under the alter in Revelation, saying how long oh Lord… The same is true for us.
But anyway – those souls crying out were “sick” or rather – grieved, weak, sorrowful, wounded – just as we are at times.
But guess how this is defined in Hebrew? It is the same as a woman in travail with birthpains… wow… Now how amazing is this? But it gets better – it also means to be polished and made smooth! Here all along I thought this was something I experienced that was severely wrong with me… well there is, but that is beside the point lol
So this just goes to show how important it is that we feast upon the Word with the Holy Spirit’s eye opening revelations which enlighten our hearts, healing and comforting them.
But wait – there is more… so when our desires marry the Lord’s desires then our heart is healed unto wholeness, but when our desires do not align with His perfect will for our lives – it is removed and yes it is painful but if left in place, we would not be whole.
Sooooo…. Do you ever feel like you are compromised? Which is actually how all this started for me… I was feeling greatly compromised – then the Lord started showing me just how much I have compromised from what I know to be some of my greatest heart desires – sort of like of giving in, to get along and it happens so gradually over time – one day you look in the mirror and don’t even recognize the face staring back at you anymore.
Jesus tells us to be unmovable… to be grounded and uncompromised in Him. And I totally get that… but sometimes we forget just “who” is the savior and that we are not. We forget that He gave of Himself so all could receive life everlasting – that He is poured out like a drink offering to all… We forget to let Him be God and that we are not and somewhere along the way – we give pieces of ourselves away, like little pearls so much so we become fragmented in the soul and we cast the goodness of us away to those who do not cherish us or appreciate us and in turn will trample those fragments to traces of dust.
So there are some things you just “know” internally, like since you were little – those dreams of innocence, remember? Before the World told you what you couldn’t do or be or how you envisioned your life to be. Those desires placed within our hearts by the Father for His glory and purpose flowing through us. Before the heart pain and rejection… When you believed you were fearfully and wonderfully made and the sky was the limit. When you dreamed of doing what you loved and loved God while doing it… So dream with me a little – it’s safe here to do so. Maybe you saw yourself as a fireman or police officer or in the military because He placed within you to protect others and keep order as a peacemaker. Or maybe you wanted to be a doctor or a nurse because He placed healing in your hands, anointed with mercy and compassion. Or maybe you desired to be a farmer or truck driver as one who fed others and gave them provision. Or a teacher – to instruct others so their life be one of growth. The list is endless really and as for me I always wanted to be a wife and mother – one who nurtures and cares for little ones and growing one in every way, training them and getting them ready to fly on their own, to take what I imparted into them and build upon it, doing greater things than me and with that, it is almost as if I am created to submit to and support a Godly man, in order his life be just a little bit easier because I am in it.
So now that I got your attention – can you see how the enemy has tried to redefine your heart’s desire or steal it or taint it or even that out of desperation, manipulation, force or just how it all played out – we’ve gotten away from embracing that we were born for such a time as this… As we cling to what we’ve been told over the spoken words breathed into us by our Lord – we’ve lost ourselves a little bit or a lot, because you already know I am a hot mess… We’ve become fragmented and our hearts are sick – very sick at times. Our hopes have been deferred most often because they really were not our hopes, instead we were settling for many things the Father did not have in store for our lives.
Let’s bring this full circle – lets complete the full verse… it says – when the desire comes, it is like a tree of life. When we return to that innocence, letting go of all the people pleasing, which we can’t maintain anyway and all the labels of what appears right in other’s eyes and simply just be who God created us to be with that very desire He placed within us we shall be strengthened once again. It seems like we’ve all chased after a lot of counterfeits haven’t we? And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Jesus is our true and everlasting Tree of Life and is spoken of in Genesis once eaten of we will live forever. Seems to me like we’ve eaten enough mixture of good and evil for long enough and that its time to just be YOU.
In Revelation 2, the Church of Ephesus had works and labor and patience and could not bear them which are evil, they tried those who were false apostles only to discover they were liars and they had not fainted but guess what they left? Their first love… they no longer loved what they were doing. They were given a command to go back and do the first works (hint: what they knew was placed within them) – Oh I pray you are getting this – they were told to repent and if they overcome they were granted permission to eat of the tree of life. Thank You Lord for Your nourishing word of truth.
The Word certainly has much to say on this whole tree of life subject, I was a little shocked to find out just how much Scripture is so relevant for us. Let’s go over some of them ~~
Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.
A soothing tongue is a tree of life,
But perversion in it crushes the spirit.
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
And he who is wise wins souls.
So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.
In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.
THE TREE OF LIFE ~ BUILDS, IGNITES AND KEEPS BURNING OR KINDLES FIRE IN LIVING THINGS
Remember, Jesus is coming to bring fire upon the Earth wishing it was already kindled…
So let’s tie this all together, okay?
We eat of Jesus, the Tree of Life – He builds us, ignites us and keeps kindling our fire, when our hope is not deferred or quenched by outside forces we become what we partake of – HIM and we too become trees of life with fruit others may be blessed to partake of for their own building up, fire kindling as a living thing on Earth.
When we lose our desire – our first love, we start to wax and wane and our fire isn’t kindled and our lamps start to go out.
I know most of you thought this Scripture in Revelation 2:4 was referencing Jesus, but it isn’t – no, not at all. It reads – Nevertheless, (speaking of works here) I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. It goes on to say – Remember from whence you’ve fallen and repent and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
They fell away from doing what they loved, it is almost as if they were no longer being authentic, sincere, true in the heart.
Even this teaching today deals with our being adopted as a child of God – our identity as being raised up in pureness of who we were created to be in the Kingdom of God.
So I say, dream with the Lord, I am praying He stir up within you a renewed hope in just who you are, before others told you it was wrong… You were created with a purpose and whatever that purpose is you will not feel complete and whole until you embrace the truth of yourself, void of compromise.
It is usually the hardest task that is the most rewarding and almost everything we do for the Lord requires two key elements – patience and love.
Now I realize this is meat – not milk. It goes without saying… We are not talking about having pleasure in unrighteous things or being drawn away by lustful desires, motivated by selfish gain or monetary rewards or status or things like that. We barely brushed on the subject of pleasure in righteousness and this truth is deep, void of flesh.
Psalm 37:4 tells us that when we delight ourselves in the Lord, He will give us the desires of our heart. This embracing truth establishes in His ways and His will for our lives. When we place Him as our centric focus – He removes all desire which does not align with His plan, which is perfect, for our lives, just as He orchestrates our steps in life. In order for our hope to be restored He must become our hope. A real issue in the church today is that we believe we must lose all things to follow Him – but that is not what He conveyed. Instead He instructed us to surrender to Him and put away all things temporal and of this World. Our hopes, dreams and passions founded in Him will come into fruition in which He alone gets the glory, as He is a God of the impossible, making all things new.
So with the new year upon us – this is a great time to reflect back on our lives and take inventory on just what we have compromised on within ourselves and let them all go. It is also the perfect time to get truthful with ourselves regarding what is holding us back, making our hearts sick and hopeless and let it all go. It is never too late for a Spiritual evolving or rebirth – a time for growth. Many of us have been weighed down by demands that the Lord never intended to be put upon us. We’ve compromised in ways He did not call us too – mainly ourselves and our true nature. For the Lord to use us as His hands and feet, we must be purged from all mixture and counterfeit residue, walking in Spirit and truth whole-heartedly.
I want to encourage you to dream with God again and open your eyes to see nothing is impossible with Him when we believe. Believe in yourself and how you can do all things with Him as He strengthens you. It seems like we have been apart from Him long enough, trying to muddle through each day, doing it our way haven’t we? Our Father longs to give us the desires of our hearts and just because they are delayed does not mean we should lose hope or give up on those desires. It is my prayer we will continually seek first His Kingdom, so that all things pertaining to it may be added unto us.
In His Love ~