DON’T TOUCH THAT TREE!
(Gen 3:3) "but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.'"
God put the tree of the knowledge of good and evil right in the midst of the garden and then told Adam and Eve not to eat of it. What is that all about? Well, you could say that it was a test of their love for the Lord and their obedience to Him.
You know, we all have a forbidden tree in our lives. It’s that something that is alluring and wants to draw you in. It’s that forbidden person. It’s that forbidden program. It’s that forbidden place. And that tree can also be in the middle of your mind and in the center of your fantasies. It’s private. You can go there, and no one will even know it. (Heb 4:13)
You pray that this tree will be transplanted to another location. If that doesn’t work, you hope it will wither and die. But it continues to exist, and the fruit looks oh so good. Why doesn’t God take it away? Oh, but the Bible speaks and says . . . (2 Cor 12:7-10) . . . a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. 8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
There’s always something there that will be tempting us. But this will drive us to the Lord where we need to be in reliance on Him. (Psa 46:1)
Does that mean we should go over to the tree and rest in its shade? How stupid would that be! Stay away from the forbidden fruit. Keep a ten-foot pole between you and that weakness. (Rom 13:14) But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. (Mat 6:13) And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one . . .
There is a tree you can touch and draw strength from. It’s the cross of Jesus Christ . . . (Gal 6:14) . . . by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (Rom 6:11) Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. The fruit is wonderful and leads to eternal life! (John 15:1-9, 16; Rev 22:2)
See you there at the foot of the cross!