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pray_hands.GIF (680 bytes) Prayer & Spirituality
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Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

The Eden is within

by Dr. George Jacob

"I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys. As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters." SON 2:1-2.

In GEN 3:17-18 we read, "And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife [a dangerous thing when she opposes the Word of God], and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field."

The work of regeneration plants a lily in the garden of our hearts, but we must continually labor to pluck, cultivate, and till to keep those thorns away. Hatred springs up in our hearts; we want to sit in the seat of God and judge others' motives, but we must pluck all this out because it chokes the love of Christ. We must labor to live at peace as much as possible with all men. We must not live in strife. Strife and contention are the most destructive things in the world; Christ came as the Prince of Peace. We are called unto peace. When Abraham separated from Lot he said, "Brother, let there be no strife among us." It is much better to part than to live in strife.

When Christ, the Lily of the valleys, is planted in the garden of our hearts, His love is "As the lily among the thorns." When we appreciate the love of Christ, we see the sinfulness of sin. We will join forces to cultivate and pluck out those thorns and thistles by the sweat of our brow.

We must labor constantly to control the thorns and thistles in the garden of our hearts because sin entered the world, that they do not smother the lily. We read in GEN 3:18-19, "Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." There is no discharge in that war! We must struggle as long as we are on the face of this earth. We must labor by the sweat of our brows to pluck up those thistles that try to choke out and smother the lily.

Spiritual life is a constant struggle against the thorns and thistles, which spring up in the garden of our hearts. The Apostle Paul said in ROM 7:22-25, "For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin." He saw such beauty in the lily that was planted in his heart. He constantly strove to pursue every evil thought and smother it before it got to maturity. That old flesh still has those miserable thorns, but the lily of the love of Christ has been planted in the soul, which brings about warfare.

Jesus cautions against the teachings of carnal Christianity, which teaches that you can let the thorns grow up together with the lily. That is not much of a doctrine, for it is against all good farming practices. If you let the thorns grow, you will not harvest a crop. Jesus said in MAT 7:15-16, "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?" Those thorns must be plucked out, and those who teach that you can allow the thorns and figs to grow together are false prophets. They are not cultivating the soil that they have been sent to care for.

Those who do not constantly labor against their hearts' sins are spiritually slothful. It is important that we constantly work to cultivate out these thorns. We read in PRO 24:30-31, "I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down." He could not find a lily among the thorns; it was choked out. If we do not constantly labor to cultivate out the thistles and thorns, our walls will be broken down. There will no longer be anything to stop Satan and sin and the whole world from flooding into our hearts. It will all be grown over with bitterness and hatred and all the contentious spirits of Satan and hell if we are slothful.

How could anyone who has received a faith's view of Jesus, crowned with the thorns of his or her sin, live any longer therein? When you have seen your sins placed upon Jesus' head so you may be crowned for eternal glory, how can you live any longer in sin? The least thought of allowing a sin to go unnoticed, to not strive to cultivate it out and cut it down, would rend the heart. The Apostle Paul asked, "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death," ROM 7:24. Jesus was crowned with the sins that we have committed. ROM 2:4 says, "Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?" When we see how the Saviour came to redeem His bride, how He allowed them to plant the crown of thorns upon His head, those thorns that were cultivated out of our souls, and how He paid the penalty that we owed, then how can we continue in sin?

Our Saviour not only shed His blood to deliver His bride from the penalty of sin, but He will "sanctify and cleanse [her] with the washing of water by the word, That he might present [her] to himself a glorious [bride], not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that [she] should be holy and without blemish." as we read in EPH 5:26-27. The Lord Jesus came that we might be washed with the water of the Word. Our whole religion must be based upon the authority of God's Word as we are conformed to the image of Christ.

As Jesus Christ looks upon His bride to see His own image formed in her, He sees all her impurities as thorns in comparison. He sees that His love is planted in the heart of His bride like a lily by the working of the regeneration of the Spirit.

We become a new creature when the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Lily of the valleys, is planted in the garden of our hearts. 2CO 5:17 says, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." We cannot allow the thorns to grow with the lily. We must become new creatures, new men.

See the contrast the Lord sees between His "love" and the world that cherishes sin. His lovely bride, who is "As the lily among thorns," must become the light of the world. She must stand out as a beacon upon a hill so that every person in the world can see her reflect the character of God.

Source: MOSC Forum

See Also:

The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit's title of the Spirit of Truth reveals His qualifications to guide the flock of Christ because of His absolute incapacity of error. The Holy Spirit is incapable of error, and that is why He is so fully qualified to guide.

Birth of the Incarnate God
The greatest the great wonder of our Savior's birth is how He humbled Himself to leave His throne on high to take our human nature so He could appease His Father's wrath upon our sin, and so making peace. He came to redeem us from a debt we could not pay, and reconcile us back unto God.

Love meets Justice in God
Looking at Calvary one finds the ultimate symbol of Love. Jesus is the embodiment of Love. We know of no greater form of Love than that shown by Jesus - the Lamb who willingly chose to become the sacrifice in our place!

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