Sunday, 21 February 2010


What does this picture make you think of?

I've asked a few friends, and had a few different answers. Some about old memories and friends. Some about light and dark and life and death. Some wanting to know the story of the Tree. Everyone can see the tree is leaning, but no-one is sure why.

When I saw this picture, my immediate thought was that the tree had grown up in strong wind all it's life. Whether that's true or not I don't know but that's what I thought.

Do you ever feel like that? Like your whole life you've been pushed in one direction? Not just suggested, but not quite forced to think, act and make decisions in certain ways?

When we're 'born again' (accepted God and have recieved a new life from him) we inherit some excellent promises. For example...

"Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." 1 Corin 6:9-11

Society/culture/the media tells us that we can't live without certain things. It tells us that we need to worship idols (stuff, people etc) It tells us that sex is the grand aim of life. It tells us that we're dissatisfied with what we have, and need more. Or that everyone else has more than us, so we're fully entitled to do whatever it takes to get what we're missing out on. It tells us that how God feels about relationships and sex doesn't matter.

The Bible however tells us that we're washed, sanctified and justified. In other words our past is washed away, and we're fresh and new. We're a new 'sanctified' person who doesn't worship idols, who is content with what they have, who doesn't feel like they're missing out, and have to cheat to get what they need. Sex is no longer the whole point of our existence, but can be put in it's rightful place, as God intended. Sanctified means set apart for God. It means we have purpose, and we are pure. Also, we're justified. We have a new relationship with God where we are part of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit community.

All of these things are in the past tense. They have all happened. They are all already true, but many times I find that my life doesn't look like the promises. I feel like a tree, rooted in promises that I'm not enjoying. Blown over by the wind, which constantly pushes and pushes. I've grown up in the wind and come to accept it as truth. It isn't the truth, it's a big lie.

God, help us to recognise our roots from our leaves. Help us to remember what you've done for us. Help us to grow straight, and strong and tall.

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