Blog In Audio:
I believe we are in the midst of a grassroots revolution where God is empowering us to become His people free from the headships of legalism and lawlessness. As I have previously written, Grace is the manifest presence of God in our lives that transforms our hearts and minds to become what we could not be before. God’s manifest presence, God’s transforming grace, must be what captures our attention in the midst of this present move of God’s grace in the earth. When things shake it is only because something of the unshakeable God is manifesting in the earth. When heaven touches the earth, the earth shakes. Love has come to heal the wounds of our hearts and when the wounds of our hearts are exposed we can either choose God’s healing grace or we can choose a path of disconnection from the life that God desires to give us in all things. This is not a time to be distracted because of bitter roots that are being exposed in our hearts. Bitter roots only produce the briers and thorns of law or lawlessness. They cannot produce the fruit of life but can only defile many. They will disqualify us from being participants in bringing the inheritance of heaven into the earth for such a time as this.
Law can only control us, constrain us, or restrain us in some way; grace liberates us, transforms us, and frees us into truth. Lawlessness merely authorizes promiscuity which is the power of being a law unto oneself. Law without an understanding of love is merely embracing a shadow of darkness and demanding that others accept it as light. Law by itself without an understanding of love leaves us vulnerable to interpreting the law though our own judgments of justice that can only demand something from others but can never reach the heart where love can live. Law alone and lawlessness alone can only produce death and dysfunction in the lives of humanity. Only love can transform us. It is miraculous! No one can pay the debts that they owe and proper stewardship of all that we are or have is to be a friend of God and friend to one another. This means that all we are and have must be dedicated to the wellbeing of others. The life that has been given to each of us is a measure of space to bring life to the space of our world.
Neither legalism nor promiscuity are administrations of life. The headships of these two administrations are the fruit of bitter roots and they bind us to the realm of time. They bind us to the testimonies of the pain of our past and prevent us from experiencing the yet to be seen fruit of God’s life. God wants the fruit of the tree of life to be the testimony among men, but bitter roots in our hearts will thwart that destiny. It is time to be healed of our bitter roots, but even more – it is time to bear the fruit of the tree of life among men in a broader way than ever before.
I have an apple tree in my yard that is a prophetic sign of the church and this year it has decided to grow sideways, rather than up. It is a short tree, but it is filled with countless apples. God has made it clear to me that this tree is short because He wants His church to be the kind of tree that even little children can reach the fruit. Perhaps it is only the childlike of heart that have an expectancy of good things in times of restraint. It is also clear to me that this tree is proclaiming that God wants to expand the fruit of life in a broader way.
I planted this tree in the year 2000 at the direction of the Holy Spirit and it has six grafted branches. God told me to plant the tree with six grafts and it would represent the kind of church that He wants. It is the family that He desires in the earth. Six is the number of man and God’s church is both Spirit and human. It is a place of connection of God with man where God reveals who He is through diverse expressions of humanity. It is also the source of connection for all of the branches of the tree. The common connection is the branching out connections with the trunk of the tree. Each branch on my tree is grafted into natural branching out expressions of the trunk of the tree, but each branch produces a different kind of fruit. There are red apples, green apples, yellow apples, and many combinations of diversity in the fruit of apples. There is no competition between the branches of my tree, only a greater expression of fruit and its diverse flavors of life in the full expression of the tree. There is one tree, one root, and one life-flowing sap in the tree, but there are six branches with unique fruit on each branch.
I believe that this is truly the kind of church that God is revealing in the earth at this time. God does not want unity through conformity, He wants unity through diversity. The diversity that God desires is not merely the creativity of human will. It is diverse in its fruit, but each branch is fully dependent upon its connection to the tree. God wants us to be a tree of life that produces life in many wonderful and diverse ways. That tree is a generational tree and not merely a testimony of the strength of branches. It is tree of roots, trunk, branches, leaves, and fruit. The life-giving expressions of the tree are new today, but they find their life source in the roots and body of the past. Things look different, but they are true to the destiny of the ages past.
I am aware that I must pay attention to the fruit of my tree this year. I am going to have to be creative in supporting the branches of my tree in order for the branches to be able to carry the weight of the fruit that is destined to come to maturity on each branch. Something really good is happening on my tree that is growing sideways and not up. I could say that everything is going sideways, but I choose to see that the fruit of my tree can go out to reach all those who would reach up and partake of its fruit. I believe that God desires to move the church in a sideways momentum that causes the fruit of life to be accessible by those who are looking for life in such a day as this. Perhaps this is a time for the church to grow broader rather than bigger, but broader in its ability to bring the fruit of the tree of life to the nations.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson
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