When I choose to live my life with thanks to God, I make a choice for Life, which liberates me from the Tree of Good and Evil. This is as opposed to when I choose to judge events and circumstances as good or bad. Doing so is to live by the Tree of Knowledge and this only produces death, confusion, and chaos. Living by the Tree of Knowledge is to live deciding and dictating what is acceptable and unacceptable. This will always lead to death—my death. Eating this fruit was the ruin of Adam and Eve and it can be the ruin of me as well. Man was never intended to live deciding; our destiny is found in listening. Only when I live thanking God for everything will I be set free from the tree of death. Thanks purposes to let God choose.
Be thankful, whatever the circumstances may be. If you follow this advice you will be working out the will of God expressed to you in Jesus Christ.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 Philips
The Tree of Knowledge vs. The Paradox
This is deeply Hebraic thought. Living in the paradox allows God to be God. Shall we receive blessing and not adversity from the hand of God? I have learned that this is a very difficult reality to accept, especially for the Western mindset. We like either/or, and neither the twain shall meet. I guess we feel safe in a singularly sided reality. When there’s a seeming contradiction, we prefer to choose rather than remain out of control.
Shall we indeed accept [only] good from God and not [also] accept adversity and disaster?”
Job 2:10 AMP
When I live deciding what is good and bad, I am attempting to sit in the seat of the true Judge. This is not actual living at all. To live life we have to live receiving from the hand of our God, not parceling out what we will and won’t accept. Do you remember that post where we quoted Ravi Zacharias? That was certainly along the same lines of what I’m saying here and that was in the face of a mass shooting.
Bitterness from The Tree of Knowledge
To live as a judge is to live closed-fisted with a gavel to club dissenters. The Tree of Knowledge makes me bitter for being wronged, misused, and abused. It is impossible to not internally become soured while eating that tree’s fruits. They are delightful to the eyes but deadly poisonous to the spirit and soul of man once ingested.
I am not promoting a Pollyanna existence where you live naive and stupid about life. Nor am I saying that we’re just to lie down as a doormat and let all of life plow us into the ground. It’s true that not everything in life will feel good, but for the open-handed witness, everything will bless.
It’s not bravery to live in a life where everything is cherry-flavored and sugarcoated. That’s not bravery, and that’s not faith! Courage is living by faith in the nitty gritty. It is true bravery to live life accepting rather than rejecting. Anyone can live as a sorter and judge—this is right, this is wrong, and this is good, and this is bad.
Fruit from the Tree of Knowledge
The fruit of living from the Tree of Knowledge is the missing of actual life. We don’t live when we’re sorting whether something is good or bad. Life is lived in its entirety because life is wholeness and fullness, not segregation and compartmentalizing. Do you want to live in wholeness and fullness? Then you’ll have to embrace Life in its entirety. You can’t live accepting the good while rejecting the bad. There is no good and bad, there’s only Life.
“Father, I abandon myself into Your hands; do with me what You will. Whatever You may do, I thank You; I am ready for all, I accept all.
“Let only Your will be done in me, and in all Your creatures—I wish no more than this, O Lord. Into Your hands I commend my soul: I offer it to You with all the love of my heart, for I love You, Lord, and so need to give myself, to surrender myself into Your hands without reserve and with boundless confidence, for you are my Father. Amen.”
—Charles de Foucauld
In my next post I want to show what we actually are supposed to do if we’re not to live judging what is good and what is bad.