Saturday, February 17, 2007

Belief Tree

At the beginning of finding out that I had brain cancer I thought . . . "I am definitely not ready for this trial." I am not girded up. I was reading all the blog comments with Scripture that people were sending and knew without a doubt that I would not have been able to send such comments to someone in need. I also knew that I was somewhat like dry bones. I was on a downward spiral of a big complaining spirit. I even told some friends about how I was like dry bones. Fear is normal. What I continue to do with fear is a choice.

Last week a dear gal in my Bible study gave an excellent description on how we are like trees. The roots are what we believe, truth or lies. The trunk is our values or wants. Branches make up our decision. The fruit is displayed in our actions, emotions, attitudes and relationships. Hope it challenges you like it did me.

The roots of the tree represent what you believe. Your roots don’t determine your values but they do determine how you choose to pursue your values. What you believe about God, yourself, and others affect your values, decisions, and actions. You will either draw from truth or lies. Truth comes from God-the Author of life. Believing truth results in life.
Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. Colossians 2:7
Lies come from believing Satan and the world. Satan tries to plant lies in your life through what you see, hear, and experience in the world.

…He (Satan) has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44
Believing lies causes you to doubt what God says. See Romans 1:28-29
Lies about God - Instead of believing that God is good, He cares for you, He desires a close relationship with you, and He loves you unconditionally, you might believe a lie regarding His character.
Lies about Yourself - Instead of believing God loves you and you are accepted by Him, you may believe lies such as you are unloved or a failure. You may believe the labels or input from the world…

Lies about Others - Everyone is loved by God and is valuable to Him. God’s desire is for you to love people and pray that His plan will be accomplished in their lives. However you may believes lies…they are inferior, out to get you, will never change, etc.

Why did you decide to do what you did? What motivates your decisions?
The branches on a tree are attached to the trunk. The trunk of the tree represents the values or wants. They typical values someone might have are to be loved, accepted, significant or safe. People are created with needs but they tend to value the ones they haven’t consistently received. What you deeply value or want influences what you decide. Your values or wants may not be evil but the way you seek to satisfy them can be. God created you and only He is able to provide what you truly want and need. But if you do not believe He can or will provide what you need, you will attempt to provide for yourself. …

Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure. James 4:2-3 NLT

God has a better plan but you will miss out on it by trying to meet your own needs.
…Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the Lord. They are like stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for the future. They will live in the barren wilderness, in an uninhabited salty land. Jeremiah 17:5-6
The branches represent your decisions. Choosing to follow the Spirit or the flesh produces a crop. Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

Using this analogy, your actions, emotions, attitudes, and the condition of your relationships are the fruit. People who believe what the Lord says are like a flourishing tree producing good fruit.
"But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that send out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit." Jeremiah 17:7-8

If controlled by God’s Holy Spirit, your fruit will be good. (See Galatians 5:22-23)
If being controlled by your flesh, your fruit will be bad. (See Galatians 5:19-21)

Bad fruit includes:

  • Negative actions (rage, addictions, sexual immorality, lying, profanity)
  • Negative emotions (fear, anxiety, shame, unrelenting grief)
  • Negative attitudes (complaining, unforgiveness, greed, prejudice)
  • Negative relationships (abusive or broken)

    Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things. Philippians 4:8

What you believe determines how you behave.

Your life can be a fruit tree.

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Anonymous said...

Kate, that was poignant, convicting, and beautiful! I am printing this out and taping it to our bathroom mirror.

We'd been w/out internet access for awhile, so I'm catching up on the posts.

I'm so glad to have talked to you a couple Tuesday mornings ago.

Praise You, Jesus! Kate is finished with radiation!! What joy in spending that time with Joe & his daughter.

Praying about the March MRI and your other prayer requests.

Anonymous said...

Dear Kate,
Just caught up on your blog.
Still praying for you all!
Love ya! Tiffani Gibbs