I live out in the country, down a dirt road and then a little farther. I grew up here and I have a lot of history here. My grandparents’ parents bought this land and used to run a mill from the creek that runs through our property. I would spend hours playing in the woods and splashing in the creek. I always noticed the trees next to the creek were much bigger and sturdier than any others on our land. And it’s something that’s still true today.
As an adult, it is very easy to see why. The trees next to the creek have a steady, never ending supply of water. All throughout history people have settled around rivers and lakes to have easy access to one of the most vital things: water.
It’s no wonder, then, that God would use this as a metaphor for growth in our spiritual lives as well.
Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked,
or stand around with sinners or join in with mockers.
But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night.
They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.
But not the wicked!
They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind.
They will be condemned at the time of judgment.
Sinners will have no place among the godly.
For the Lord watches over the path of the godly, but the path of the wicked leads to destruction. –Psalm 1:1-6
As we’ve been looking into the concept of how we change, the end result is we should be producing fruit. And I think the way we condition our hearts to bear fruit might surprise you.
I think the biggest change in our hearts is to be happy. You see, at the first of the passage in Psalms it talks about joy. In Hebrew this word is translated “blessed/happy;” it can mean both things and actually does. Its Greek counterpart is the same word Jesus uses during His sermon on the mount.
God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. – Matthew 5:3
Happiness comes from reliance and roots in God’s word and God’s grace. But the thing about happiness is you can’t go looking for it. Your joy comes from first seeking the Lord for the sake of seeking the Lord. You can’t be blessed by looking for blessings.
Timothy Keller once said, “If you say, ‘Well, I’m interested in this Christianity, and maybe I’ll come and bite on it if I can see if it will help me reach my goals and make me happy.’ You’re not coming to God; you’re coming to a butler.”
Come to Christ because you’re broken and when you do, joy will be the byproduct. Another quote from Keller, “Aim at Heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.”
After the roots have been set then the fruit starts producing. And as long as the roots remain in the Lord the fruit never stops. Good works can only come from a pure heart and the only pure heart is God’s.
Does your heart belong to Him?