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Shepherds Hill Homestead » Plain Lifestyle, Servants Of Christ » Backburner Stuff

Backburner Stuff

     Whenever Angie is cooking, she often saves the best for last. My favorite things seem to be the leftover items that she’s miraculously transformed into a delicious stew or soup. She’s prone to get that old wood stove fired up in the cookhouse on weekends. While she’s cooking bread or some other item, she’s got this stew going on the back burner. It takes a long time to get it finished, but it’s always worth it. I mean, those ingredients simmer together and you can’t tell what’s coming until that first bite. Well, last week, the Lord did some back burner cooking for me. And that bite was glorious!

      There have always been those items in scripture that don’t have immediate answers. They are the things that scholars don’t like to discuss because they really don’t understand them either. Preachers don’t give sermons on them because they don’t know the answer. I’ve had a lot of backburner items after studying the Word for 33 years. I’ve always wondered things like “Why did the Lord have Hosea marry a prostitute when it would go against the Law?” And others like, “Why would he ask Abraham to sacrifice his son when it clearly goes against the nature of God for us to take a life?”

   One of those stories for me has always been about the time that Jesus cursed a fig tree. Mark 11:12-22.. Here we find the Lord cursing a fig tree because it had no fruit. It withers away and the Disciples are amazed at the speed in which it dries up. Now, it’s not surprising that the Lord is teaching us that He wants us to be fruitful. What is surprising is that it was not time for the figs to be ripe. It always seemed sort of unfair to me that He would have done this, had I not known the nature of our Lord. But knowing that He is always more than fair, I knew that there was much more to the story. Since I didn’t understand it, I put it on the back burner.

   Now, if you are a regular reader of our site, you’ve come to know us pretty well. You know that we believe that the agrarian lifestyle is more what God intended for man. We also believe that in living on a farm, we can understand the Bible better. After all, the society of Bible days was one of farming and living off the land.

   Another thing that you may have learned is that we do an awful lot of studying on any one thing before we decide what is best for us. We learn all about apple trees before selecting a variety and find the best breed of chicken for our needs. Recently, I learned a lot about figs.

   I love figs! My grandfather had a great fig tree when I was a kid and we all loved picking them right off the limbs. I have always been fascinated at how they were mentioned from the Garden of Eden. As far as I can tell, the fig is the only actual type of plant that is spelled out in the Garden (Gen 3:7).  It is a very healthy fruit and is great when stored as preserves. But, the Holy Spirit used one little item of knowledge to open the passage in Mark to me.

     Angie and I sat on the front porch of the Homestead Hollow cabin a couple of weeks ago. It was Sunday morning and we were drinking coffee and just enjoying the start of the day. At the end of that porch is a massive fig tree. I had looked at it several times during the weekend. Looking for fruit, I only saw six figs on it. This was strange since it is about 12 feet tall and wide. She and I started discussing it when I told her the reason.

     One thing I learned about figs is that if they ever get too many roots, they will stop producing fruit. The roots of this tree go way out into the yard. When I told Angie this, BAM! The Holy Spirit presented me with the answer to the cursed tree. You see, it had too many roots. There is actually another parable that says a servant was going to dig around the roots of a fig and see if it would start producing (Luke 13:7-9). Immediately I knew that we are not supposed to have a lot of roots in this world! You see, if we get too connected to this life, we won’t produce fruit. Just like the fig tree, we must have our roots cut back from time to time. Figs start producing fruit right after they put on leaves. Since it had leaves and no fruit showing, Jesus knew that it would not produce at all that year.

   The Lord told us that we should hate this life in comparison to what is ahead (Luke 14).  We should not love the world (1 John2:15) because if we do, we don’t love Christ. The reality was made so clear that morning. The Word was opened through a fig tree. Now, I pray that if I am unfruitful, He will cut back some of my roots and not let me be too tied to anything or anyone in this life. I don’t want to love anything of this world that, in losing it, I would love God less.

   How about you?

It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter. Proverbs 25:2

paul

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Philippians 3:13-14 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Filed under: Plain Lifestyle, Servants Of Christ

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