There are several parables that Jesus used to describe Kingdom life and Kingdom living. Being a mighty tree is one of them. At times He used two or more parables together to try to bring out aspects of His message. This is because parables are an excellent way to teach, but each one can only bring out certain aspects of who we are and what we are called to do. Even though a parable is a limited medium, it is a powerful one, able to capture a working picture that is easily related to, and draw on a transfer of ideas that are more readily identified with than a pure spiritual fact. Jesus was opening up ideas of powerful existence as Kingdom people. We dont really know if He was successful in this, but we know that after being baptised in the Holy Spirit and fire on the day of Pentecost, the disciples and others recalled what He taught and after a few years, spead out across the known world being and doing Kingdom based miracle life. What I am drawing out now is the parables which compare a son of God with a mighty tree.
Read the verse below and imagine this is you.
Psalm 1:3 And he shall be like a tree firmly planted [and tended] by the streams of water, ready to bring forth its fruit in its season; its leaf also shall not fade or wither; and everything he does shall prosper [and come to maturity]. (Amplified Bible)
Shut your eyes for a minute or two and let your imagination fill out the picture.
Now take a piece of paper and generally draw what you saw of the tree, the river and their positions.
Look at Revelation 22:1-4
This is a picture of where we really are in spirit – remember we dwell in Heaven and on earth at the same time.
1) Is it difficult to believe in who we really are as we look beyond where we are physically, and begin to look at who we really are?
2) Why do you believe we are here?
3) What do you believe Father may have planned for us?
The context of Psalm 1 the tree (us) is not a tree that springs up spontaneously, but one that is set out in a favourable place, and that is cultivated with care. John 15
We were planted there for a purpose and not just to generally (and generously) reflect the fruits of the spirit.
Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), [a]recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].” (Amplified Bible)
The reason we are a certain sort of tree, and are planted in our particular place, is as unique as we are.
We are not the same as each other. What pushes your buttons may not push mine. Our Father does not have a cookie cutter that makes Christians conforming to a formula.
Whatever our specific and individual purpose might be, it will be brought forth in seasons, i.e. when He is ready and when you are ready. (Psalm 1:3, Phil 1:6) He can get us ready faster when we walk in surrender to Him.
The new covenant Jeremiah 31:31 comes with our hearts being rewritten. Do we want the new heart promised in Ezekiel 36:26? When we stop thinking that life in the Kingdom is some sort of game and get serious with Him our heart changes and He responds, drawing us deeper into Him and writing more.
We are involved in a new season of our Father’s moving. That requires belief about more than who we are. That information must come by revelation from Him. He is constantly speaking into our spirit. How much of that filters through into our soul and mind, depends on our soul - spirit connectedness.
Trees of righteousness
In Isaiah 61:1-4 there is a parable of the trees of righteousness
The Spirit of the Lord is on Me; because the Lord has anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
to preach the acceptable year of the Lord and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn;
to appoint to those who mourn in Zion, to give to them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the mantle of praise for the spirit of heaviness; so that they might be called trees (oaks, terebinths) of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.
And they will build the old wastes, they will raise up the ruins of former times. And they will repair the waste cities, the ruins of many generations.
Trees are living pillars that we build houses and restaurants in.
Terebinths, Oaks symbolising trees of righteousness are moveable great kingdom trees.
You and I are pillars or trees of righteousness in Jesus Christ.
These are some of the healing things that happen as we pray for one another.
He gives beauty for the ashes of the burned out self agendas.
He gives garments of praise for the heaviness that comes as we go through the burning out in each area.
He gives the oil of joy as we go through the mourning that goes with the loss of what we have relied on and been comfortable with that is being burned out on the inside.
Why? So that we are made into trees of righteousness, the planting of God so that He might be glorified by all that flows out of us.
Glorify Him by being made into great Kingdom Trees.
Co-operate with what He is doing as He breaks down the self stuff to ashes.
See your mourning and feelings of loss and being brought low as opportunities for joy and praise. Praise refocuses our hearts and brings or releases joy into mourning and heaviness of having stuff die in our lives, but it’s a glorious process of being made into trees of righteousness and glorifying Him from the inside out.
What sort of tree is growing in you?
Mark 4:30–32 In this chapter Jesus talks about seed and trees. He starts by talking about the harvest of men into the kingdom and uses the parable of the wheat to illustrate that. Then He moves on to talk about the kingdom of God as being as small as a mustard seed that grows into a massive tree able to shelter all.
This parable doesn’t really make sense, because the kingdom of God is already in existence at this stage so why does He talk about it as if it has a beginning or beginnings that we should know about and be watching for?
Why did He bother to encourage us that it starts with the tiniest seed of all but grows to be the mightiest tree? I believe that I am hearing from Him that the Kingdom tree starts to grow in each one of us when we come into the kingdom. The growth conditions are the same as for the wheat, in other words limited by us and what we are involved in.
To illustrate this look further on in the same chapter. The Holy Spirit has written an example of Jesus being the great kingdom tree. Mark 4:35 –41 and Mark chapter 5. in the story in chapter 4 we see that the kingdom tree in Jesus is so great that the wind and waves are subject to Him. God causes germination of this tree in you and me and He gives the growth, but we can halt the growth of this tree at any stage. Remember that Jesus says “is like “ The implication is that kingdom trees are the most massive tall and huge tree so that they give shelter to all in need. This is the spirit of what He is saying.
Wheat seed is talked about in a parable, a seed of harvest that God causes germination and growth of.
Also in Mark 4:17 He explains that affliction and persecution comes for the sown word’s sake. (Not as some sort of punishment)
Mark 4:30-32 And He said, to what shall we compare the kingdom of God? Or by what parable shall we compare it?
It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that are in the earth.
But when it has been sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out great branches, so as to enable the birds of the air to roost under its shade.
Kingdom seed is as a great tree that stands tall and huge and gives shelter. Jesus talks about “is like” so we should not get too involved in exact matches for parables but look at the spirit of what He is saying using comparisons from creation to make His points. What else do we find that scripture has to say about tree comparisons? Isaiah 61:3 (above) speaks of trees of righteousness, and most other references speak about righteousness as being in the nature or in the strength of the tree that we are as we grow under God’s hand. As trees grow slowly, so do we.
There are different types of integrity. It’s easy to think about integrity in terms of worldly measures of integrity, such as integrity in a job, integrity in surface relationships with other people, or integrity at law, but God’s call for integrity is in an area that affects all of these but is in fact involved primarily in our relationship and in our responses to Him. The gift of Jesus Life to us contains a gift of righteousness that only works when we are walking in surrender to our Father. This is the righteousness that produces the imprint of righteousness throughout the tree as it grows.
We really need to go after God to find out what He is talking about when He’s talking about integrity, and when He is asking us to walk as trees of righteousness or in other words trees of integrity before Him. We’ve been given Jesus’ righteousness as a gift but it is always a choice to live His righteousness out into our situation. The great thing is that the more we do it the more the print of His righteousness soaks into our souls and hearts and the more we become the planting of the Lord. In other words the greater and stronger the Kingdom tree grows inside us.
As we choose, our enemy sees and doesn't like it because we look dangerous. This makes it more difficult, because we face opposition which generally can make it harder to stay in the flow of His righteousness. There are other times when we battle inside because we want to do it our way. We want to do our own thing. The truth is though that time is short, so we need to say to ourselves, “Just get on with the job, I am going to pursue God’s way, help me, Holy Spirit.”
Satan will steal our time any way he can. He does this by planting thoughts of time-wasting things to do because he knows that this is the most effective way to sidetrack us. We don’t even recognise them as temptations most of the time, and then we wonder why we haven’t got enough time to do the stuff we should be doing.
We have to ask, “What is our determination level?”
What is our real willingness to fight for growth?
Often our desire is only as great as our desperation level, and we only act when we are in crisis. This is not a peaceful way to live, although God’s peace keeps us through it all.
Jesus gave us His commands so that generally speaking we would be one jump ahead of crisis by dealing with life positively. There are three questions that can help.
1) What is happening in my situation?
2) What is NOT happening in this?
3) What can I do to influence this?
In the same chapter as the parable of the Kingdom tree, we see an example of Jesus Being a Kingdom tree.
A Kingdom tree is not rooted in the physical, but in Kingdom reality which is spiritual.
The secret of Jesus’ existence and the secret of ours is that a Kingdom tree operates out of what he sees his father doing, and from what he hears his Father talking about. This is not rooted in the physical but in harmony with the Holy Spirit.
Jesus was able to sleep in the boat even though the elements were raging and screaming all around Him. In Himself He was living in a different place in the spirit from where the disciples were. He was sleeping in the City of Revelation more than He was sleeping in the boat. He was existing in the City of Revelation right through this physical world. He was resident in such a different place that it was normal for Him and He wanted to know why the disciples were not there too.
At first look, the rebuke He gave to the disciples in the boat seems a hard thing, but He shows in His words that He expected them to deal with the storm. “Why are you so afraid?” “Where is your faith?” He expected the Kingdom tree in them to be bigger than it was, and when we consider the amount of miracles and teaching that they had directly from Him, we can understand why He asked this. In many ways God is asking this of us now.
What we need to see here is that the Kingdom tree demonstrated in Jesus is very great indeed and naturally gives shelter to others. Jesus told us that we would do all that He did and more. Sons of God walking with our Father in this world.
This Kingdom Tree (Jesus alive and well and living in us) is very great indeed and does give shelter to others by faith that is built by sustained relationship experience. The more we walk with our Father in a close way (walking and talking with Him) the more we trust Him, and heart level faith builds in us as a result. (This is not the gift of faith which I describe in another article.)
What are our choices? Jeremiah 18:4. – Do we tell our Father “no” and put limits on the potter?
Jer 18:3-4 Then I went down to the potter's house, and, behold, he was working a work on the wheel. And the vessel that he made in clay was ruined in the hand of the potter; so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.
I hope you are even more determined to ask your Father to grow you into a mighty Kingdom tree, effective in all He has called you to do, and able to help all who are around you. Ask Him now.
Psa 1:3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivulets of water that brings forth its fruit in its seasons, and its leaf shall not wither, and all which he does shall be blessed.
Psa 92:12 The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree; he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
Pro 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he who takes souls is wise.
Pro 15:4 A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, but crookedness in it is a break in the spirit.
Jer 17:7-8 Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and the Lord is his trust. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters; it sends out its roots by the river, and it shall not fear when the heat comes, but its foliage shall be green; and he is not worried in the year of drought, nor will it cease from yielding fruit
Mat 7:17-18 Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruits, nor can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
The Kingdom tree in action
Luk 8:39-45 Return to your own house and declare what God has done to you. And he went his way and proclaimed throughout all the city what great things Jesus had done to him.
And it happened when Jesus had returned, the people received Him. For they were all waiting for Him.
And behold, a man named Jairus came, and he was a synagogue-ruler. And he fell down at Jesus' feet and begged Him that He would come into his house.
For he had an only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay dying. But as He went, the people thronged Him.
And a woman who had a flow of blood twelve years (who had spent all her living on physicians, and could not be healed by any) came behind Him and touched the border of His garment. And instantly her flow of blood was staunched.
And Jesus said, Who touched Me? And all having denied, Peter and those with Him said, Master, the crowd presses and jostles You, and You say, Who touched Me?