THE TREE OF LIFE…
Your desires, far from being evil, are intended to make you strong and healthy in all areas of life. The Bible calls the fulfilment of your desires a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12 says,
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.
Proverbs 13:19 says,
A desire accomplished is sweet to the soul, But it is an abomination to fools to depart from
When your desires are fulfilled, they become a tree of life to you. The tree of life provides continuous emotional strength, financial strength, wisdom, a mind that’s at ease. That is God’s desire for you and for every believer. The tree of life is mentioned in three books of the Bible. First it’s in Genesis, in the centre of the Garden along with the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (see Gen. 2:9). When Adam and Eve partook of the tree of the forbidden fruit, an angel blocked the way to the tree of life. It wasn’t punishment; the tree of life added an eternal aspect to whatever it touched. In other words, if sinful man had partaken of the tree of life, mankind would have been permanently locked into a sinful condition.
The tree of life is mentioned again in the Book of Revelation 22:2, with a great prophetic picture of believers partaking of its fruit. That moment lies in the future and so the tree of life in Revelation tells us what will be. But the tree of life is also found in Proverbs, as we just read. The tree of life in Proverbs tells us what can happen right now. We can partake of the fruit of this tree in our everyday lives at this present time. God has figuratively placed this tree within our reach, and every bite of its fruit releases in us strength and eternal courage, a sense of destiny and purpose. Where does that tree spring from? From the fulfillment of our individual, unique, God-given desires.
Desire is part of God’s system, His economy. He draws us into intimate friendship with Him, then responds to our desires and prayers, and answers them. When He does, it releases the courage of eternity into us. When our desires go unfulfilled, our bodies and spirits suffer together. One of the causes of sickness and disease is disappointment that is never dealt with redemptively. People go through a disappointing circumstance and never get before God to have Him heal the hurts they pour out from their soul. The physical body inevitably reflects what’s going on. I once ministered to woman with Crohn’s disease; her colon had been dissolving for seven years. I asked her if she struggled with shame. She said she did, and I said, “Your body is sending you a message. Your colon is eating itself. The harshness you have toward yourself is making you sick, and your body is manifesting what you are doing to yourself emotionally.” She repented for that sin and was instantly healed.
When a tree of life grows sturdy in our spirits, it bears wonderful fruit in all areas of life. The Bible talks about the fruit of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, and so on. These are produced when we abide in Christ, when our desires are fulfilled as we are connected to Him, the Vine. That fruit should increase as revival and revelation are passed down through the generations…
This is the final extract from Bill Johnson, ch10