A Dry Tree

How many times have you been in the place of dryness and cried to the Lord over your own barrenness? There are seasons in God or in life where it seems that we are a dry tree producing no fruit….that all we are good for is the fire. This of course is of God and is good for us. We have confidence in God and not in ourselves that He is the husbandman and He is doing a good job pruning His vine and branches.

Jesus said that He is the True Vine and we are the branches on that vine. His life and sap flow through us as we abide in Him. And we do abide in Him!

It may seem that bearing fruit is up to us and when we do not see any fruit that we have thought we should see by now…then we begin to doubt whether we are in Christ at all.

But be encouraged dear heart that God says to you what he spoke through Isaiah’s mouth years ago….

Isa 56:3  Do not let the son of the foreigner Who has joined himself to the LORD Speak, saying,

“The LORD has utterly separated me from His people”; Nor let the eunuch say, “Here I am, a dry tree.”

If you are one who has been separated from the main body of believers then you will be tempted as I have been to begin to think that you have been separated utterly and for good. Many people have been separated out from the main vineyard like taking a plant from a hothouse and placing it in another environment. God has been doing a special work in your heart just as He continues to do a special work in the main hothouse. Do not fret and worry that He has forgotten about you!

But I know that you have been feeling shame and doubt and confusion over why it has been so long since you walked with the Godly in the midst of the congregation. You are like a dead man -out of sight and forgotten. All your acquaintances He has put far from you and you have become a reproach to your neighbours. God does this to refine you. Are you looking for honour from men or from God?

The Eunuch says, “I am a dry tree”

The Eunuch to my mind is a type of believer called to minister to the Lord. Just as we are chaste virgins as Paul wrote(2 Cor 11:2)…and John in the Revelation  said we are virgins following the Lamb wherever He goes.

Rev 14:4  These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins.

These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes.

These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb.

This is not to be taken literally —even as the rest of Revelation is symbolic not literal. God created marriage and there is nothing defiling about sex with one’s spouse. We are chaste virgins and Jesus has captured our heart. Other lovers pursue us though, seducing us to capture our hearts attention for them. These are what defile us.

2Co 11:2  For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. 
2Co 11:3  But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 

This corruption and defilement is what causes us to be dry trees. But God is dealing with it and has been even though you and I have not realised it. We have thought He has abandoned us and forgotten about us. But those very things are a part of His dealings to purge these things from us.

A dry tree?

The word here in Isaiah 56:3 is from a root word— yâbêsh
yaw-bashe’
A primitive root; to be ashamed, confused or disappointed; also (as failing) to dry up (as water) or wither (as herbage): – be ashamed, clean, be confounded, (make) dry (up), (do) shame (-fully), X utterly, wither (away).

When you consider Jesus’ word in John 15….

Joh 15:1  “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 
Joh 15:2  Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 

Joh 15:6  If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned

The mind that is set upon the flesh–the world–the desire of the eyes–the pride of life–is death. It is this mind that Paul says Satan has deceived and seduces away from Jesus. That mind cannot bear fruit for it does not abide in Him. God is dealing with that…and has done so at the cross. But He continues to deal with it all our lives. Thank God He does!!

Ashamed , confused and disappointed. These things are what comes from the futility of a life set on the things of this world and of the flesh.

But God says LET NOT THE EUNUCH SAY I AM A DRY TREE.

What are we to say? We are to agree with Him that we are joined in the S/spirit with Christ Jesus, we are one with Him. WE bear much fruit for He is our new life, He is the One living AS me…it is not I, but Christ…and the Life I now live I live by the FAITH OF Jesus who lives me all the way to glory.

We are to have a good faith filled confession of the truth of who we are. It may seem like we are barren….but yes, the flesh is barren, the SPIRIT gives life. Don’t focus on the flesh…focus on the truth of the SPIRIT.

Job knew this dry season.

Job 13:24  Why do You hide Your face, And regard me as Your enemy? [It sure seems that way when God does this]
Job 13:25  Will You frighten a leaf driven to and fro? And will You pursue dry stubble? [In this place of being shaken one feels exactly like a leaf and dry stubble fit for burning]
Job 13:26  For You write bitter things against me, And make me inherit the iniquities of my youth. [people, even brethren write things against us when we have meant them well—they bring up our old forgiven sins]
Job 13:27  You put my feet in the stocks, And watch closely all my paths. You set a limit for the soles of my feet. [God hems us in, maybe a job, a little town, a little church, a sickness, some kind of impediment which stops us doing what we want to do]
Job 13:28  “Man decays like a rotten thing, Like a garment that is moth-eaten. [We grow older and older and still our dreams and expectations do not appear]

Of course when God had finished with Job’s purifying fire Job came forth as gold!

God causes the dry tree to flourish

Eze 17:24  And all the trees of the field shall know that I, the LORD, have brought down the high tree and exalted the low tree, dried up the green tree and made the dry tree flourish; I, the LORD, have spoken and have done it.” 

All the outer bravado and abilities we have thought God will use,,,should use…He has not used and will not use!! God has refused to let us minister or flourish on our terms….according to strengths. Instead God weakens us in the way and traps us and hems us in until we learn His strength is made perfect through our weaknesses.

The dry bones live

Then of course the dry bones story of Ez 37…

Eze 37:2  Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry
Eze 37:3  And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” So I answered, “O Lord GOD, You know. 

When we have been reduced to dry bones with no hope of ever fulfilling our calling and destiny….then God steps up to the plate to prove that He is God and that all things come from Him.

It must be this way for He will not share His glory with another. All will bow humbly and acknowledge Him as God.

Eze 37:11  Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, ‘Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!

There it is again…the exact same lament as in Isa 56:3 —“The LORD has utterly separated me from His people”; Nor let the eunuch say, “Here I am, a dry tree.”

But what is the divine response?

Eze 37:12  Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 
Eze 37:13  Then you shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves. 
Eze 37:14  I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken it and performed it,” says the LORD.’ ” 

God is faithful and HE ALSO WILL DO IT..

1Th 5:23  Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 
1Th 5:24  He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it. 

You see this is what God was saying through Isaiah as well. In Isa 56 God says over and over that the promises are to those who keep from defiling My sabbath and who hold fast to My Covenant.

There is no greater Sabbath than the rest found in ABIDING ONLY IN JESUS!! In that way all believers are to keep the Sabbath…for those who have believed do enter that rest. (Heb 4:3) And to hold fast to the NEW COVENANT is what God means in Isaiah 56.  The New Covenant is not based upon our imagined ability to do good and not do bad. The NEw Covenant is made in Jesus blood–we are forgiven and made new creatures in Him, so that it is JESUS LIVING in us…we are those who have joined ourselves to the LORD as Isa 56 says….and as Paul wrote in 1 Cor 6:17!!

“He that is joined to the Lord has become ONE SPIRIT!!”

Therefore God promises to us that He will bring us to rich fulfillment in His house of Prayer for all nations…He will do it!! Only one life can live in the Kingdom–it is the life of Jesus Himself flowing through His branches.