Print Sizes: S, M, L | Greeting Cards | Original Artwork: SOLD, Pen on Paper
A tree planted by streams of water, green and fruitful, is a beautiful analogy of a Christian whose life is rooted in Christ and the Word of God. The living water of the Holy Spirit keeps us green and fruitful year round, no matter what our circumstances. The two most notable Scriptures this drawing references are Psalm 1 and Jeremiah 17:5-8.
“This is what the LORD says: ‘Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD. He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives. But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.'” (Jeremiah 17:5-8)
“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. They are like chaff that he wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous but the way of the wicked will perish.” (Psalm 1)
The inspiration for this drawing came during the time when God called our family out of attending an “organized” church as our primary source of fellowship into a lifestyle of fellowship that was derived from the following Scriptures:
“Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should stand firm in the Lord, dear friends.” (Philippians 3:17-4:1)
“Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” (2 Timothy 2:22)
“What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church.” (1 Corinthians 14:26)
There was much within my “organized church” that acted like scaffolding to my spiritual life. That is, I didn’t actually need to stand on my own two, spiritual feet and be strong in the Lord myself. Instead, I just relied on the religious scaffolding to prop up my spiritual life into an ‘illusion’ that looked like I was standing on my own spiritually. However, when I was removed from that environment and that scaffolding was taken away, I realized just how many of my spiritual roots were not tapped into the living water of Jesus Christ alone, but rather, into a religious structure, people and other things that were not Jesus himself. At first I began to wilt. However, I quickly learned that I needed to tap my roots into Jesus Christ alone, and not into any man nor into any religious structure. If I was going to live and thrive spiritually, then I needed to draw upon Christ alone.
Important note: *I am not saying that finding fellowship in an organized church is equivalent to tapping one’s roots into man. One can still attend an “organized” church and still have all of their roots tapped into Christ and flourish spiritually. However, in my own journey, when the Lord moved our family to a different means of Christian fellowship, my dependency upon a religious structure rather than Christ was blatantly exposed.*
I specifically chose to do this drawing of the fruitful tree planted by streams of water because it is such a clear exhortation from Scripture for us to solely depend upon the Lord for our spiritual life and not in anything or anyone else.
In the background there are 6 withered bushes in the dry, desert wasteland. Six is the number of man, and when our trust is in man (instead of the Lord) to give us spiritual sustenance, we will wither and bear no fruit. The seventh tree, seven being the number of divine perfection and completion, is the fruitful tree whose roots are constantly drawing spiritual sustenance from God alone.