Palm Trees, part 2 focuses on the symbolic nature of palm trees and challenges us to be overcomers in this life.
Early Christians used the palm branch to symbolize the victory of the faithful over enemies of the soul, as in the Palm Sunday festival celebrating the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. In Christian art, martyrs were usually shown holding a palm frond as an attribute, representing the victory of spirit over flesh, and it was widely believed that a picture of a palm on a tomb meant that a martyr was buried there. (www.wikipedia.org)
Jesus came to give us victory over Satan, the world and our own flesh or Adamic nature. He died on the cross as an atonement for our sin so we could enter into the holy of holies, the presence of God. Most people pray the sinners prayer so they can escape hell and go to heaven when they die, but God's number one purpose for sending Christ was so we could enter into His presence right now through a new and living way while here on earth. Through the forgiveness of our sins, we can enter into a new and divine relationship with our loving Heavenly Father. He wants to abide with us- now. He wants us to abide in Christ- now. Christ came to enable us to overcome sinful attitudes, emotions and behaviors; all those things that keep us separated from and out of the presence of God.
Instead of having an escapist mentality which sings, "I'll fly away, oh glory, I'll fly away." Lets refocus on why we were put on planet earth-- in the first place. We were created in His image to have fellowship with God, to worship Him alone and to bring Him glory by everything we say or do while here on earth. Let us be living sacrifices walking in the Spirit and leading others to do the same. Let us be walking, breathing temples of the Holy Spirit who have crucified the flesh and overcome sin, Satan and the world. Let us sing scripture songs, sing in the Spirit and make melodies in our hearts to Him.
Palm trees are symbolic of being overcomers in this life, of having the victory over our spiritual enemies and over our fleshly nature. Often palm trees are used in landscaping around churches, shopping centers, businesses and homes. The next time you see a palm tree let it be a reminder to give thanks for all Jesus Christ has done for you; his death on the cross, the salvation of your body, soul and spirit, of His resurrection life available to you here and now.
Let it also be a reminder that here in the US we have the liberty to worship the living Lord without threat of being martyred for our faith. Pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are living out their faith in a country where the government arrests and imprisons Christians, tortures them and demands they renounce their faith in Jesus Christ or die. Finally, pray for our country that we continue to have the religious liberties we now enjoy for generations to come. Pray that we remain a nation under God's divine providence, provision and protection.
(PS- the photo at the top is a piece of embroidery I completed and framed several years ago. It reminds me of our ministry trip to Malaysia in 2008.)
New note added 11-20-11. The book of Enoch, chap. 24-25 describe the tree of life as being a date palm tree with fruit resembling dates and having blooms that give off a "fragrance beyond all fragrance." The fruit will be for the bacharim meaning "the elect or chosen ones" who will have access to the Temple of YHWH. The elect will eat from this tree and live forever without any grief, plague, tragedy or pain.