From my Oswald Chambers devo:

We must never allow anything to injure our
relationship with God; if it does get injured we must take time and
get it put right. The main thing about Christianity is not the work
we do, but the relationship we maintain and the atmosphere produced
by that relationship. That is all God asks us to look after, and it
is the one thing that is being continually assailed

I like the metaphor of our relationship with God as its described in scripture as being an organic one, in which God is both the root/the tree of life, and the diligent Gardener who pours down living water on us, which is also absorbed into our bodies(the branches) and nourishes us. God is our refreshment, our nourishment, our source of life. He is the vine, and we are the branches, if we abide in Him, we will bear much fruit, apart from Him we can do nothing. (Joihn 15:5) If we don't abide, we get cut off. As it is, we've been grafted into a cultivated olive tree as gentiles, though we originated from an olive tree that is wild by nature. and now we too get to share in the nourishing sap from the olive root. Natural branches were cut off so that we could be grafted in. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and we stand by faith. This should not make us arrogant but afraid. For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare us either. (Romans 11:17-24)

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Comment by Angie Craven on August 4, 2008 at 9:47pm
This is so awesome that the Lord is teaching us about the same things at the same time!!!
I was thinking about this and visualized a gardner taking such great care of his trees that he was looking them over after watering them and inspecting every single leaf. He is so diligent with each branch!!! And how much more truly with each of us:)
Comment by Michael Cornett on October 17, 2008 at 7:13pm
You're a very insightful, caring child of God. You have such a wonderful grasp of our relationship with our creator. Jesus refered to God as our Heavenly Father and those who He calls to Himself are his children. We are the sons and daughters of God, the creator of all things. He has made us in His image and according to His likeness and told us to fill the earth and subdue it. We are to build his Kingdom by preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ to all the people of the earth and when we've accomplished that Jesus will return and establish His Church under His leadership.

The image of God as a gardener and His people as branches of an olive vine/tree is very descriptive and allow the complex relationship we have with Him to be so clearly understood. He not only is the root, the tree and the nourishment, but he's also the caretaker who constantly tries to improve the quality of the tree as He fertilizes, waters, prunes, grafts, harvests the fruit and burns the dead branches in the fire.

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