Part 1: From fig leaves to fruit

aisharebeccawritesNovember 9, 2020

At about the same time, the disciples came to Jesus asking, “Who gets the highest rank in God’s kingdom?” For an answer Jesus called over a child, whom he stood in the middle of the room and said, “I’m telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you’re not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God’s kingdom. What’s more, when you receive the childlike on my account, its the same as receiving me.”

Matthew 18:1-5 MSG

Do you remember what your childlike self was like? Do you feel your personality changed when the “trauma” happened?

You see, we all begin as carefree open and naked children. I’m sure you all have those photos in albums somewhere of little naked you running around the house or sitting with all your glory out, laughing at the freedom of being nappy-less or panty -less. But now they are hidden away. Why? Because somewhere down the line nakedness in both the physical and emotional sense became shameful, something to be hidden.

We are originally designed to be children of God. Our childlike selves are our original selves. Our original God-given design and personality traits stems from our pure childlike innocence, but once that trauma hits and I’m not necessarily talking about deep sexual, physical trauma. It could be something as simple as someone’s throw away comment, “You’re stupid”, “You’re an overthinker” “You’re crazy” (insert words as you will), that plants those seeds and stops you walking in the personhood the God created you for.

If we think back to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, we notice that it is only after Eve was tempted by the serpent and Adam followed suit that they began to cover themselves in fig leaves. Before the serpent came along Adam and Eve were confident in who they were in Christ. They only began to hide themselves after they realised they were open and naked.

Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. – Genesis 3:7

Genesis 3:7 NIV

It got me thinking, What if the fruit was never an apple, but a fig? Why would Adam and Eve go looking for fig leaves in some other part of the garden and not just use the leaves from the tree that they’d been right next to? The tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

So after watching a sermon and being lead by God to expand on this and work through it with my sisters (in Christ) during our home group, I decided to work through this in a practical and interactive way in order to help myself continue to heal and walk in the freedom of my God – given personality. To go back to my child like state with Christ and grow in maturity as the true person I was created to be. To be free and naked again.

Now I am sharing it with you. As I believe everyone needs to know that returning to square one doesn’t mean failing. It means growing spiritually into the childlike version of you and receiving Christ in return. It also means wanting to heal and be free nd taking pro active stes to do that, through meditation, prayer, repentance and forgiveness where needed.

So, What did I do?

Practical steps to finding your childlike self

Firstly, I took a picture of myself as a child. A moment in time when I was smiling my biggest smile and stuck it in the middle of the page. I thought about myself as a child, who I was, what I was like, what personality I had and especially my confidence in that.

Childlike Me

Then I left it. Yes, for two days I did nothing apart from meditate and pray with the Lord. I focused on the work sheet with the fig fruit on it. I did that deliberately. It is very easy to look at the fig leaves and think on all the negative, but I wanted to begin with who God saw me as, who I already knew myself to be, what I wanted to get back and whom I wanted to evolve into.

I wrote one word on each fig fruit and stuck them around my child like self. These were the words that spoke truth into me. These were the words God gave to me. My true self.

My true self – The truth of who I am

Then I worked on the fig leaves. Somewhat easier, as we naturally find the negative things easier to remember. This was every lie I’d told to myself about myself, what others had wrongfully spoken over me, (not always realising they had stuck) and most importantly the lies of Satan. Those things that went round and round in our heads that he managed to convince us were true. I prayed to God for memory prompts. Sometimes it’s easier to bury it than deal with it. But we cannot walk freely when we bury things. Eventually the hurt catches up.

For example, I grew up in a single-parent home. I was raised by my mother, no shame in that and it never really bothered me. I didn’t have the “daddy issues” in the sense of the word that many would think. I didn’t search for daddy in boyfriends or best friends. I was fully confident in who I was, who God created me to be and the fact my father wasn’t in my life was a non issue. Many of my friends had parents still together or not. It was a relax mix and no one bought it up as “problematic”.

Fig leaves -Lies (my non true self)

But then I changed schools for A’ Levels and the no father thing seemed to whack me in the face. It was a Christian school (although not everyone was a believer) and there was just a few occasions where this one person seemed to just dig or say things that made me realise that (in there eyes – I see the now) I was not the norm in this school, but the exception. Two things said by this person stuck with me as a 16 year old, the first thing was them introducing me to a friend of theirs and telling me “They also only have a Mum”, like this would be some common ground for us to build a friendship. The second – and these words stayed with me for far to long, only now at 32 have I cast off the word left etched in my head and begun walking in its opposite properly – I don’t remember the exact conversation, but I can still recall the location (the mind is a powerful thing) but the words … “but you don’t have a Dad” rung in my ears.

After that I spent a long time thinking I was INSIGNIFICANT. My earthly father didn’t feel I was worth having a relationship with and that oozed into sometimes wondering if God listened to my prayers, because I was not significant enough to have a relationship with. But I must have known somewhere deep inside how untrue this notion was, after all I continued to pray and GOD always answered me. We serve a good God. He hadn’t failed me yet and never would. God can do for you what earthy fathers never can, because they are only human. They’re flawed. We all are.

This was literally what I mean with holding onto negative words. Once those seeds are planted, Satan hands us the watering can and tell us to just keep on growing it because that’s the gospel truth. WRONG! It is not.

Negative thoughts become problematic when we agree with them

Jerry Flowers -Redefined TV

Satan is after our thoughts. If he can keep us bound in our thoughts we can never be free from bondage and are less likely to make hell shiver. But we want to stop that. We want hell to shiver. We want Satan worried. But you see, so many of us have bought into the lies of the enemy. We are literally convinced that what he says is truth. We have willingly allowed ourselves to agree with our negative thoughts.

He is after our headspace. If he can continue to present to us the lies concealed as truths, persuade us that these words are true and then convince us to agree with the negative statements. His got us! He then no longer has to worry about us advancing ourselves and advancing the kingdom of God. We just remain stuck in this negative thinking of “I’m worthless”, “I’m not loved” “I’m, never going to be like X,Y,Z”, I’m never going to be able to achieve X,Y,Z” and on and on it goes until you’ve completely drowned out the truth of God’s word over the lies of the enemy.

So many of us have bought into the lies of the enemy. We are literally convinced that what he says is truth.

Do you notice how my entire picture is covered by fig leaves? This is the physical manifestation of what those words do inside of ourselves. Literally cramming words of negativity into our minds until all of the positive has no room to grow anywhere. It’s like poison ivy kills our blooming flowers.

Imagine if we could get back to our true naked and original selves? What would that be like? Who has God created you to be? What are you being stopped from? What are you not walking in because of lies you’ve spoken over yourself or believed from others?

We need to begin recognising the bondage we’ve allowed ourselves to be continually tied up in. We weren’t created for bondage, we were created for freedom.

Inspired whilst watching

If you want to delve deeper into this topic, I suggest watching Pastor Jerry Flowers sermon below “World War Me”

Redefined TV, World War Me series – Part 15 (Like a child)

Next week, in part two, I’ll be delving into the lies spoken and how they are literally trying to cover us and smother the truth of ourselves.

If you want to begin this challenge yourself or with friends and family, you can download the worksheets on my resources page.

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