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Resilient Palms

by | Jan 28, 2022 | Deliverance, Surrender, Victory

“The space above the door leading into the inner room, and its walls inside and out, were also paneled. All the walls were decorated with carvings of cherubim, each with two faces, and there was a carving of a palm tree between each of the cherubim.” (Ezekiel 41:17-18 NLT)

I have long believed that each detail of every temple described in scripture is significant. That belief is what drew my attention to these two tiny verses, hidden deep in the description of a temple that has, to date, never been built: Ezekiel’s temple, as recorded in Ezekiel 40-44. I mean, it is understandable, isn’t it, that the walls would be covered in Cherubim … but why … palm trees?

I believe that there is much we can learn from this description, as well as from all of the temple descriptions recorded in Scripture, about the current “Temple of the Holy Spirit”, which is our hearts (See 1 Corinthians 3:16); and I have previously written about this in great detail (please see previous writings on the Biblical temples here). When I recently reread this passage from Ezekiel, however, these verses just kind of … “jumped” … out at me, and I knew that God had something in mind to teach me…

First of all, Ezekiel’s description is not the only place that the Bible records carvings of palm trees in a temple. In reference to the building of Solomon’s temple, 1 Kings 6:29 records this: “He decorated all the walls of the inner sanctuary and the main room with carvings of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers.” (NLT). David also speaks of palms: “But the godly will flourish like palm trees and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon . For they are transplanted to the Lord’s own house.They flourish in the courts of our God.” (Psalms 92:12-13 NLT). We also know that at the time of Jesus’ triumphant entry, the people waved … Palm branches (See John 12:12-13)! One other reference to palms that is of note is found in the last book of the Bible, the book that outlines the events surrounding the second coming of our Lord and Saviour: Revelation. “After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands.” (Revelation 7:9 NLT)

An interesting thing about palm trees is that even in the fiercest storm, even when winds of hurricane velocity bend them over until they are totally parallel to the ground, once the wind stops, they bounce back upright. They are the epitome of resilience in times of storm. Why are the saints of Revelation waving palm branches? Because they have overcome the storms of persecution! Why did the people wave palm branches at Jesus’ triumphant entry? Because it signifies victory! Triumph! Why did David say the godly would flourish like palm trees? Because the godly have victory in Jesus! We have resilience in Jesus! In Him we triumph over the forces of darkness! Remember 1 John 4:4? “But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.” (NLT)!

And now the big question: Why would God ordain these symbols of triumph, of victory, of resilience to decorate the walls of His temple?

The answer is that He wants us to lead victorious lives! Unfortunately, however, although our victory is in Christ, we don’t always lead victorious lives. Placing carved images of palm trees in the temple itself was a physical reminder that GOD is our victory, HE is our triumph, HE is our Salvation!

In our day, when God’s temple is no longer a physical building, but rather, God’s Spirit resides in our hearts, wouldn’t it be a good idea to decorate our heart-temples with palm trees as well? Wouldn’t it be wise to have reminders all around us that the battle isn’t ours to fight? It is, after all, the Lord’s! Our victory lies in Him, He is our triumph, He is the source of our resilience, He is the reason we can wave palm branches!

God gave this message to me early one morning. It was an incredibly stressful epoch in our lives, but with this message in my heart, I left my prayer corner completely covered in His peace. It would be a good day. And that peace lasted exactly 60 minutes. Then something tiny happened, and I was back, spiralling into the murk of depression and bitterness. Throughout the day, there were numerous reminders of God’s goodness and His victory and triumph. Every time I turned around, actually, there was someone reminding me of who I am in Christ. God was placing “palm trees” in my path! And by mid-afternoon, the message got through to me: I didn’t need to feel this way! I had a choice! I could choose victory in Jesus! And I made that choice. I rebuked the demons of pride and discouragement and control and depression in His precious name.

You know what? Peace returned! And although there have been plenty of things that have happened since that normally would have sent me spiralling once again into my pit of darkness, I have remembered the “palm trees”. I have remembered that through Christ, I am victorious! I can triumph over the darkness through Him! He gives me the resilience I need!

What are you facing right now? How close to the edge do you feel you’ve been pushed? Are you also in the place where one tiny thing can send you spiralling downward? Then remember the palm trees! Remember who you are in Christ! Remember that He is your triumph, your victory, that through Him, YOU can be resilient and victorious!

Thank You Lord for palm trees. Thank You for this continual reminder that YOU are our victory!

Hey, maybe I’ll post a picture of a palm branch over my computer…

In His love,

Lynona Gordon Chaffart
Associate Director, Moderator, Answers2Prayer Ministries