Hi, Welcome back to The Last Gen. I’m Melanie and you are in space where I dream. I am smiling so big right now because I can’t tell you how blessed I feel to be here with you again. It’s a miracle for me to be back. I want to give a special thank you to everyone for all the love you have sent me since writing my last article. I have to admit that I balled my eyes out while writing every single word in that story and it’s been a deep relief and release to be able to find the courage to share my truth with you. I am finally giving purpose to my pain and it feels really good. I don’t think I’ve felt this much joy in a while. I truly hope my story can be a light to someone in the dark. So with that said, we are going to switch gears a little bit and dive into the word for the first time on The Last Gen, and we’re going to get a bit experimental.
Lord I ask that you please cover these words that I write below. Holy Spirit you are welcome here at The Last Gen.
To preface, part of the reason why The Last Gen has never dove deep into the world of religion was that we or I, me, Melanie – Hi there. I feared that I would hurt someone or virtue signal or cause guilt or shame and never in my life do I want to ever make someone feel judged or less than. Following Christ gets a bad rap due to those who virtue signal and forget they are are not God. So many are when scared to say the name Jesus in a coffee shop without having to whisper it. There is nothing to be ashamed of. Religion should be something that you should never be ashamed of no matter what you believe. This is a new walk for us and I am writing about the word as I study it. Everything here is a critical thought experiment. This article contains verbiage that includes the words “sin”, “unclean,” “purity,” and “temptation.” When referring to these words, it is not for us to define what these words mean to you. We or I am no one to judge. Only God can tell you what is right and what is wrong. The Last Gen believes in loving everyone and living out your truth and purpose in freedom and in peace. Love is a fruit (which we will get to in this article). Eventually, we will write a credo, but for now, know that there is only love and kindness here. We do not condone or tolerate hate speech or discrimination of any kind. All with fruits to offer are welcome here at The Last Gen.
Now to begin
The Garden of Flesh and Fruits
We live in a garden of flesh and fruits. Seeds are planted and weeds can take over, but do not conform to the pattern of this world, of the weeds. The grand drama of the human race is nothing but a mere gruesome battle when the flesh is confused for fruits. In this garden we that live, God separates light and darkness and when your eyes are open it is easy to discern between the two, but when your eyes are closed and you can’t discern between light and dark – that’s when things get dirty, when they become unclean. The history of the fall of mankind is a very simple story and it begins in the Garden of Flesh and Fruits.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things, there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” – Galatians 5:22-24
I am going to tell you a story – naturally. The other day, from a distance, I walked by a yellow Hawaiian Hibiscus flower. It’s stood out because it was the minority among the majority of basic LA flowers. This flower is known to only grow on the Hawaiian Islands, but there it was, right in front of me, growing outside of a random apartment building. This flower in particular is endangered in its natural habitat and when it blooms, it only lasts for a few days. But I didn’t care about the details of this extremely rare flower. All I saw was that it was beautiful, it was different, and I wanted it for myself; even if just for a moment. The following day I walked by this flower again and the closer I got to it the more delicate it became. It looked beautiful and strongly rooted, but with the most subtle movement in the wind, its petals all blew in one direction almost appearing as if the gentlest gust of wind could tear it apart and rip it into pieces. Something inside of me, God really, said, “Let it be. Leave it alone.” My discernment had warned me that it was in a delicate state and to just let it go and be grateful to know that it existed in unexpected places.
If this flower was delicate in the soil, what would it be like in my hands after I forced it away from where it was growing? I didn’t give this message from God much thought because it was just a flower and there are a million followers growing outside of random apartment buildings in LA. So I looked around to see if anyone was watching and when I understood it was just me and this one-of-a-kind flower, I reached over a wall and tried to pick it but its stem was much larger and much stronger than it looked. It was more like a branch than a stem, but it was connected to more deeply weaved stems and an entire system of roots buried within the rich soil. So selfishly, I pulled harder and again my discernment said, “This flower is giving you a sign. It’s not meant to be picked.” It reminded me of an oyster, it looks easy to open but you need special gloves and tools to open the shell without making a mess and ruining the delicacy. I pulled at it one more time and I heard a crack. One of the deeper rooted stems had broken and immediately I felt terrible as I basically just killed this entire plant that could have blossomed more of these rare flowers. Something, my flesh and greed, came over me and said, “It’s already dead, might as well as take the flower home.” So I took my house keys out of my pocket and I viciously cut the stem and off I went with this extremely rare species. When I brought it into my home, I immediately took photos of it on my rooftop and posted them for people to admire, but I made the posts about me and not this flower.
Then I placed it in a jar of water and admired it as I would conveniently walk by it throughout the day. The following morning, it was dead. It wasn’t just dead, but something about it looked as if its magic had died and that it had given up. It wasn’t where it was supposed to be. I took advantage of its weakness. I broke it down until I could have it. My heart broke because it was special and I truly never want to hurt anyone or anything. I sat there looking at this dead flower for a long time and I asked God and it to forgive me. It was vulnerable, God warned me to leave it alone, but instead, I broke it down to its core and I killed it.
I hate to make this about me, but I am currently experiencing a painful season of healing from great loss and there are two habits that I have been trying to maintain to help me hold on during these hard times, which are one, to keep a clean life by having a clear conscience and two, to keep my eyes open by praying for sharper discernment. Chaos, confusion, and destruction are from the enemy. I did not lead by the Fruits of the Holy Spirit by picking this flower, but rather I lead with my flesh. I’ll get to what this all means. It’s been days and this dead flower still sits in the jar, I can’t seem to let it go and I wish I could bring it back to life. I tend to make things worse when I try to fix them after I unconsciously destroy them as I lead with fear rather than trust that it’ll be okay.
Making such a big deal about this flower may seem overdramatic and stupid, but I can’t help but relate to it. I know how vulnerable and delicate I am and I also know that what my spirit has to offer is rare. Too many times I have been that flower – a lamb to a wolf because I lead with my heart and what I’ve recently learned is one should lead with the Fruits of the Holy Spirit and not the heart as the heart is flesh and flesh is unclean. Sounds weird to you, right? Maybe a little too bible thumpery? Yes, I would have thought the same thing a few years ago, but my faith is becoming for defined and refined during this time of difficult circumstances and I feel led to plant seeds as I go on this walk. Basically what I’m saying is, I can’t live a clean life leading with my heart. I killed this flower because my heart, my flesh admired it. I chose my flesh over what my spirit and God were saying. When in life have you chosen your flesh over your spirit?
“Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean.’ For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what make a man `unclean’…” – Matthew 15:18-20
Okay, so, stay with me here. I’m planting a seed in you and let’s see if a flower blooms or a weed sprouts up. You are my, or The Last Gen’s, thoughtful spirit-driven experiment.
My best friend always refers to “fruits” when I tell her about my most recent epic dating failures. She’ll say, “But where are his fruits? If he claims to be a man of God, where are his fruits?” Instead of diving into the word to try and understand what this term meant, I googled it, and still, it was never a concept I could truly understand until I quietly sat with God, just Him, and I on my knees once again and with the word. After reading that verse about matters of the heart in Matthew, I began to question every single decision I have ever made when lead by my heart. I didn’t want to believe that the heart could be unclean because I’m a hopeful romantic, but it is true. I thought that love and kindness came from the heart, but I was wrong – these are fruits that come from the Holy Spirit. The greek word for fruit is karpós, which translates to everything done in true partnership with Christ. When you lead with your fruits, you are walking with God. Again, the Fruits of the Holy Spirit are love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Really sit with those words, memorize them… Imagine that you are holding different fruits and each fruit represents one of these words. They will be one of the greatest gifts you will ever receive and ever give. You can give love, joy, peace, and kindness to someone. If you have these fruits, then you know you will know that you are in the right place in the Garden, because you will be with God.
While I was meditating on these eight fruits, I was given another message from God. So here me out, I have this list of what I’m looking for in a future husband. It’s a very simple list, but surprisingly very few have ever come close to matching it and I ALWAYS compromise to wishfully thinking that a man has hit every mark, but truthfully no one ever has. In the bible, it does say to make a list of your vision so that it can come true, but it does NOT say that it should be used to qualify someone. The message I received was to qualify not just someone, but everything by the eight Fruits of the Holy Spirit. When I received this message, I quickly took out my pen and scribbled down the names and jobs and things that never worked out and I made check marks next to each fruit to see what was missing and the message was clear as day. The seasons were not right and the harvest just wasn’t fully there. I even qualified myself in particular relationships and I saw that I too was missing many fruits. So the next time you are experiencing chaos and confusion with someone or something, qualify them or it by their fruits and you will know. Even families can have fruits and two people can grow fruits and harvest them together. No one is perfect, but qualifying someone can help you see where both you and they are lacking in the Garden of Flesh and Fruits.
If you’re reading this with your actual eyes then, below is a written list that you can use to qualify someone, something, or yourself.
The greek word for flesh is sarx, which refers to the sinful state of human beings. The flesh directly contrasts the fruits, the flesh is a powerful opposition to the Spirit.
“The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” -Galatians 5:19-21
When I was a kid, I had a dream, or more of a nightmare, that people were eating each other and rats were eating flesh, and bodies were climbing on top of one another and having orgies. Yeah, I know, what kind of kid dreams of this? Me, I guess. I didn’t realize what that dream meant until I was an adult, but I do remember trying to explain it to my mom and she can testify to this. She had already known from when I was very young that the enemy was already attacking me. I actually think that this dream was the inception of my interest in the apocalypse, in the end of times. The dream was a warning and the closer I walk with Christ, the clearer the revelation is. The apocalypse of mankind is revealed by God to a minority of people. Think about those words “man” and “kind.” It’s interesting how we brought them together and how easily they can be deconstructed.
God gave this same vision that I had in my dream to three painters in the 1500s and if I could paint my dream it would look and feel like three specific paintings. The artist of The Garden of Earthly Delights, Hieronymus Bosch, has always been a mystery to scholars. They have never quite understood how he came to these visualizations. Even if hallucinating on drugs, God can still come to you, but that’s another story for another day. His painting is on a three-part panel beginning with creation, God presents Adam to Eve in the garden. The second part of this painting depicts man’s weaknesses in being unable to abstain from temptation and sin. The world is depicted as a beautiful dark twisted fantasy, everyone is naked and having sex with each other and animals are running wild. The third part of the painting is of the pits of hell and eternal damnation where everyone is still naked, but the world is now dark and broken and demons have power over the bodies. This painting reveals that humans were given the garden but chose flesh over fruit.
The second fresco painting that embodied the soul of my dream was The Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel by Michaelangelo. Again, God is presented, but this time he is all-powerful and at the center of the relic. With his right hand up and mother Mary at his side, all around him is flesh. People again are naked and crawling on top of one another trying to get to God. Jesus lays crucified on the cross at the bottom of the painting but no one is trying to get to Him. They are all climbing up and beating each other trying to get to the top. Their faces are of the flesh – of fear, envy, lust, no self-control, and of death. It shows that they did not learn of the fruits before it was too late because they lived in their flesh and now they are trying to enter the kingdom, but God has his hand up banishing them.
“But yet behold, the hand of him that betrayth me is with me on this table” Luke 22:21
The final painting to mention is The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci it is a work of art most can immediately recognize and imagine, but have you ever truly looked at it? The mural is quite chilling as there is no peace among a man, Jesus, who asks only for trust. In the frame, Jesus is placed in an intimate space among his twelve disciples. Although he is in the center of the table, he appears isolated from the twelve. Both in Matthew, Luke and John, during The Last Supper Jesus tells his disciples that one of them is about to betray him. He breaks bread and shares wine and thus this became the tradition of the Holy Communion. But if you look deeply into the faces of his twelve disciples you will see a broad range of emotional responses – some of the flesh and some of the fruit. You will see fear, doubt, rage, love, kindness, goodness, selflessness, and greed. At that moment Jesus equally gave them all the garden, but there is one who chose flesh over fruits.
To conclude, even in the smallest moments you will be faced with choosing your flesh or choosing to walk with God and in the spirit. Everything you do matters. Picking a flower from a garden when God tells you not to is a sin and it matters. To crucify your flesh means to deprive your flesh of sin and temptation. You have to starve your flesh until it is only hungry for fruit. Depriving yourself of temptation means you will deprive evil longings and idolatry of power. You have to fast. This doesn’t mean that you can’t eat, but if you can’t give something up for God, why would you expect Him to give you the Fruits from His Garden? Whatever your temptations are, if you listen, God will tell you what to do.
“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other so that you are not to do whatever you want.” Galatians 5:13-18
For every kid and every person that wants to dream about the kingdom – We live in a garden of flesh and fruits. Seeds are planted and weeds can take over a garden, but do not conform to the pattern of this world, of the weeds. Keep a clean life and pray for sharper discernment. God uses people in both big and small ways, but he won’t use you if you have no fruits to give and if you idolize the flesh. If you are following the stars, then you aren’t following the sun.
In the end, I gently returned that flower to where I had found it, to where it was at peace. Even though it was dead, it was never mine to begin with – it was God’s. It is never too late to act in the Spirit. I am growing.
Moral of this Story
Don’t go picking rare vulnerable flowers that are not meant for you. Their beauty is not to be taken for your flesh. Leave them alone. You will only cause destruction.
There are sheep, there are goats, and there are wolves. Luckily neither you or I are flowers. We have been giving the freedom and discernment to protect ourselves from wolves. Pray for sharper discernment. If you lead with the heart, your flesh, you will get eaten. Lead with your walk with Christ.
Protect your peace by crucifying the flesh. Deprive your flesh until all you want is the God and the Fruits of the Holy Spirit. This means if you idolize someone or something above God, you need to deprive yourself of it, do anything you can to remove it, so you can see God more clearly.
And that’s it.
Thank you everyone for all your support and tuning into The Last Gen Podcast. If there is anyone in need of some kindness, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please keep us in your prayers, we need them always.
God bless you.