BE HEAVEN-LEANING - The Warrior's Journey®


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The New Caledonia pine (Araucaria columnaris, AKA Cook’s pine) is a strange tree. It was first identified on that archipelago in 1773, during Captain James Cook’s second voyage to circumnavigate the globe. The New Caledonia pine grows quite tall (up to 200 feet) and has a slender canonical shape. Since its discovery, the Cook’s pine has since been planted on five continents in tropical, sub-tropical, and temperate climates.

Why is it strange? Well, when planted in the northern hemisphere, this pine leans to the south. Conversely, when planted in the southern hemisphere, it leans to the north. And this “lean” becomes more pronounced the higher the latitude of its location. The further north or south the New Caledonia pine is taken from its native land, the greater its incline toward home or toward the Equator.

To date, the only scientific study into the reasons for this unique characteristic was conducted by botanist Matt Ritter in 2017. And, although he suspected that the angle of sunlight might be the cause, he came short of reaching any conclusions.

But in the New Caledonia pine we have an analogy of the Christian believer in this world. According to the New Testament, the believer’s homeland is heaven, where Christ reigns supreme in righteousness (Philippians 3:20-21). This true homeland of the believer should be the focus of our affections (Colossians 3:1-2) and the locus of our treasures (Matthew 6:19-21).

And since God is progressively fitting us for heaven, our character and behavior should be increasingly aligned to its rules. Indeed, the more God fits us for heaven, the less “at home” we should feel on earth. And the further our culture plunges into depravity, the more distinctively different from the world our Christian walk should be. As the New Caledonia pine leans harder and harder south the further north you take it, the greater our hearts should incline toward heaven the closer to hell this world tries to take us.

This will inevitably make this world a lonely and hostile place for the Christian believer. For the believer never operates by the adage, “When in Rome do as the Romans do.”  No, the believer obeys one Ruler above all others (Acts 5:29). And the more disobedient this culture becomes, the more out-of-step with it the believer will appear.

Therefore, joining with fellow believers in Bible study, fellowship, and worship is essential for our survival (Hebrews 10:25). We must also fill our hearts and minds with God’s word and be ever filled with His Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18; Colossians 3:16).

And, please, for God’s sake, keep your daily intake of this world’s media to a minimum. To be honest, we shouldn’t even find the garbage of this world the least bit entertaining. For, “How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil? How can a believer be partner with an unbeliever? And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God said, ‘I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God and they will be my people. Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the LORD. Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you’” (2 Corinthians 6:14-17, NLT).


PRAYER:  Dear Father in heaven, fashion in me a pure and heaven-leaning heart that hungers and thirsts for righteousness. I know, O God, that the more Christ-like You make me, the less tolerable this world will feel to me. But, dear Father, I welcome feeling out of place down here that I may feel perfectly at home in heaven. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


(Information from:; https://www.researchgate/publication/317275781_Worldwide_hemisphere-dependent_lean_in_Cook_pines)

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