Scripture: “I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit – fruit that will last” – John 15:16, NIV
I love the fact that God clearly tells us in scripture that He wants our lives to be fruitful! Today’s verse tells us that not only has God appointed us to bear fruit, but that the fruit we bear is supposed to last.
I recently felt God show me that just like a tree needs certain ingredients in order to bear good fruit (light, water and nutrients), so we also need to have three key ingredients in our lives if we are going to bear fruit for His Kingdom – Intimacy, Work and Warfare.
Ultimately our entire Christian life is about intimacy with God. Jesus died to restore to us the deep communion that Adam had with God ‘in the cool of the day’. If we do not have intimacy with the Father, we are without our source of strength, affirmation, encouragement, love, power, vision and direction. Devoid of these things, our chances of bearing fruit are pretty slim! Actually even that’s an understatement because Jesus said that apart from Him we can do NOTHING. I thank God today that He is more passionate about being intimate with me than I am with Him. He never sleeps nor slumbers, so He is available 24-7 to commune with me (and with you) by His Holy Spirit.
Out of our intimacy with God comes vision and direction, for He is a God who speaks! He is able to reveal to us the call He has placed on our lives and He always equips us with the gifts we need to complete the task. Once we know what we are supposed to be doing, we can get to work! Unless you and I act upon what He tells us in the secret place, vision will never become reality. Often He is calling us to take simple steps of faith and obedience and to trust Him with the consequences. The fear of the Lord needs to replace the fear of man, which means no more worrying about what other people will think of us!
So why is it that many Christians enjoy intimacy with the Father and begin to work on the task God has given them to do, but their vision never quite becomes a reality? Often it is because they have neglected to fight. You and I need to remember that there is an enemy working against us. He will try to stop us fulfilling God’s will for our lives but God has given us “authority over all the power of the enemy” (Luke 10:19). There are times when you will need to ‘make your stand against the devil’s schemes’ (Ephesians 6:11).
Scripture tells us that the reason Jesus appeared was to destroy the devil’s work, and Jesus is continuing that work on the earth today through us, by the power of His Holy Spirit. Don’t be surprised if there’s a battle! To quote the King James version ‘the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds’. But how do we use these weapons…?
Satan’s main tools are fear and lies, and behind every ungodly fear is a lie. If you can learn to use the Word of God like a Sword to defeat his lies, you will be on your way to victory. You will need to pray, you will need to intercede and you will need to stand on and declare the promises God has given you personally and in His Word.
…And finally, don’t let the enemy dupe you into thinking that the only key to victory is your human efforts. The whole time we are to be resting in Him and labouring with His energy – that’s why it all begins with intimacy. ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty (Zechariah 4:6).
So, equipped with the ingredients you need… go and bear fruit – fruit that lasts!
Prayer: Father, thank you that you have chosen me and appointed me to bear fruit for your Kingdom. Thank you that you don’t require me to do this alone or in my own strength, but that everything I need will flow from my intimate relationship with You. I’m sorry for neglecting to spend quality time with you, I’m sorry for the times that I’ve heard your voice and not obeyed, and I’m sorry for the times that I’ve not stood to fight the spiritual battle, even though your Word exhorts me to do all these things. Thank you for encouraging me today, and for giving me these three simple keys. Please help me to recognise your voice and to act upon what you say so that I might bear the fruit you have called me to bear! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Source: Seeds of the Kingdom