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.
Just as a tree needs certain ingredients in order to bear good fruit (light, water and nutrients), so I believe we also need to have three key ingredients in our lives if we’re going to bear fruit for God’s Kingdom – Intimacy, Obedience 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’re 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’s more passionate about being intimate with me than I am with Him. He never sleeps nor slumbers, so, He’s 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’s a God who speaks. When we know what we’re supposed to be doing, we can get to work. But unless you and I act upon what He tells us in the secret place, vision will never become reality. Often He’s calling us to take simple steps of faith and obedience and to trust Him with the consequences … not to mention our worries about what other people will think of us.
Many Christians enjoy intimacy with the Father and take steps of obedience, but their vision never quite becomes a reality. Often it’s because they’ve neglected to fight. You and I need to remember that there is an enemy working against us. He’ll 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’ll need to ‘take 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. 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’ll be on your way to victory. You’ll need to pray, to intercede and to stand on, and declare, the promises God’s given to you personally, and in His Word.
So, equipped with the ingredients you need … go and bear fruit – fruit that lasts.
Prayer: Father, thank You that You’ve 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 I might bear the fruit You’ve called me to bear. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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