Keys for Fruitful Living
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
It’s Christmas time already and I can’t help but notice so many beautiful fruit baskets everywhere I go. I don’t know about you but ‘I love me’ some fresh fruit; especially the tropical stuff! It is delicious!!!It was just yesterday, I shared a message with my Joshua House of Worship family talking about the gift of “spiritual fruit” that God so wants to see manifested in our lives [Galatians 5:22-26.] Who wouldn’t want the love, joy and peace cocktail mixed in with all of the other scrumptious, spiritual fruit that God has for his children to feast on?I brought out the point however, this spiritual fruit is not automatic! No, we should not take this organic fruit bowl for granted. It can only be ours so long as we are humble, teachable and obedient unto the Lord. Furthermore, we must learn to literally abide in him.
This is what John chapter 15 teaches us. We get to experience and manifest what God has inside of him, so long as we abide in Christ as our vine. Yes, we are the branches drawing life and spiritual resource that flows straight from the heart of Christ who is our vine.Our bearing fruit then, is completely dependent on our submission to him. Keep in mind, it’s one thing to carry his name but something else altogether to carry his nature. It calls for a true connection in the spirit to carry and manifest his nature. In other words, in order for us to live and demonstrate the life giving, powerful nature of Christ we must be connected to Christ in the first place. He is the source of that life; not we ourselves.
In fact, here’s a key to keep with you at all times; he says that without him we can to nothing. You may ask; “Is that to say that there is absolutely no thing that I can do, without God?” Well, it depends on how you define no thing! Surely you can do some things but the question would be how worth doing would that ‘something’ be? How advantageous? How eternally or spiritually beneficial would it be according to who you are and the assignment of God on your life? How fruitful? MMMMMMmmmmm.
The other day I went to my daughter’s middle school, basketball game. Some of the young girls there on the court were playing basketball for their very first time. So, many of them were still a little nervous and awkward at this point in their careers! The one thing that definitely stood out in the game was the one ‘babygirl’ who so eagerly caught the ball from the sideline and ran with all her dribbling speed she could muster to get in range to score another point for her opposing team! It just so happened that she didn’t notice the yells of the coach or any of her teammates shouting out to her that she was aiming at the wrong basket! Two points for the opposing team!!!
That’s how many of us are as adults! Yes, as we venture out with such zest, we do manage to put a few points on the scoreboard. However, who do we score for? The only way we will get credit, our team will be edified and our coach satisfied is when we are aimed at the right goals. Write this down! Without the coaching guidance of the Holy Spirit; we can do nothing worth writing home to momma about; nothing worthy of setting an example for others to follow; nothing worthy of the Father’s warm smile on us!
Could I tell you one more? Yes, we also have to grab one more key; for when we do, a whole new world opens to us. Too many of us have been led to believe that God is out to get us and to take our ‘joy’ away! We sometimes view God as ‘rain on our parade’ rather than the sunshine of our day. The reality however is quite the opposite. God does not want us ‘joyless’ he wants us joyful! He wants our lives to be filled with more fruitfulness, success, power, prosperity, wholeness, service, purpose, usefulness, favor and greatness than we do!