Mold me each day, Lord, into what You would have me to be.

Mold me each day, Lord, into what You would have me to be.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Fruit On My Tree...

This past weekend I went to a women's conference in Memphis with our pastor's wife, Misty, and Michelle. We went to hear Joyce Meyer for the second time in six months. It was so awesome to hear her speak to us as if she knew exactly what we were going through and dealing with. And you know what? She didn't know. God did. God used her, his open and willing vessel, to speak truth to our hearts that would transform us, that would keep us from leaving there the same people that arrived there.

She talked a lot about the fruit we produce, and how we as Christians are really "branches" hanging on the "vine" (Jesus). She made such a simple, yet profound point, that really struck home with me - the branch on the tree does not have to try to produce fruit. When it is rooted in the tree, the branch receives everything it needs from the tree and just naturally produces the right "fruit" without any effort. If I am a branch on an orange tree, I will receive all that I need from the tree, all of my life comes from the tree, and in the right season I will automatically produce my fruit, oranges, without any effort because I am rooted in and receiving from the tree.

So, what are our "fruits" to be as Christians? In Galatians 5:22 God says that the fruits of His Spirit are Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, AND (last, but not least) Self-Control. It would be easy to stop at this point and say, well, I need to pray and seek God more so that I will produce these things. But, we can't stop reading at that verse. If you read down a little further into verse 24 it says "Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking, and envying each other."

OOOOOO, that is good stuff. So, if we (the branches) hang on the tree we should automatically produce the right fruit, right? But, we cannot, as the branches of this tree, still try to live separate from the tree. We have to daily crucify our flesh, our sinful nature, our passions and desires, and get in step with His Spirit. If we are a branch on the tree and long to be separate from the tree and do what WE want to do in the flesh, what will happen? We will die spiritually. Our life comes from the tree, and if we are not rooted and grounded completely and totally in the tree, we will fall away like an old twig on the ground, which is dead and snaps right in two. A live branch on a tree is hard to break because it is flexible, it bends when the wind blows, but doesn't break under pressure. When the storms of life come if we are rooted and grounded, and strongly attached to the tree, we may bend and be tossed about, but we will not break because our life comes from the tree.

As I had my devotion time this morning, I was reading 1 Thessalonians 4 and just kept on going into chapter 5 and as I read down into vs. 5 and going all the way into verse 8 it was talking about being sons of light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or darkness. Verse 6 says "So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8 But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet."

Do you see a recurring theme here? I was not searching this out, God is leading me to it. He taught me (and a few thousand others...) about the fruit we bear this weekend, and then Sunday our pastor (not having been at the conference) talked about our life coming from us being rooted and grounded in Jesus, and when we are not deeply rooted in Him we will wilt and die, and then this morning I read this in 1 Thessalonians about self-control, and the devotion/study page in my bible was titled "Fruity Folks" with the scripture reference being Galatians 5:22 and talking all about the fruit we bear! I do believe God is trying to teach me something here!!!

So, I have asked myself, and would challenge you today to ask yourself, what kind of fruit am I bearing? Am I trying to bear the right fruit, but trying to do it on my own without truly being rooted in God, or am I actually bearing the right fruit just by hanging on the tree and receiving my life from Him to where I cannot help but produce the right fruit?


misty akridge said...

sounds like you been listenin' to the Holy Spirit. Change is a comin for us all

Anonymous said...

I love your site! And, I just love your Easter 2008 family picture! You are lookin' so good, sistah! I'm so proud of you!!!!
Much love,

Anonymous said...

And...I totally dig your hair!!You're making me wanna do the blonde thing again!