WHAT ARE WE ASKING FOR AS FRUIT?
7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. John 15:7-8
As we continue our conversation from previous days, we are still looking for discernment in the days to come. As we read these words today it continues to remind me of the authority that God also transfers into our lives. There is a point and time as fruit we have to become gardeners and that means that we too are planting and nurturing seeds. We saw that in our lesson two days ago. But the real question lies in as fruit, what are we really asking for God to do through us? I know that may seem like a really off the wall question, but I just want us all to realize that there will be a day that we shift our mindsets from receiving all of this equipping from God and begin pouring into others as one who is speaking with the knowledge and authority that God has placed in our lives. I mean I know that it all sounds really good to understand that God is calling and preparing us to move forward, but I can also say that I have seen many fruit that remained on the vine too long because it was not willing to fulfill its purpose in life.
So stepping into this question today, I really want to know what are your expectations as fruit. To continue to remain on the vine or do you have a desire to die to self and help plant an orchard. And hear me, this is not meant to be wash, rinse and repeat. Even though I know that it follows along the same lines of the discussion the other day, I really need you to look in the mirror and recognize that there are times in our lives that we are to receive the nourishment from God and other times that we are to die to self, the same way that a seed dies, in order for multiplication to occur. A seed is wasted if it never takes root, dies and
multiples. The same can be said of us. There is only so much that God can do for us until we are called to go and plant seeds ourselves. There is only so many times that Jesus could help to equip the disciples before He sent them into the world, ready and tested, to go and make disciples all over the world. So my main question still remains. Are we only looking to be poured into and not willing to pour out? Are we willing to just sit by and be content to receive all of God's knowledge and allowing it to die on the vine with us, or are we ready to fall off the vine and begin multiplying God's Kingdom? The only way that fruit continues to grow and multiply is by being picked so that others can step into the fold and prepared to follow in the same pattern. God has a way that is planned and organized, the problem is that we are unwilling to finally take the steps we need to take to make it grow.
Continuing in John's gospel, Jesus makes some pretty bold statements that I hope and pray that as fruit or believers that we do not miss. In the previous lesson, you may have missed verse 6 that tells of the results of us not remaining close to the foundational teachings of God. If we stray and begin misinterpreting scripture, we will be thrown away and wither.. set into the fire to be burned. In other words, if we do not remain connected to God through His Word, we cannot be surprised that we are not growing and the world continues to suck the life out of us. However, as we see into Jesus' next words, if we remain connected to God's Word and we continue to walk through this journey, there is NOTHING that we cannot ask that God will not reveal. Recognize the power of those two statements. Without God we will wither and die because we have lost connection of truth found in God's Word. With God, there is nothing that we cannot ask that God will not provide an opportunity for us to stretch in our spiritual journey. Whatever we do... we do it all in the name of Jesus for the GLORY of GOD!!! Not us! None of this is for us. But we recognize the value of how God is preparing us to go and do so much more in His name. IF we truly remain in His Word and apply in our lives, we will watch the walls of this world fall. We will be able to see hearts changed and lives transformed. We will be able to truly give and receive healing. Not for our glory and not for our status. BUT for the sole purpose of others that are lost being connected to the nurturing power of the VINE, Jesus.
So the true challenge for today is really just asking the question. As we are moving through 40 plus day of Lent in preparation for Easter, what, as the fruit, are you being prepared to do? What were your honest expectations coming in and out of this years journey? As fruit, did you step into this journey with the expectations that God was going to pick you to be the one to go and prepare others to be planted, nurtured, weeded and harvested? Were we all just looking out for ourselves and our glory, or are we ready to give the true credit where the
credit is due and realize that it is ALL for GOD! In the end it is ALL for God. The prayers that we pray, the books that we study, the verses that we memorize and the way we apply it to our lives is all so that we will be ready to turn over ALL glory to God. Yes, we will be able to experience it, but the reality is that God is the main benefactor of it all. THAT is what we need to be asking for as fruit! We are asking for the discernment to know when we are ready to die to self in order that we can begin planting the orchard for God. It means stepping out of the known and stepping into the unknown with the full assurance that God is walking by our sides. The first words and last words we continue to say each day become more meaningful when the fruit actually have a purpose for the answer. Father, Here I am. What can I do for YOU today? Amen.