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I spent some time with a wonderful individual who is on fire for the Lord, full of love, faith…and complaints. No, not venting or looking for an understanding–just a myriad complaints about people, places and things, past, present and future. How does such a fiery vessel have such a consistently negative attitude? It’s all about the tree and its fruit.
As a quick disclaimer, I do not bring this subject up in a spirit of condemnation or superiority, (trust me, God has PLENTY of things He is working on with me), rather, as I pondered the conversation, the Lord brought the behavior to my attention as a warning to me first, and to the Body of Christ as a whole. Let’s examine why.
As saints, we are called to observe and discern. In fact, Matthew 7:16 tells us we will know people by their fruits. While people can tell us/we can be told who someone is, the words and actions (fruit) tell US who they are.
That same verse goes on to ask “do men get grapes from thorns or figs from thistles?” In other words, if you say you are a grape vine or a fig tree, your fruit will be just that, sweet, fragrant, plentiful and in abundance, rather than producing thorns or thistles. Thorns and thistles are long, recurved, prickly plants that upon contact, often inflict serious and recurring wounds. Get the point?
Side note: grapes are the most mentioned fruit in the Bible and are valued because of the ways they can be used, such as for wine, raisins and vinegar. Not only are figs mentioned because of their nutritional and economic value, figs often symbolized safety and doing well.
And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine and under his fig tree, from Dan even to Beersheba, all the days of Solomon (I Kings 4:25).
Now, getting back to Matthew 7, verses 17 and 18 tell us that good trees bring good fruit and corrupt trees bring evil fruit. Also, you cannot get evil fruit from a good tree and/or vice versa. So here, God is telling us there are two types of trees–good or evil. Let’s read these verses to get a better understanding.
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
A careful read tells us 1) Bad fruit producers are cut down and thrown into the fire (Hell) and, 2) we can produce bad fruit, work for the Lord, BUT we will STILL miss Heaven! These are sobering thoughts, BCU Fam. Our merciful God is willing to help us in this area—if we let Him. So how do we know what type of fruit we are producing and if it pleases God? Anything that comes from the flesh will NEVER please God and ONLY produce evil fruit. Galatians 5:19-21 tells us all about it:
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
In sharp contrast, when we yield to the Spirit of God, we allow the fruit of the Spirit to produce good things like: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23). I love that there is no law against good fruit production! Can you imagine how much better things would be if we all produced all this fruit regularly?
This is a LOT to take in, right? The bottom line is for those of us who have the Holy Ghost, when we were filled, we became good trees with the “good fruit” that we see in the aforementioned paragraph. With God’s help, we have to maintain our tree and ensure we are consistently producing good fruit by walking and living in the Spirit (see Galatians 5:25). Every so often we may have a thorn or thistle, but we should immediately apply spiritual “Round-Up” (prayer and fasting), to kill off those deadly and unproductive prickle bushes. Amen? Amen.
How about you? How has your fruit production been? What would a surprise inspection yield? I am so curious to hear your heart on this topic! Please head over to the comments section below and let’s chat some more!
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