Being Confident of This

Grace for the work-in-progress woman

Power to Produce

on June 5, 2013

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If you are anything like me, then cleaning out the fridge is low on the totem pole. You might occasionally reach in for some sustenance and pull out rotten food instead. Instead of giving life and energy, the food is wasted, worthless, and sometimes even downright disgusting.

Our spiritual fruits can be that way, too!  Have you ever tested your fruit?  Held it up to the Lamp, the faithful Word of the Lord?

Galatians 5:22-23

But the fruit of the Spirit is love,

joy, peace, patience,

kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness,self-control;

against such things there is no law.

 

In my bible, beside this passage I have written two small words: the test.  Do you want to know how closely you are walking with the Lord? Examine your fruit of the Spirit!  Do they pass the test?  Are you overflowing with patience, joy, peace, kindness, love, goodness and so on?

All too often I find myself trying to produce these fruit all on my own. I wake up in the morning thinking, I’m going to be patient with my children today.  I’m going to be kind and loving to my husband.  And later in the day, when strength runs low, I feel frustrated and out of control. I wonder, “Why am I acting this way?  What is the matter with me today?”  as if some sort of spell has come over me, and I’ve been rendered incapable of obedience.

In truth, my fruits show that I’m not out of control, I’m off of the vine.  I’m not abiding, not remaining.  Instead, I’ve chosen my own path, my own methods.  I’ve chosen doing rather than being, resisting rather than submitting, striving rather than resting.

I’ve somehow forgotten that most basic truth of Christianity, that we cannot produce fruit on our own, for there is nothing good in me.

For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh;
for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.
Romans 7:18
When I lift my fruit up to the Lamp, I see it – that bruise there when I chose to be selfish rather than selfless.  The wormhole caused by putting off time alone with God.  The blackened area of sin left hidden and unconfessed.  Surprisingly, some of my fruit appears to be pretty and polished, but on the inside the core rots, the result of a valiant effort to do things in my own strength.
It’s ugly fruit.
It’s rotten and worthless.
It reeks of self.
I have to toss the bad fruit out and start anew: reconnect to the Vine, drink the Living Water, break the Bread of Life.

2Timothy 3:16-17

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching,

for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;

so that the man of God may be adequate,

equipped for every good work.

Only then, in the hands of the Master, can I produce beautiful and bountiful  fruit, sweet-smelling fruit. No matter how often I fail the fruit test, He is faithful to forgive, faithful to redeem.  His grace is sufficient for my weakness!
Today are you feeling weary, impatient, overwhelmed, dissatisfied, or out of control?  Test your fruit.  Hold them up to the Lamp of Truth and see what they reveal.
come to me all who are weary
Matthew 11:28-30
 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
We have no power to produce good fruit on our own!  Instead of trying and toiling, why not take His yoke and find rest? Turn to your Maker and Sustainer for the power to produce!
Which fruit is most difficult for you to produce?  What verses help you to rely on the Spirit rather than self?  Please share with us in the comments!
Jen 🙂
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8 responses to “Power to Produce

  1. Jules says:

    We recently heard a message in which the speaker asked “How does your fruit smell? Does it STINK?” Goes right along with this! This is a wonderful lesson, and one that I come back to SO OFTEN. I remember the first time I “realized” that ABIDING was so essential and that I didn’t have to “try to pop out fruit” each day. It was back in high school, and I don’t remember who was teaching or what the occasion was…. but it was definitely in PNG. Maybe you remember? It may have been a conference time or something. Anyway, good stuff! Thanks for sharing! Hugs to you!

    • Thanks, Julie! 🙂 I don’t recall the time you are referring to specifically, but I know it’s something I find myself striving for so often. Trying to produce that fruit all on my own. 🙂 Thanks for the encouragement!
      Jen 🙂

  2. Sarah says:

    Thanks for joining our momma notes. You are an encouragement to me and countless other moms. We would be delighted to have you link up this post or another again.

    Monday … join the melody.

    Simply slip your post into the link up. You can grab the button if you would like as well. I’ll start the splash on Mondays. And I know the filled to the brim momma schedules … so join us any day of the week and link up.

    Happy day,
    Sarah

  3. So true! It’s the fruit of the SPIRIT, revealed in us and through us…we cannot attain it of our own power. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts at Thriving THursday 🙂

  4. […] Jen from Confident in Grace with Power to Produce […]

  5. […] offer our bodies and minds; God transforms them. The evidence of the sanctification process in us? The fruit of the Spirit. […]

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