Jesus had fruit that followed him because he lived a determined life. He cultivated the heart of a warrior and the lifestyle of a lover. He was fiery, he was focused, he was secure. Everything he did flowed out of a secure, love relationship with the Father. This kind of love is warfare… not necessarily an aggressive, frontal attack kind of warfare, but warfare born of love. Having spiritual fruit that follows us to heaven is the result of fighting for what we love and believe in on earth.
To attack a baby with it’s mother nearby is an invitation to a fight. A mother defends her children to the death because of love. She conceived them in intimacy, birthed them in pain, and nursed them with tender care. They are hers. They belong to her and she to them.
Whether male or female, extrovert or introvert, we are all called to warfare. Jesus said, “Get behind me Satan.” Paul said, “I have fought the good fight.” These words speak of facing trials, tests and being overcomers by fighting for what is ours.
Having fruit that follows us is the result of living a well-directioned life. We face forward, toward the prize. We look forward to hearing “well done.” We know the direction God has called us to face and we face it…not to the right, not the left, but straight ahead.
God determines forward for you. It may not be my forward, but it is your forward. It is the right direction.
We each are assigned a destiny in life... God shapes us and lays sovereign foundations in our lives: our race, our culture, our ancestry, our personalities and gifts... these are His gifts to us. It is up to us to receive these “gifts” and develop them for the specific purpose he has for our lives.
If we are to take hold of our destiny, it will be the result of fierce focus on the main thing, that one thing, the purpose and calling of God for our lives. Those who give in to difficult circumstances and challenges in life, those who lose sight of God’s direction for them, lose out.
Having fruit that follows us is the result of living a well-disciplined life. Jesus refused to compromise the truth. He spent time with the Father on a regular basis. He said “no” to lesser passions. He cultivated a life of fasting, prayer, scripture reading and speaking about the Father.
When some of his disciples fell away, Jesus stayed true to the Father. When he faced suffering and death, Jesus said to the Father, “Let this cup pass from me...but never-the-less, your will not mine be done.”
This is not a popular Twitter topic. It’s not news-feed you read much about on FB. There is a well-deserved reaction to religion versus relationship amongst young evangelicals, I agree, but with that reaction we must not throw out the good with the bad. Don’t throw out spiritual disciplines to avoid un-spiritual religion.
By-all-means enjoy life. Life is God’s gift to us to be celebrated. Laugh, play, watch a good movie, exercise, enjoy your friends. Healthy spirituality includes rhythms in life of play, pray and obey.
But as you play, don’t leave out pray and obey. Don’t let God’s grace in your life be in vain. Lay hold of that for which God has laid hold of you. He has a plan for you, he has a destiny for you... don't lost sight of it and don't lose hope for it. It is from God and therefore it is worth fighting for!
It is written of Jesus, “For the joy that was set before him, he endured the cross.” Some things are to be endured faithfully so we can rejoice fiercely!