John 15:5-8 (NLT)
“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.
Our connection to the most powerful source in the universe – God – should equate to spiritual efficiency all of the time but when added to the human component, it becomes a challenge. Once we make a commitment to live a life totally surrendered to God, we have selected a cause now the challenge becomes remaining committed to the process. How often after a great sermon or speaker do we get pumped to reach the world for Jesus Christ only to lose steam and forget our mission altogether because it demands a change? We must embrace the presence of Jesus Christ and become a part of Him in order to change before we will see effective results. But how do we know that the change is taking over? Much like the hybrid car, all the work is on in the inside not the outside where we can see it? Lord, show us the meter so we can stay on track with you!
Galatians 5:19-23 (Message)
It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on. This isn’t the first time I have warned you, you know. If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God’s kingdom. But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.
The fruit of the Spirit is definitely a positive marker of your spiritual efficiency progress. Those qualities are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. When these “fruits” are evident in your life, you know that you are living a holy life that honors God. When you find yourself acting selfishly and are completely unlovable, watch out a fruit is missing. If chaos reigns over your life and you live in constant fear with no sign of peace, oops another fruit is missing. Like the hybrid display whose leaves fade when the automobile is not operating efficiently, the fruit in our life fades when we are out of sync with our Father. We must abide in Him, be a part of Him to maximize our efficiency potential. Outside of Jesus Christ, it is impossible.
Matthew 21:18-19 (NLT)
In the morning, as Jesus was returning to Jerusalem, he was hungry, and he noticed a fig tree beside the road. He went over to see if there were any figs, but there were only leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” And immediately the fig tree withered up.
Why did Jesus choose to annihilate the fig tree that day? I believe it was because the fig tree was not bearing fruit. The purpose of the tree was to grow figs when it did not there was no reason for its existence. When we do not fulfill the purpose for which we were created we are not exercising our freedom in Christ. When the fruit of the Spirit is not evident in our life it is a clear indicator that we are not operating competently and a definite change is needed! Thank you Jesus that He applies grace to our life plan so that when we are underachieving according to His Plan and Purpose, the Holy Spirit presses us to move in the right direction rather than instant devastation. My friend, take the time today to check your spiritual indicators. It is well worth your time to work with God towards His Vision for your life. The pieces all fit together and things flow more smoothly when then Child of God maintains healthy growth. Do you feel dry and withered? Maybe the Holy Spirit is flashing a warning light that care and attention is needed! Take the time to make a deeper more productive connection with the Lord today! It will take you places!