//Now the parable is this: the seed is the word of God. The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. And the ones of the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away. And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. As for the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.//
This morning I found myself empty and needy before the Lord. The Holy Spirit has been convicting me about how I was striving to produce godliness in my own strength. If i’m being honest, it is a constant thing I fall into. This leaves me empty, unsatisfied and not walking in the power of His Spirit. When I strive to produce my own fruit instead of abiding with Almighty God and surrendering the fruit into His care I am left empty and unsatisfied. When I surrender the fruit into His care and allow the Master Gardener to gently plant, grow and harvest, I am in perfect peace and abounding in His Spirit. This morning the Holy Spirit refreshed my heart by reminding me that I am living out of abundance in Jesus. I don’t plant, tend and harvest abundance in Christ, He plants, tends and harvests it in His timing. It flows out of Jesus, not out of me. I can’t muster up abundance and the power of the Holy Spirit, all I can do is humbly fall at His feet and receive Him. Receiving Jesus is the only way to bear fruit. I don’t bear fruit by writing clever IBS’s, or by sitting in class, by serving or by singing a worship song. I bear fruit as I humbly hold fast to Jesus and humbly worship at His feet. The Lord brought the story of Mary and Martha to my mind as He was speaking these truths to my heart. In Luke 10:38-42 Mary sat at Jesus’ feet, listening to His teaching and resting in His presence. Then we get a glimpse of Martha who was distracted with much serving. Martha was anxious and troubled about many things, but Mary chose the good portion which lasted for eternity. When I strive for fruit, anxiety and trouble surround me. When my heart rests in His Words, I bloom.
Fruit isn’t produced by serving, but by sitting at Jesus’ feet. Fruit isn’t produced by a knowledge of Him, but from communion with Him. Yesterday morning I was having a beautiful morning with the Lord. It was just simple radical communion with my Father. I came in with no plans or homework to be done, but I was just sitting with Him and being renewed in His presence. About 20 minutes into my time with Him, I knew that there was an opportunity to serve in the kitchen. It wasn’t mandatory to go and help, but I knew I could help out. I felt convicted about walking away from sitting at His feet to serve, but I ignored the conviction and ended my personal time in His Word and prayer to go and serve. This could have been a beautiful opportunity to go out with His presence and serve, but truly my heart wasn’t in the right place. Instead of serving out of abundance in Christ. I was striving to produce my own fruit. This lead to weariness in my day and it cut short the communion God desired with me that morning. Holy God in His Holy habitation desires to spend time with me. And you. If you get anything from this whole thing, please take that to heart. That radical truth, if taken to heart will change everything for all of our days. I am so grateful that God is so gracious with me and truly desires my communion and not my sacrifice. His mercies are new every morning and I am basking in them today. His communion is sweet to my soul and refreshing to my bones. I am resting in it today and He is right here with me.
Application: Fruit is produced by abiding with Jesus, not sacrificing and serving. I confessed my struggle of serving for recognition rather than the abundance of my heart with Tanisha.