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The Daily Word of Righteousness
The Importance of Fruit, #8
Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. (John 14:23—NIV)
Before the Father and the Son are pleased to make Their abode in us there must be some housecleaning. We must surrender all to the Lord. Then the Father and the Son will make Their eternal home in us.
It is time for this to take place today. But first we must endure the Lord's dealings, as we mentioned previously.
He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so it will be even more fruitful. (John 15:2—NIV)
As the Lord comes to us He prunes back the fallen nature. He has to deal with us severely so the worldliness, fleshly lusts, and self-will are cut back. This experience is as painful as we make it. If we are willing to let God have His way in our life the experience of pruning is merely uncomfortable. But if we resist the Lord the pruning becomes almost more than we can bear.
Our idols must be torn down. The first and greatest commandment is that we are to have no other gods before the Lord. The removing of our idols may cause confusion because we think we are losing all that is valuable. Actually all that is being removed are our bondages.
Expect God today to come to you and deal with your thinking, your actions, and your speech. Your whole personality must be pruned so Christ can come forth in you in a greater way than has been true previously.
One of the biggest hindrances to the fruit of Christ coming forth in us is our self-will. God deals with our self-will by bringing us through many years of delay before the promised fruitfulness comes.
Sing, O barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband, says the LORD. (Isaiah 54:1—NIV)
Great fruitfulness came forth from Sarah, from Hannah, from Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist. But before it did there was a long period of waiting.
Sometimes God makes wonderful promises to us, but then nothing significant seems to take place for many years. This seems to be the way it is when fruit of special importance is to be produced.
There is a cup that all of God's kings must drink, and it must be drunk to the last drop.
Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. (Isaiah 54:2—NIV)
God keeps promising us the most marvelous things and yet nothing happens. We can try to help God out by bringing forth an Ishmael, but we will create a wild man if we do. When God makes a promise to us we are not to turn away from God and make it happen. What God has promised He is well able to accomplish. We do not need to scheme and "marry" some strange, exotic "woman" to get what we want. The promise will come through good old Sarah.
To be continued.