‘This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.’ John 15:8 (NIV)
It has been taught in Christian circles that Jesus´ instruction on bearing fruit means that we should win converts to our religious institution. However beneficial this may be for everyone involved, is it really what Jesus is trying to teach?
Jesus sent out His Disciples to spread the Good News. He gives us this charge to tell the world about God. He wants people everywhere to know the nearness of God and His Kingdom. He Himself gave every breath to spreading the word of God and His love to His people. It is an honorable mission in life to tell those we come into contact with of Jesus´ intercessory work and the hope we have found in Him. But could we be forgetting something? Are we getting ahead of ourselves? Is there an underlying foundation and a prerequisite that needs to be sought first?
Bringing others to Christ is definitely fruit. To make it otherwise would be a crime. But it is not the only fruit. It is not the Christian´s primary goal as given to us in the Bible. Our primary concern is always first to God. It is not to men. We can twist things around and try to say that it is for Him that we do what we do. But if we are not actively seeking Him ourselves, then what is it that we are offering other people?
The fruit we need to see far before we expect that others are drawn, is that we ourselves are drawn into the most intimate and fulfilling walk with the Lord. Never should we rush ahead. The dark powers that rule this world and our human natures are too devious. There is too much at stake. We first need to be completely turned to Jesus. We need to be in a passionate relationship where we feed from Him and His instruction in each and every step. We need to be so in tune with Him that we hear Him leading us through every turn. We need to hear Him speaking to us. We need to be familiar with His workings inside our hearts and in our soul. We need to be aware of the Presence of God. We need to spend time in adoration. We need to bow everything we are before the throne. We need to seek the Lord!
When a Christian is this committed to God that we are entirely enveloped in Him, then there comes to us the gifts of the Spirit. Fruit that comes to us through the Holy Spirit are such wonders as faith, trust, hope, awe, strength to look above, and strength to resist looking to ourselves. When God blesses us with the fruit of Spirit, we are enabled to love. We are lifted to a higher plain of worship. There Is Someone on the other end of our relationship. We have a focus to our adoration. We tighten a bond between the Lord and us. We accept a Hand from above and we grip that leads us surely to God. We discover each day new and exciting realizations of our Friend and our Guide. These fruits we bear by seeking constantly and determinedly the Presence of Jesus in our lives. It is this bearing of fruit which is needed far before becoming preoccupied with any lesser fruit. When true believers turn to Jesus this intently, then surely the power of God will be unleashed. The world will know. Real bearing of fruit will follow. Should we expect it any sooner?
We love You. We want to bear fruit for You. But help us first to seek the fruits of the Holy Spirit in our lives! With the fruit that the Presence of God will bring to us, all other fruit will stem. Give us today an excruciating desire to be near to You and be enraptured worshippers of You! Then let the wonders sprout within us! Let our love for You grow. Move so strongly within us and in our lives that we begin to bear Your fruits today!