When we were born again and sealed with the Holy Spirit, God looked on us in a different manner for we were clothed with the righteousness of Christ. And being born of the Spirit, the life of Christ was born into out hearts. It is here that we often make a stumble, for we begin to live the Christian life the same way that we have been living the ‘old’ life.
The world has taught us well for we find that we are ingrained with its attitudes and motives, along with the world’s ideals and standards. This is why the Bible tells us to renew our minds and to bring every thought into subjection to Jesus.
To be of value in this world we have to be seen to be ‘doing’ something, to have accomplished a goal, to work towards a dream. The world expects those that are successful to strive to achieve.
Not so with being a follower of Jesus. Jesus calls for us to bring forth good fruit. To illustrate this request he paints a picture of a vineyard with God as the gardener in John 15. You are the branches he tells us and I am the vine. To bear fruit that is pleasing to God the branch must stay firmly grafted in the vine; for it is from the vine that all the food and nourishment are obtained.
To cease to draw food from Jesus we will wither and die, and we will be of no use to God, but to be gathered up and burnt.
We make the mistake of producing Gods fruit, by concentrating on producing the fruit, just as we have been taught by the world’s concepts. We strive to be patient, to be holy, to be kind, to be Christ-like etc. We grit out teeth to produce good fruit.
There is a passage in Matthew 7 that haunts me; where Jesus says to those who had done great works in his name, including healing and casting out demons, that he never knew them. I do not want to stand before the white throne of God and hear Jesus say, “I never knew you.”
There is only one standard by which we will please God - that is our love for him and a relationship that we have cultivated by the words of Jesus growing and fermenting within us. The bible illustrates this by speaking of our bodies as full of living waters, springing and welling up and bubbling over in our lives.
Consider the lilies says Jesus, see how they grow for they neither labour nor spin, yet their splendour is greater than Solomon’s. By resting in Gods provision for them, the lilies still out splendour all the worlds splendour. By resting in the Lord and allowing his words to feed us, we will be found to be pleasing to God.
Do we have a hunger for Gods wisdom; do we strain to seek Gods knowledge? Do we groan in the spirit that our words will be his words? We must be eager to pant and thirst for Gods ways, his precepts and truths. Are we alive with a hot passion for more of Gods words?
Only our love for Gods Son and our relationship with God will suffice in these last days, for I do not wish to be found to have fallen short of Gods glory. I long with an up turned face to be changed from glory into glory until I see that blessed and glorious day arrive when we will see our Lord face to face.