Friends, this isn’t a lovely cheerful post to start our week, it’s a searching one. And if I’m honest, I have said to God ‘do I really have to share this? People will think I’m so depressing!’
But I know God has given me these thoughts to share with you today. And do you know what friends, as God has been showing me these things over the past couple of years and working in me I am finding more and more joy each day. YET there is still SO much work to be done in me, so just what must heaven be like?!!
So I’m sharing in obedience and in the desire that you each may grow in the joy to be found in surrendering our whole lives to God.
So here we go!
Why are we on this earth friends?
Why did God create us?
We were created for His pleasure and to glorify Him. Rev 4:11 & Is 43:11.
We are not our own, we were bought with the highest possible price, so we are to glorify God.
‘What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
For ye are bought with a price: therefore GLORIFY God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.’
1 Cor 6:19-20
So just how do we glorify God?
I have been thinking about this a lot lately. I have found that God is most glorified in and through me when I am closest to Him. It’s as we abide in Him, when we find our all in Him that God is glorified.
As I said, the more I seek for my life to glorify God the more joy I have in my life. BUT when I dishonour God, I lose some of that joy.
I have learnt that when I feel a little distance between me and the Lord, to immediately go to Him in prayer, asking for God to reveal any sin that has caused that distance and to plead for forgiveness and the grace to conquer that sin.
So, how do we get to this place of our lives glorifying God?
We draw closer friends, we lean harder, depend only upon God and not our own strength or wisdom, we ABIDE in Christ. It is the FRUIT in our lives that glorifies God.
So how do we become a branch that bears much fruit?
Thinking of this, I have looked up what a branch needs to bear fruit and what prevents it from bearing fruit.
Firstly, the branch needs to be joined to a healthy tree.
So we will only bear fruit as we abide in Christ and He in us.
Then, we need to be a healthy branch to bear fruit.
So, what makes a branch healthy.
Firstly, a branch needs to be completely joined to the tree. A branch that is half joined and half hanging off, exposed to the elements will not be fruitful.
Are we completely committed to Christ or are we choosing to have part of our life unnecessarily exposed to the world?
Next the branch needs to be consistently drawing nutrients and water from the tree.
Are we consistently drawing living water from the living fountain?
Jesus said….’whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.’
Or are we getting filled up with the world, are we looking for our satisfaction in our own achievements, pleasures and desires? These things things in themselves may not be wrong friends, but they become wrong when we find our joy in them or when we put them before God.
Next comes the pruning.
To be fruitful, a branch must be regularly pruned and shaped to encourage healthy growth and help it to bear fruit. The old dead wood needs to be cut away so the rest might become fruitful.
The old dead wood in us needs cutting away, the things that steal our spiritual life need removing. May we each search our hearts and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to us those things in our lives.
The hard things in our lives are often like this pruning and shaping, allowing us to become more like Christ if our hearts are softened so that we learn in these trials.
God doesn’t allow hard things in our lives to be unkind, he allows them out of His great love for us because if we love Him and keep His commandments He WILL work them ALL together for our good.
Have you ever noticed that it’s often in the hardest places we feel closer to God?
Why? Because often these are the times we lean the hardest on Him, the times when we most FEEL our need. (We always need God completely but sadly it often takes the trials to open our eyes and make us totally reliant on Him!) These are often the times when we are most fruitful too.
There also needs to be pest and disease control.
These pest may just be tiny little harmless looking insects but they can quickly damage the branch and make the fruit bad or prevent it from bearing fruit at all. The insects need to be removed from the tree and destroyed or removed far away where they cannot return or affect other branches.
Ah friends, these little insects are like the ‘harmless’ pleasures of the world. If we allow them to take a hold on our life they will start to damage our fruit or even prevent us from being fruitful altogether.
And disease? Each branch needs to be regularly examined for signs of disease. Because if the disease is left and not treated or cut away, it will spread and infect the other branches until the whole tree becomes unfruitful and the branches may eventually wither and die.
This is searching me so much!
Friends, what a thought! If we allow the disease of sin and the corruption of the world to remain in our lives, if we don’t seek the grace and help we need to overcome sun immediately we are aware of it, it will first affect our own fruitfulness and even more solemnly, if left, it will start to affect those around us! As our family, our friends, our neighbours, our work colleagues may see sin or the world in us, it may cause them to fall into the same sin or think that those things that draw us away from God and make us unfruitful are ok. Then others become unfruitful too and we begin to wither and die if the disease is not cut out.
Judas followed Christ but He wasn’t IN Christ. He didn’t abide in Him. Our religion needs to be all of God and none of us.
John said this…..
My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
Friends, we may fall, but we don’t need to stay there! God will lift us up if we turn to Him. May God so work in each of our hearts and souls and reveal our sins to us and then give us the help we need to repent and continue abiding in Him, to keep us feeding from Him and make us fruitful branches for His glory so that we will not be cut off, because friends, we each have a precious, precious soul.
This life is NOT about us.
We are not here for ourselves, we are here for the GLORY OF GOD.
But friends, we are not doing this alone, we cannot do it alone but we can do ALL things through who strengthens us.
How we need to cling close to our God. How we need to be so filled with the love of God, to be so filled with the love of Christ that will be no room left for sin, no room left for ‘Me’.
May the desire of each of our hearts and our earnest prayer be….
‘No more ‘ME’, just all ‘CHRIST IN ME’.
‘Fill me SO full of the love of Christ that there will be NO no room left for sin.’
May we each be helped to live for the glory of God and not for ourselves.