Matt 3:10; “Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”
That was the message the Lord gave me to preach as an 18 year old boy. And I gladly obeyed it. I preached it at every opportunity I got. From the youth meetings to the church services, wherever the Lord gave me an audience, I shared it. A month ago, during my prayer time, the Lord reminded me of it and asked me to teach it again. That’s the reason I write this blog. As a matter of fact, I have never been good at writing! But, if this blogs blesses you, it’s because the Word of God is alive (Heb 4:12) and the Word is our Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:1). He is alive, Jesus still lives! He’s the source of all power! He is the Word!! And that’s why, the Word is like a double edged sword.
If you expect to add some profound knowledge to your “learnings from the Bible” from this post, you might consider not reading further, because the one writing does not even hold a degree in graduation. But if you expect the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart and teach you through the word of God, go ahead with prayer. I pray that the Holy Spirit will speak to you and reveal to you His heart for our generation.
I had been preparing in prayer to start writing this blog for some time now. Today afternoon while studying some Greek terminologies used in the scripture on this subject, I fell asleep. And I saw this dream of a colorful serpent trying to follow me. I tried escaping from it, running from one room to another, firmly shutting the door behind me. But it still managed to slither behind me through the cracks and holes. Somehow, I managed to hit the snake a couple of times. And after sometime, I realized the snake was no longer following me. I turned back to search the entire house for it. But what I saw just stunned me! Every room that I had gone to, while escaping from the snake, where I had tried hitting the snake, had weird blood stains. The entire house looked grossly uninhabitable.
I woke up with a start; it had been an hour since I had fallen asleep. Since I am not someone who is usually given into dreams and visions, I asked the Lord what it all meant. The revelation that came shocked me to my bones (which is why I made efforts to write this down for you) He told me that the devil was trying to attack my character, spoil my life and wreck my ministry! ‘Harm’ did not mean physical damage but psychological trauma by denting my image. I asked the Lord if that would be dangerous to me. The Lord said, “Your character is the way in which you exhibit, or fail to exhibit the fruit of the spirit. And if you don’t produce fruit for a long time, I will pluck you off of my garden. Now arise and share this!”
Let me quote Ray William “The destiny of every Christian is to be a worshipper and the destiny of every worshipper is to be like HIM”. Our ultimate purpose in life is, to not just go to church, be involved in the ministry, or make all the noise we can about everything in the world. It is, growing in every way to contain Him, who is the head, which is Christ. (Eph 4:15) We look forward for the second coming of Jesus Christ, not so we could get to be in heaven, but primarily so that we will get to see Him. And when we do, we will become like him. (1 John 3:2). And that’s the point that we miss today. Sadly, we have too many Christians around, with hardly anybody resembling the life or personality of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The chief reason the Lord chose us to be His children was so that we may be found holy in His sight. (Eph 1:4) We define holiness in the things we wear, what we eat and what we do, which are mostly a set of denominational rules and regulations! God said “For I am the LORD your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy.” (Lev 11:44) Our standard for holiness is God Himself! Why is God holy? Is it because of the robe He wears? Or maybe, because he doesn’t lie or steal? Let us not mistake holiness for purity. Purity is just a small part of holiness. God is holy not because of what He does. He is holy because that’s the very essence of his personality. John says God is love! (1 John 4:16) He doesn’t love because it is the right thing to do. God loves because His very being is the unconditional agape Love. That’s what the Holy Spirit does in us when he inhabits us. He changes our very being.
How do we know that? Jesus said “you shall know the tree by the fruit” (Matt 12:33) Now, the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (Gal 5:22)
Let me make one more point here. The fruit of the spirit, unlike the gifts of the spirit, cannot be imparted by laying on of hands. Each person has to cultivate it in his garden of life. Like someone going regularly to the gym, you will have to regularly workout to flex the muscles of mature Christian living in your life. Use every opportunity that comes your way to exhibit the fruits of the spirit, i.e. to exhibit the character of Christ. Quoting Rick Warren from Purpose Driven Life. “God develops the fruit of the Spirit in your life by allowing you to experience circumstances in which you’re tempted to express the exact opposite quality! Character development always involves a choice, and temptation provides that opportunity.”
So if you commit yourself to developing your character according to Jesus, you can be sure that trials and temptations are on its way!! I will recommend the book Purpose Driven Life as a must read for every Christian seeking to live a life that honors God.
Isn’t it high time that we change the focus from what we do to who we are? Isn’t it time to change from the inside out? Just changing your cabinet cover or buying a new monitor or keyboard for your computer will not fix the corrupt software issues you face. You will have to call up a software guy who can come and reinstall the insides of that computer. Would you like to call upon the Holy Spirit to come and change you from within, making a completely new being of you? “Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”