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knowing God

Be Strong & Courageous; Bear Much Fruit

Sounds good to me!  I must admit that one of my heart cries has always been to “bear much fruit” in my life.  Don’t we all?  Don’t you long  for your life to be meaningful, to have impact, to make a difference in someone’s life?  Of course, we all do.  It’s in the fabric of our being.  Because God put it there.

 

Psalm 1

1 Blessed is the man

       who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked

       or stand in the way of sinners

       or sit in the seat of mockers.

 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD,

       and on his law he meditates day and night.

 

 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water,

       which yields its fruit in season

       and whose leaf does not wither.

       Whatever he does prospers.

 

 4 Not so the wicked!

       They are like chaff

       that the wind blows away.

 

 5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,

       nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

 

 6 For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous,

       but the way of the wicked will perish.

 

John 15?

5″I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

 

 9″As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

 

Joshua 1

6 “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

 

 

I want to be unshakable, unmoved by life’s circumstances and storms and fruitful in every season (good or bad).  I desire to answer the call to be strong and courageous, to not give in to fear, and yes, to press in to “possess the land” and all that the Lord would give to me/us.  These passages make it clear what the keys are for unlocking this supernatural strength, courage and fruitfulness: 

 

delighting in God’s laws

-being rooted deeply in the Lord (like a tree)

-drinking deeply from the waters of Life

-abiding in Jesus, being fully and vitally connected to Him.

-meditating on the Word day and night

-remaining in His Presence

-obeying the Lord

 

So, instead of trying harder to produce more results/fruit/etc. in our lives and mustering up faith and courage to carry on day after day, we are instructed VERY clearly by God that our main priority must be being with Him. Call it “quiet time”, “devotional life”, prayer/Bible study.  Whatever you call it, it’s basically about building your relationship with Jesus.  All strength, all power, all courage, and great fruitfulness are promised to flow from THAT reality.  And, it takes time.

 

TIME.  We all have it, but most of us would say we never have “enough”.  A wise person once said to me, as I mused about “not having time . . “:

 

We have time for what we want to have time for. 

 

Get it?  To put it differently, your truest priorities are revealed when you look at where you actually spend your time.  Many of us have great notions about what we consider a “priority”.  But, truth is revealed in what we actually do with our time.  You can say that your relationship with God is of primary importance in your life, but if the only time that is set aside for Him is when you’re at church on Sunday morning, what does that really say? 

 

Where can you “find” the time?  Well, maybe you can spend less time in front of the TV screen or the computer screen.  You could skip a meal here or there (it’s called fasting).  You can get up earlier or go to bed a little later.  It’s not that hard to find the time, the hard part is making it a priority decision and doing it. 

 

I know for many of you reading this, that may not be a news flash.  It’s not for me.  I’ve been trying to live my life that way for a long time.  But, I still haven’t seen what I believe is the end result that the Word describes.  I have yet to see what I would call “much fruit”, and it’s still a struggle many times to “be strong and courageous”.  Does this mean that it’s not true?  No, because God cannot lie, it’s impossible for Him to do so (Hebrews 6:18)!  It is the answer and we must not grow weary in doing good, for if we do not give up, we WILL reap a harvest (Galatians 6:9)!  They key is:  Don’t give up!  Keep faith for “much fruit”, keep vision for God to His part as you do your part.

 

Take the prescription that the Lord gave Joshua:  Take His Book (the Bible) in your hand, and in your mouth (speak the words back to Him) and think upon it, day and night.  Give long and loving meditation to God and His Word.  Then, you will see Him conquer your enemies and give you every promise that He has for you.

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About Jessie

Lover of God. Husband. Dad. Director of the Furnace at Michigan State University.

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