As we return to “normal life” I’ve made the decision not to get sucked in to the old way of doing things. Why? Because I know exactly what I’m capable of….it’s so easy to default to comfort, to get busy and overwhelmed again and to do the same old, same old.
I’ve grown so much the last few months and I’ve identified the areas that need growth. I don’t want any of that to be in vain or wasted. I don’t want the seeds that have been planted to die. I want to see the fruit. I want to nurture it and take care of it and then I want to reap a harvest. For that reason, I am writing this down as a reminder to myself (and in the process I hope to encourage you) of what God has shown me during lockdown.
First, let me tell you some of the things I’ve discovered about myself during the last few months.
- I can actually get quite creative with my cooking and I now know that there’s more to just spaghetti Bolognese, cottage pie and Chicken and veggies. I can make a mean Chickpea and potato curry now!
- I have always loved baking but that went to the next level when I started baking every single day, and for the first time in my life, made naan bread, banana bread (from scratch) and loads of biscuits and cakes. I have gained about 5kg extra to confirm that as truth.
- I discovered that I love teaching my children.
- I realised how many opportunities and moments I’ve lost with my children because I was too busy thinking of the next item on my to-do list.
- I discovered that my identity was so wrapped up in my function that when the function was taken away, I didn’t know who I was.
- I realised that I had a performance mentality and deep down I believed that my “doing” was what was making me more acceptable to God.
But one morning as I was hanging the washing, I heard the gentle whisper of the Father inviting me back to His Heart. Back to the Source of life. And that is where this message was birthed. In that place of acknowledging that I had been neglecting the very simple truth that He is the Vine, my Source and my Life Giver. I had become so busy producing things by my own strength….no wonder I was feeling tired, disconnected and discouraged.
God wants us to live fruitful lives. I believe there is a new season for us. God is doing a new thing and I want to move with him. It’s time to bloom and shine and to be fruitful. Living a life of glorifying Him using my every talent, dream and gift for His purposes.
The most liberating part is that I don’t have to do anything in my own strength. Apart from Him I can do nothing. Of course I try, I’ve tried many times, but the moment I feel tired and weary and start complaining I realise that I’m disconnected from the Source.
Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself, it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit, apart from me you can do nothing.
We can easily get into a place where we judge ourselves by how we think we appear to others and neglect the secret place of the heart WHERE ALL GOOD FRUIT GERMINATE.
We need to live from a place of abiding in Him and that will lead to a fruitful and flourishing life. How? By making these a priority.
Hebrews 4:12For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
- The word of God is truth and above everything we think or feel. His word can lift you out of the depth of despair, defeat and discouragement and enable you to deal with the challenges that come your way.
- The beauty and power of God’s word is life changing. It transforms us. It challenges us. The key is to keep at it. Keep pursuing God and His word.
- Do what you need to do to make sure you have a fruitful devotional time. Click here to read my post on how to have a devotional time.
John 16:13When the Spirit of Truth comes He will guide you into all Truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak and he will declare to you the things that are to come.
- To live a Fruitful life requires faith. Do you want to be a woman of faith? Then you need the power of the Holy Spirit. He is the enabling power of God.
- Live in His power, it’s so much more effective that ours.
Matthew 28:16-20Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey.
- God has called all of us to make disciples, to reach those who don’t know Him and to teach those who do.
- So many people ask what is my purpose, what is the plan for my life? Just go to the source and see what His plans and purposes are.
For too long in my life I believed the lie that because I was barren physically, I wasn’t fruitful spiritually. That is not the truth. Your circumstances and situations don’t determine whether you are being fruitful and living His Purpose for your life.
What can you practically do in this season of growing and becoming more fruitful?
- Reflect purposefully on what you are currently producing.
What seeds are you sowing. God is looking for much more than just the appearance of fruitfulness. Let us not appear to be flourishing but in reality produce nothing of value. The counterfeit of bearing good fruit is pretence. We can become so good at the routines, the lingo, acting like a Christian, while experiencing no real power and bearing no eternal fruit.
2. Bloom where you are planted
Where are you planted? Are you part of a community where you can grow and flourish? We were made for community. There, you will find support and spiritual growth. We need each other. Surround yourself with people who ‘water’ you. People who will tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear.
3. Be accountable
Meet with someone regularly and share your failings and your victories. Submit yourself to Godly leadership.
4. Have a culture of honour
In a world where many are selfish and want what’s best for themselves, show gratitude. It stands out! Celebrate others and do all you do in love.
5. Sow into others and their faith.
Encourage others in the faith. Share your journey and testimonies and help them grow in theirs.
6. Bring Life
What brings life to you and what seems to bring the most life to others? Then DO THAT! Use your natural abilities and gifts to reach people. He has given them to you for a purpose.
I trust you have been encouraged in your faith and fruitfulness, please let me know what you’ve discovered about yourself the last few months and let’s encourage each other to step into this new season with Faith!
All my love,