Thursday, February 14, 2008

Much Activity but Little Fruit

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. John 15:5

It's possible for us to labor in the Lord (1 Cor. 15:58). It's also possible for us to labor in the flesh. We can become so wrapped up and entangled in all of our activities that we run to and fro in the energy of the flesh. We seemingly are accomplishing much, but in the eyes of God we are accomplishing nothing.

We can get so wrapped up in "serving the Lord" that we forget the Lord we are serving (Luke 10:38-42). We need to STOP and BE STILL before our God (Ps. 46:10), remembering the sobering words of our Saviour: "without Me ye can do NOTHING" (John 15:5). Out of resting and abiding in the Lord flows service for the Lord.

It is impossible to please the Lord in the flesh (Rom. 8:8), and it is a shame for the believer to walk in the flesh because "ye are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you" (Rom. 8:9). Except the Lord build the house (Ps. 127:1), all of our labor is vanity. We need to be careful that we count fruit as God does. A fruitful day to us may be quite unfruitful as God sees it. There's coming a day when we will discover how God counts fruit: "every man's work shall be made manifest; for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire" (1 Cor. 3:13).

Do we include God in all our activities or do we leave Him out? Is He in all our thoughts? Do we include Him in our plans (cf. James 4:13-17)? How great is the sin of independence manifested by the attitude of heart that says, "Who needs God?" (Ps. 2:3)! HOW great is the man who has learned to be dependent and who fears doing anything if the Lord is not in it!

God has told us what He desires and demands with respect to our relationship with Himself: "for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you" (1 Th. 5:16-18).

Let's test ourselves:

Is my daily walk characterized by an attitude of constant rejoicing regardless of circumstances (verse 16)?

Do I enjoy a God-consciousness and a God-awareness and a God-dependence throughout the day (verse 17)?

Do I manifest a thankful spirit regardless of what state I am in (verse 18)?

As we honor and acknowledge Christ in all our ways (Prov. 3:5-6; Col. 1:18), we can have the joy and confidence that comes from knowing that our labor is not in vain in the Lord! May we be sitting in His presence (Luke 10:39), standing upon His Word (1 Cor. 16:13), walking in His holiness (1 Pet. 1:14-16) and running in His service (1 Cor. 15:58), all for His glory, now and forevermore, AMEN!

Taken from Middletown Church with permission

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