Witness Him Now
I read a scripture a few days ago that thrills my soul. John 15:16-17 says, "You didn't choose Me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, SO THAT the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using My name. This is My command: Love one another."
God wants us to bear fruit so that He can answer our prayers? Is that so? This makes me want to shout and sing. For the last several years the fruit inside of all of us has been getting larger and more everlasting. The love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control that is inside of us is ruling our lives now. No matter what happens, no matter what anyone says or does, the fruit wins. It is pretty spectacular, but then look at the scripture...
God chose us and appointed us to bear everlasting fruit SO THAT the Father will give us whatever we ask for in Jesus' name. Wow! Wow! Wow! Whatever we ask for! It is time to ask. God is poised to answer. He wants to set captives free. He wants to heal broken hearts. He wants to comfort those who mourn. He wants to show Himself strong amongst His people. He chose us and appointed us to bear everlasting fruit so that we would be in a position to ask and He would be in a position to answer. God is so good! He said that His Temple would be a house of prayer for all nations. That is what we are becoming. Wow! I hope this verse hits your heart like it is hitting mine because there are many battles to be fought, and God has chosen us to partner with Him in the fight.
Zechariah 12 says it this way, "This message is from the LORD, who stretched out the heavens, laid the foundations of the earth, and formed the human spirit. I will make Jerusalem (that's us in spiritual terms) like an intoxicating drink that makes the nearby nations stagger when they send their armies to besiege Jerusalem and Judah. On that day I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock. All the nations (principalities and powers and rulers of darkness in high places) will gather against it to try to move it, but they will only hurt themselves.
"On that day," says the LORD, "I will cause every horse to panic and every rider to lose his nerve. I will watch over the people of Judah, but I will blind all the horses of their enemies. And the clans of Judah will say to themselves, "The people of Jerusalem have found strength in the LORD of Heaven's Armies, their God."
On that day I will make the clans of Judah like a flame that sets a woodpile ablaze or like a burning torch among sheaves of grain. They will burn up all the neighboring nations (principalities and powers) right and left, while the people living in Jerusalem remain secure. The LORD will give victory to the rest of Judah first, before Jerusalem, so that the people of Jerusalem and the royal line of David will not have greater honor than the rest of Judah.
ON THAT DAY THE LORD WILL DEFEND THE PEOPLE OF JERUSALEM: THE WEAKEST AMONG THEM WILL BE AS MIGHTY AS KING DAVID! AND THE ROYAL DESCENDANTS WILL BE LIKE GOD, LIKE THE ANGEL OF THE LORD WHO GOES BEFORE THEM! For on that day I will begin to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.
THEN I will pour out a spirit of grace and prayer on the family of David and on the people of Jerusalem.
This is the time period we are living in. This is that day. This is what we were appointed to do - bear everlasting fruit so that we can ask God for anything using the name of Jesus, and He will do it. God wants us to be in a position to ask, and then He wants us to ask. He is poised and ready to answer. So let me encourage you. God has called and chosen you for such a time as this. It is time to get our lives right with God so that we can pray.
About a month ago the LORD allowed me to see several scriptures as they fit together. Before this time, these words were fragmented - separate pieces. Once the pieces came together, my eyes were open to the big picture of what God wants from us all. If I had known two months ago what I know now, this would have summarized my book. That is how important it is.
Matthew 7 starting in verse 12 goes like this: "Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets." Everything that is taught in the Bible can be summed up in this phrase. Wow. But listen to what comes next. "You can enter Gods Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it."
Can you see that? The road to life is to do to others what you would want them to do for you. This road is difficult and narrow. Few will ever find it. Then it says, "Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. You can identify them by thieri fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can't produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can't produce good fruit. So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions."
So how are we going to know a tree by its fruit? Does this person treat others like he would want to be treated? A good tree CANNOT produce bad fruit. A good tree WILL ALWAYS treat others like he would want to be treated. Wow! Wow! Wow! If we are not treating all people like we would want to be treated, we are still a bad tree. We have rotten places (enemies inside of us) that have to be cut out. If we are still jealous or judgmental or proud or covetous or greedy or unforgiving, etc., we are a bad tree, and we CANNOT bear good fruit. It is not possible. Jealousy will not let us treat others like we would want to be treated. A judgmental spirit will not let us treat others like we would want to be treated. Greed will not let us treat others like we would want to be treated. Oh my! Can you tell what kind of tree you are? Are you happy with what you see? I don't know a lot of people who treat every person they know like they would want to be treated.
Listen to what people are saying about what happened in Florida this week. If you were one of the people sitting in that bar, how would you want people to treat you? If you were the Islamic extremeist who is caught in a religion that promotes hate and death, what would you want someone to do for you?
There is a scripture that has changed my life forever. It is found in James 3:7-12. "People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our LORD and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can't draw fresh water from a salty spring."
All men have been made in the image of God. If we curse them, we are speaking out against God. We are not treating others like we would want to be treated. We are a bad tree that cannot produce good fruit. Only when we begin to open ourselves up to let God heal the hurts inside of us and to set us free from all the lies we have believed, can we come to a place that we will be called good. A good tree CANNOT produce bad fruit. LORD, help us. We are not there yet. Forgive us for the words we have spoken. Forgive us for the judgment in our heart. Forgive us for thinking that we are better or more deserving than others. We are not. We are guilty. Come, LORD Jesus, with power to wash our sins clean. I ask this in Your precious name. AMEN
The scripture says, "May you prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers."