Wednesday, August 10, 2011

You Can Have As Much As You Want

There was a lady born in the 1800's.  She went by the name Katie.  She stated a principle that I can't seem to get out of my head.  I have been pondering this simple statement for 4 months.

There is no fruit without sacrifice.

What if we are dry and empty and longing for adventure and Thy Kingdom come; but, inside we are at war with our own selfishness and comfortability.  (And yes, comfortability is a word...according to my weather man, anyway.)

What if the Holy Spirit wants to whisper into our inner beings this one thing:  "You can have as much fruit as you want--as you are willing to sacrifice for."

The fruit of seeing others come to Christ
The fruit of Joy
The fruit of really and I mean really knowing God
The fruit of children memorizing scripture
The fruit of answered prayer
The fruit of making His name known
The fruit of discipleship and people walking in freedom

But that word sacrifice.  It sometimes stops my selfish and frail flesh in its tracks.  Doesn't fruit have to be tied to a cross?  Isn't there no other way?  Didn't Jesus gain the fruit of allowing us to fellowship with the Father as He does by the cross?

Will I carry my cross so that the Holy Spirit can produce Kingdom of God fruit?  Is the amount of fruit I have directly linked to how much I am willing to sacrifice?

Isn't it just like the Holy Spirit not to demand it of us.  He offers it to us.  He wants the desire for fruit to become the desire of our souls.  He plants seed after seed of discontent with the things that we think we desire until our desires become His desires and we start to crave the things that really matter.

Perhaps the only things that really matter...the only things that are going to have an eternal reward tied to them...will always demand a sacrifice.  It was the way of our Savior.  Shouldn't it be our way?

A sacrifice of time
A sacrifice of praise when we don't like what God is doing
A sacrifice of investment into things we can't enjoy on earth
A sacrifice of tears and prayers when people are stuck in bondage
A sacrifice of giving when we would rather be taking
A sacrifice of crucifying our own name and fame
A sacrifice of knowing God on His terms, even when it slays our souls

The amount of fruit that comes from our lives is up to us!
Lord, set our thoughts on the joy of the reward, not the pain of the sacrifice.

{the thoughts triggered from this post stem from the book Simple Obsession by Jamie West Zumwalt and I can't recommend it enough}