Stop Focusing on Fruit
Someone emailed me: “I read your blog on bearing fruit. I have very little fruit to show for my faith in my life. I struggle against sins and I fail every single day. I try so hard. How come I don’t have more fruit? How can I get more fruit?”
Since it appears that my writing was the cause of this young ladies doubt. I thought it prudent to post a short answer on the blog, in case I lead some of you to question your faith. If this is the case, I never intended to do so and I apologize.
Let’s read John 15:
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 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.
5 “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. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
Ok, so I admit that I recently posted that if we are known by Jesus and the Holy Spirit dwells in us we will bear fruit, because the Spirit of God will bear good fruit in us, and He never forsakes his promises. But I did not intend to say that we should focus on our fruit.
I also admit that I have been prone to looking at my fruit and judging myself as well, especially at times when I am struggling against sin. At times like that, I get depressed, because I am not where I want to be in my walk with Christ. Sometimes we get so focused on examining ourselves that we totally forget where our focus is supposed to be…on Jesus.
As sinful, selfish beings we are prone to look to ourselves and judge ourselves… and we see our lack of fruit or the bad fruit we are producing. Then we try to fix it. In the passage of scripture above we read that we are branches in a vine. The vine is Jesus. If we are grafted into Jesus we bear fruit. Now let me ask a simple question…should we focus on the branch (ourselves) or on the source of the fruit we may or may not be bearing? If I am preoccupied with the fruit in my life instead of making sure that I am connected to the vine I will wither and die. Make sure you are focused on the vine and not your own branch and do not compare the fruit on your branch with he fruit on someones else’s branch either. You may have been grafted into the vine later than another branch, or earlier than another one!
Rather than focus on our lack of fruit we should focus on Jesus. As we shift our focus off of ourselves, we grow deeper in our grafting into the vine and we are made new…and then we’ll bear fruit, because he has promised us it will be so.
And I must clarify that this is all of Jesus, and not of ourselves. So be constant in prayer, constant in bible study, focus on your redeemer not yourself. The fruit will grow.