In addition to warning people about our nation’s trajectory (Jer. 18:7–10), God has called me to help Christians see much greater fruit (Acts 8:1–40). Indeed, “Enormous Fruit” was the title of my March 14 blog.
However, recently I found myself getting off-track and experiencing less fruit. You might say I was becoming muddled in life and ministry. In a push-through, self-effort kind of mindset I found myself asking if I had prayed enough, read my Bible enough, fasted enough, and if I was staying focused enough to make this ministry move forward. It felt like I had set time aside to lift weights but the barbell wasn’t getting off the ground. Of course, this was frustrating and exhausting.
It was during this exasperating season that the Lord reminded me that what I try to do for Him is not going to make a difference, but what He does in and through me will make a dramatic difference. Identifying this problem and the solution, Paul said, “Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh [that is, your own striving]?” (Gal. 3:3). It is a subtle trap but trying to impress or persuade God by trying hard enough is a dead-end.
Since making the shift back to simple faith, I’ve noticed that my perspiration soaked “clothes” are gone, and the greater fruit is back! Almost immediately an important appointment was setup with an influential person half way across the country. On the same day, I saw someone come to faith in Christ! The next day, a church in Elkhart, Indiana confirmed a ministry engagement. And the following weeks have proved to bear much fruit as well.
While self-effort doesn’t carry the day, walking by faith in step with the Holy Spirit will! As we move forward as Christ’s ambassadors, let’s see what He can do in and through us . . . and let’s expect dramatically more fruit.