Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Don’t Try Harder. Love God More.

Consider the following statements. Which one sounds like religion, and which one sounds like relationship:

1. God blesses you for good behavior and punishes you for bad.
2. God blesses you, period, and brings forth righteousness in your life.

Which one sounds like Christ?
Which one sounds like Christianity?
Which one sounds like the Church?

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

Have you ever noticed that fruit is not something you find clipped on to a tree? Fruit comes forth from within the tree. It is not a lifeless add-on. It is the manifestation of the life that is within the tree itself. The fruit of the Spirit is not behavior we affix to our lives, it is the life of the Spirit manifesting in within us.

What we really need is not an imitation of Jesus, but a revelation of Jesus. We do not need to mimic His life, clipping on His behaviors on to our branches. That is the way of barrenness. What we really need is for Him to live His life in us. He is the vine, we are the branches. Our life comes from Him; His life flows through us.

The Christian life is not a matter of trying, it is a matter of yielding. Mike Bickle says, “Don’t try harder. Love God more.”