There are two roads. One is wide, easy, and relatively popular. The other is narrow, difficult, and at times seems lonely. Jesus tells us we can tell who is on which road by their fruit. At first, this seems like a straightforward test to apply, but then Jesus surprises us. The Messiah tells us that there will be those who look like they are bearing good fruit, but who Jesus will say He never knew! What?! If casting out demons, and prophesying in the name of Jesus isn’t good fruit, what is?
Messiah must have known we would have this question, so He immediately gives us His criteria for “good fruit”. We are wise, and like a good tree, if we build our spiritual house on the rock of His words. Whoever “hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.” Do I hear my Messiah’s words and act on them? Do you? This is the basis of the judgement we will receive. Sadly, for much of my life I have been much more impressed by those who prophesied or did miracles. I longed to have that kind of fruit. Turns out that I was wasting time striving for those things. Those are good, if they flow from following Messiah’s words, but worthless otherwise
I fear many who think they follow Jesus will discover someday they have not truly been following His words. Do we follow His example of divine love? Do we listen when He tells us not to judge others, lest we be judged? Do we love and pray for our enemies? I realize with sadness how little of this type of fruit my life has shown. I have found it easy to judge. (hmmm, easy seems to be the wrong path, doesn’t it?) I have found it difficult to wish the best for my enemies, to pray for them. Somehow, my “prayer” of “Lord, help them” was usually more selfish than really about wanting them to be blessed with guidance from God.
Clearly, I need the Spirit in my life, or I will never be able to accomplish the fruit that matters. I need to follow Messiah’s words, and leave the fruit bearing up to the Spirit flowing through me. I cannot change hearts or minds, He can. I cannot love unconditionally, He can. I cannot do all that He requires, and I don’t have to! He tells us this! How freeing to know it is not up to me, how hard to remember and live up to it!
Lord, please help me to rely on Your Spirit to get through my day. Help me to know where all of my power comes from, and to remember that nothing I do on my own could be good enough. I know that it is only what I do while allowing Your Spirit to flow through me that will be considered good fruit. May I listen to Your words, and build my house on those things that I see there. You are my foundation, and I renounce any other basis for life. May I be transformed by Your Spirit into the image of my Messiah, and no longer fall prey to the conforming forces of this evil world. I am part of a higher and greater Kingdom, and wish to act like a citizen of that Kingdom for it is my true home. While I live here, may I be Your ambassador to show the surpassing greatness of life with You so that others may be drawn to Your love, forgiveness, and healing. Amen.