Key To Fruitfulness
John 15:5 (NIV)
"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."
Jesus relates us to things that grow, like branches and wheat. All growing things have the ability to reproduce or they would become extinct and everything separated from its root dies.
For that which is planted well fruitfulness is spontaneous as hindrances to fruitfulness are removed by the gardener, not the plant. All the plant has to do is allow the God-ordained pattern to continue. It takes no special gifting or effort; it is the default position. It was the nature of mankind at creation but the choice made by Adam and Eve opened the door to failure.
Once you agree to be joined to Jesus you have the potential for great fruitfulness. He never gives up on you because his goal is for you to be fruitful. God's plan not only benefits the Kingdom but also gives you 'complete joy' (v. 11). Is this a description of your life?
In Mark 4 we see the parable of the seeds. Of the four scenarios only one is fruitful. The variable factor is the soil—not the seed. In the first case a hard heart is set against the truth of the Gospel, and the second lacks substance. There is no foundation or root to produce dedication. The third example develops the characteristics of fruit but never produces mature fruit. “The worries of this age, the seduction of wealth, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word and it becomes unfruitful” (v. 19).
One's lifestyle before accepting Jesus is so ingrained as to seem normal. It takes a revelation from God to bring any of it into question. Without visualizing a desirable resolution to your current actions there will be no change. Change comes when we want it (Phil. 2:13), and without desire change does not happen. If you are a person who tries to 'be better' you have as good a chance as the plant among the thorns to be abundantly fruitful.
The plant that produces nothing is virtually useless. At best it is only a decoration. There is a similarity to the person whose life lacks growth and fruitfulness. As the years pass there is a greater sense of emptiness as even the thought of joy fades. Others have been hoping to find fruit that satisfies them, fruit that matches your declaration of Jesus. Since he is the one who sets you free expect the Lord to change you.
"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. We all, with unveiled faces, are looking as in a mirror at the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory; this is from the Lord who is the Spirit" (2 Cor. 3:17-18). "I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete (John 15:11).