The Abandoned Life is a Fruitful Life

So, my brothers (and sisters), you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God. Romans 7:14
Paul says it so well. When we abandon our lives to God, then they no longer belong to us. Sounds simple, doesn't it? But do our lives really belong to God or are we holding on to parts of it? Every area of my life where I am putting my will above His is like a branch that bears no fruit. Jesus says in John 15 that if we will remain in Him and allow Him to remain in us then we will bear fruit. Remaining in Him is the goal of the abandoned life - surrendering myself to Him. Jesus goes on to say in John 15 that every tree that bears fruit, He will prune so that it will bear more fruit. You may find yourself in a pruning season right now. God may be doing some cutting, but it is all for your good and His glory. He wants to produce much fruit in our lives and He can only do that when we allow Him to prune us. Now, I'm not much of a gardener, but I have talked to women who are and they shared some very important purposes of pruning. One purpose of pruning is to make the tree fuller. Another purpose is to make the tree grow in a certain direction. Still another purpose is to make the tree stronger. If we apply all of those reasons to our lives on a spiritual level, can you see what God hopes to accomplish when He prunes us? His purposes are the same - to keep us growing in the right direction, to make us stronger, and to make our tree bear more fruit. I know we are right in the middle of the Christmas season, but I encourage to take some time during this busy season to do some soul inventory. Are you producing much fruit for Him? Are there areas where your will is still dominating? Jesus gave everything He had to follow the will of His father. Are we willing to do the same. If so, then we will be like a tree planted by rivers of water and our leaf shall never wither and everything we do will prosper. (Psalms 1 paraphrased)


The Abandoned Life IV - The Faith Factor

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I took a little break myself and that's why I didn't update last week. I pray that our study of The Abandoned Life is speaking to your heart. The last time we met together, we talked about how faith plays an important part in our Christian walk and how it is a key weapon in our fight against fear. Hebrews 11:1 says that faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. Faith requires that I believe even when I don't see the answer. Isn't that where our worries and fears overtake us? When we can't see the path clearly in front of us, we begin to worry about what might happen. If we are not really trusting and believing God in an area of our life, no matter how many Scriptures we quote or how much praying we do, nothing will change. Ultimately, we will not abandon our lives to God if we don't fully believe that He knows best and that He can be trusted. Unbelief then becomes the battleground. Every place where we allow unbelief to reign is a place ripe for taking by the enemy of our souls. Oswald Chambers says it like this, "Have you ever noticed what Jesus said would choke the Word He puts in us? Is it the devil? No, it is the cares of this world (Matthew 13:22). It is always our little worries. We say, 'I will not trust when I cannot see' - and that is where unbelief begins. The only cure for unbelief is obedience to the Spirit. The greatest word of Jesus to His disciples is abandon." When we truly follow Christ with our WHOLE HEART, we will be free to trust Him and obey Him in all circumstances. We will no longer be ruled by fear, but we will be ruled by love (I John 4:18). How do I know if I have truly placed my faith in God? Well, here's a short little test.
F - Am I FOLLOWING God wholeheartedly?
A - Am I AWARE of God's purpose for me?
I - Am I INVESTING in God's Kingdom?
T- Am I THANKFUL in all circumstances?
H - Am I HONORING God with my actions, thoughts, and attitudes?
I encourage you to take some time and answer these questions honestly. A life that is 100% abandoned to God is a life lived by faith, and a life lived by faith is a life God rewards (Hebrews 11:6).