Shiny Leaves

April 4, 2013 womanafterhisheart

“And seeing in the distance a fig tree [covered] with leaves, He went to see if He could find any [fruit] on it [for in the fig tree the fruit appears at the same time as the leaves]. But when He came up to it, He found nothing but leaves, for the fig season had not yet come.” Mark 11:`13 amp

Last night in the Bible Study I attend we talked about shining up our “religious” leaves. We’ve been learning about the three images we have (from John Bevere’s extraordinary life Bible Study). The three are 1) our projected image (the way we desire others to see us), a perceived image (the way others see you) and an actual image (who you really are). (Bevere)

In my own life, I’ve been focused on shining up my leaves (the projected image). I was so desperate for people’s approval that I concentrated on my leaves instead of the fruit God wanted to grow in me. I proclaimed the name of Christ (shiny leaves), but in my personal life, I continuously quenched the Holy Spirit’s goal of growing fruit in me. I lived according to my feelings instead of God’s word.

What does Bevere say about this? Here it is: “If we choose to focus on our projected image, we will forsake the blessing of being changed into the image of Jesus Christ. We will be deceived and incapable of pleasing God and living an extraordinary life.”

That was me. I wanted everyone to pat me on the head and tell me what a great Christian I was. I looked for their approval of my projected image. But under my shiny leaves, I was basically fruitless. Sure, there were a few pieces here and there, but they were not at all what God wanted them to be. 

I don’t want to be fruitless any more! I don’t care about shiny leaves- I just want others to see the fruit so that they will want the LORD in me who makes the fruit grow! God says in His word that He wants us to be abundantly fruitful (Colossians 1: 10). Not just a little fruitful. Not abundantly leafy. Abundantly fruitful. Bursting with Him and His fruit that His spirit grows in us. 

Today, Oh Father, oh Jesus, Oh Holy Spirit, make us abundantly fruitful. Remove anything that would try to choke out Your work in us! Remove the limbs that have died, the fruit that is rotten. Dig up and pull out the roots that cause us to grow unhealthy fruit. Graft into us roots that produce Your holy and healthy fruit. Fertilize us with Your word so that the good fruit that grows can be abundant and not small or sickly. And most of all, may YOU get the glory as our wonderful Gardner!

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