Faith is a belief system without empirical (verifiable) evidence. According to the scripture, it is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. Heb11:1(NLT). Fruit is a result, effect, or consequence of an action; this can be an advantageous or disadvantageous result. It must be noted that having the faith of fruitfulness, there are some faiths which becometh unfruitful, which can be regarded as unfruitful faith.
How do I know my faith is fruitful?
A fruitful Christian Life is a reflection of a vibrant faithful life –to be fruitful, you must be faithful. Gal. 6:7. In Hosea 10:12, the Bible admonishes us…to break up our fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord,.Our faith (which is the state of the heart), is like the field which needs righteousness, and before we can receive this righteousness from God, there is a need for preparedness of the heart. Breaking up our fallow ground entails constant pruning, awakening, cleansing, and purging to have the expected harvest. To achieve this, there’s a need to seek the Lord always, constantly, and regularly.
Fruits of fruitfulness
Matthew 13:3-8 talks about the parable of the sower and the seed. The quality of the soil planted determines the growth of the seeds. The state of our hearts which happens to be the field for fruitfulness determines how well the word of God (seeds) can germinate and the rate at which the word will be fruitful and impactful on us. Our heavenly father is a faithful God who is ready to work on our heart if only we are willing to lay it down for pruning and to sow to ourselves in righteousness.
It is of our advantage when we invite him to break up the hardened areas of our hearts, to pull out all anxieties, anger, worries of life, hatred, and rocks of unbelief, and to replace our fallow faith with abundant fruitful faith through His seed of truth (word of God)John 17:17, to enjoy His fruitfulness.
To enjoy God’s Fruitfulness, there is always sacrifice to pay, there’s always a place for making. Gen. 26:12, Isaac sowed in the land before he was qualified for the blessedness of God. Job 42:12-Job became more fruitful in the land after he succeeded in the testing period without offending his Maker. John 9:1-28- The life of the man born blind started to reflect Christ immediately after he had an encounter with Jesus. To enjoy God’s Fruitfulness, we must be willing to sacrifice all we have, remain faithful to His commands, and align always to His Purpose.
Stages of fruitfulness
Fruitfulness comes as a promise – Gen 17:6 God promises fruitfulness unto Abraham. Fruitfulness is also a command from God unto His chosen ones: Gen 1:22,28 – God commands fruitfulness unto Adam. Gen 9:1, 7 – God commands fruitfulness unto Noah and his sons. Fruitfulness can also be turned into a curse if we fail to guard our heart (field) jealously, it can be turned into a barren land Psalm107:34.
Hindrances to fruitfulness
The inability to bear fruit as God’s purpose is for our lives can be seen as we receive the seed of life. The parable of the sower analyzed the different factors responsible for the stunted growth and deadness of the seeds planted.
God has done his part by giving us the word of Truth for our growth in this corrupt world, it is now our duty to receive the word and bear fruits. Our lives become without meaning and purpose when we cease to abide in Christ. *John 15.5 – Jesus said he was the vine… As the name CHRISTIAN implies, CHRIST *ian*, without Christ, I Am Nothing. According to our text Matthew 13, hindrances to Fruitfulness include:
Lack of understanding
When we are ignorant of what God promises or what God wants to do with our lives, it becomes impossible to be willing to yield to His command, do His will, and obey His command. The Bible records in Hosea 4:6 that – *My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Rejecting God’s word is to reject knowledge, and the consequence is eternal rejection from God. A rejected fellow cannot bear any fruit.
To remain fruitful still the end, a Christian must be fully persuaded not partially persuaded about God’s purpose for his/her life. In Matthew 13:20&22, the plant germinated for a while before it withered, thereby becoming unfruitful and useless.
Checking through the Life of Ruth and Orpah, Ruth was fully persuaded to follow her mother-in-law in fulfilling God’s purpose for her life, in serving the living God and not going back to the idols of her father, today, we read about her as she constitutes the linage of our Lord Jesus Christ. But for Orpah, she wasn’t sure of what the purpose of God is for her life, partially persuaded, to turn back and we hear nothing about her, which can be regarded as unfruitfulness. Matthew 13:21 It was a turbulent season for the duo, their tribulation time comes and they are to make a very important decision which we determine how well they will become fruitful.
As Christians, we are to watch and guide ourselves in times of tribulation or persecution; we must be fully persuaded in Christ, deeply rooted in His word in order not to fall victim to an unfruitful laborer in His vineyard.
The Bible admonishes us to cast our care upon Jesus, for cares for us. Read 1Pet.5.7. We are expected always to trust in His word in other not to be shifted to the world through our worries and, anxieties thereby losing focus from bearing fruits for the Master. We must always know we are pilgrims and sojourners here. Solomon encourages us in proverbs: Read Prov.28.25. One of what hinders fruitfulness is unbelief, faithlessness in what God can do with our lives, we do not have a life of our own, therefore we must not live and lean on our understanding. We cannot bear fruits if we are not stable – James 1.8 – *A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. A lack of trust in God’s ability to supply our needs can be a hindrance to our fruitful purpose in life.
Glamour of riches
The deceitfulness of riches, pleasures of riches, love of the world, love of money, lure of wealth, lack of contentment frustrates Fruitfulness. In 1 Tim.5.6 – *But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth. Putting all our living in the pleasure that comes with the riches and comfort of this world debars us from becoming fruitful.
Loving the world and all that is in it shows the love of the Father is not in us thereby the command of the Lord on Fruitfulness cannot be obeyed. Read 1John.2.15, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world…”
Our desires and pleasures in the things the world brings can change our focus on the things of God, thereby making us unfruitful in the heavenly agenda for our living, we are employed to set our affection on things about in the letter of Paul to the Colossians.
Epaphras was found a faithful minister who was able to live up to a Fruitful life of impacting others…being fruitful in every good work and increasing the knowledge of God. There is always a correlation between faithfulness and Fruitfulness, they are inseparable, and faithlessness (unbelief) leads to fruitlessness. Lack of understanding of the deep things of God, not fully persuaded in following His purpose for our existence, an unbelieving heart that cannot depend on Good promises, and a heart full of pleasures of riches cannot bear abiding fruits. Read Colossians 1:7-10.
Writer: Omotoye Gbemisola