Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Fruit Factory

Today, Chad went more in depth about the “bird” referenced in the parable of the sower (please see my previous blogs if you missed the first couple parts). Of course, the bird is Satan; who takes advantage of the rejected seed that lies on the path and snatches it away.

Satan first deceived humans when he told Adam and Eve that by eating of the forbidden fruit, they could be “like God.” But, that was a lie because Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44). They didn’t realize all that they had. They were made in the image and likeness of God and already had that within their hearts. They knew no guilt, shame, or sin and they had fellowship with the Lord in the core of their being.

Satan schemes and masquerades as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14) so that he can deceive us and separate us from the presence of God. He targets our heart (our mind, will, and emotions) in order to enslave us into bondage and keep us distanced from God. That is why we always have to be on guard (Ephesians 6:11).

Chad showed us that without God in our core, we become a prime target for Satan to snatch the good seeds away and plant the bad seeds. He uses whatever things he can (like the media, people, and even ourselves) to get us spinning like a top. He does it cleverly too. It’s just as Kent Hovind says; it’s taking a base of truth and then mixing it in with a lie. The result is a twisted concoction of deception that easily deceives and brainwashes because it does have elements of truth in it that makes it easy to believe. That’s why rat poison is so effective. A rat isn’t going to take that bait if it’s total garbage. The majority of the mixture is 99.99% “good food.“ The remaining 0.01% is the poison. But, that’s all it takes to contaminate and kill. And, that’s exactly how Satan does it (and how he uses others to do it for him). When a “spin” gets put on a basic truth, it can be twisted for evil.

Chad showed us this illustration by spinning a few tops on a table. When the lie gets in, we start spinning. In our heart, our mind starts thinking and doubting, which may lead us to choose to disbelieve God because our emotions get conflicted and it just goes around in a vicious circle. As we go round and round, we get spun around and confused by the lies. Then, we “spin out” and CRASH!! Of course, that is Satan’s goal, and he couldn’t be more pleased. He would rather us be objects of wrath (Ephesians 2:3) rather than God’s instrument of righteousness when His Spirit lives within us. I love how Chad called the fruit bearing Holy Spirit the “fruit factory” within. That’s exactly what Satan is trying to avoid: fruitfulness. Therefore, he tries to halt production in that “fruit factory” by injecting in the lies that gets us spinning and tries us to produce the fruits of the sinful nature instead.

I really liked the message today. Though, it’s better understood if you hear it explained the way he presented it. There are so many more good points and details and it would take forever for me to explore and explain EVERY AVENUE. ;) So, you might want to hear Chad’s messages for yourself by going to our church website: www.missionoflife.com

The final note that I will end with was when he asked us if we were allowing ourselves to be Satan’s tools to spin other people out in their relationship with God. How are we living our lives? Are we spinning people out? Are we preaching too heavily on the “hell and damnation” side of the message rather than the central message of love, forgiveness, and acceptance? We got to check our witness and what kind of ambassador we are for Christ. How are we reflecting Him and His message? Proverbs 27:19 says it well: “As water reflects a face, so a man's heart reflects the man.”

So, what do our hearts look like? What are they reflecting to the world? I ponder this often because I want to do my best to show others love, understanding, and compassion. I want others to know Christ and see Him in me. Of course, I will fail sometimes because I am not perfect - none of us are. Perfection is never something I can promise to anyone. I can only do the best I can and just trust that Christ’s blood will cover my mistakes and failures and that others would be as forgiving of me as He is of me too - and that I am of them. God wants us to be peacemakers and to not hold unforgiveness in our hearts (and for good reason too!). Hate, bitterness, rage, and unforgiveness is a prison that will eat you alive and rob you of joy; which is why love and forgiveness is the best choice so that we can all have peace and healing in our lives.
So, which “fruit factory” are we operating in? What kind of fruit are we producing and reflecting? Our behavior says a lot about our relationship with Christ - or lack thereof. If we are living without God’s Spirit to guide us, that empty void will have to be filled with something and that something will be the fruit of the sinful nature which are things as described in Galatians 5:19-21:

“The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

But, if we are living by the Spirit of God, we will behave accordingly with spiritual maturity and exude the fruit of the Spirit as described in Galatians 5:22-26:

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”

So, be “fruity.” LOL Well, in a good way that is!! Be filled with the fruit of the Spirit and not the sinful nature. Behave in a manner that beautifully reflects Christ and allows Him to cultivate the fruit of the Spirit in your heart by laying down your pride, surrendering to His will, and allow him to empty you out of the bad and fill you with the good (which is always my personal prayer every day!). Allow him to develop spiritual growth in your heart so that you can produce a fruitful and abundant crop!! God bless you my sweet and fruity brothers and sisters in Christ!!

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