Future Fruit

fruitMy husband and I were listening to a radio program a few years ago hosted by the late Larry Burkett about stewarding what God has given us.  It was a live radio show where people would call in and ask financial questions seeking Biblical solutions, and one particular caller got our attention.  The man who phoned in to the program was sharing with Larry the host, that he really felt that he and his wife needed a large motor home so that they could travel the states and “come alongside” churches and teach on Biblical stewardship and finances.  As he spoke, he stressed their need for this vehicle in order to accomplish this desire he had.  With great wisdom and insight, the host, Larry Burkett asked the man this question:  “Is this ministry you need the motor home for a ministry that you are already doing in your hometown and church?

“Well, no….” the man replied.  “It’s something I feel I need to start, but I don’t have the RV to get me started.”

Again, with the wisdom of Solomon, Larry pointed out the blind-spot of this caller.  “If you are not doing that ministry now, where you live, with people who know you and trust you, you will not do it in an RV traveling the states.  You first must show yourself trustworthy and faithful where you live, and develop that ministry, then if God asks you to travel with it, He will provide the means.”

How many times have we wished we could have jump this process of “becoming”.  We want the RV without the work of starting small and sowing in hard ground.  We want to live like the “person” in our head while the rest of the world is stuck with the person we actually are.  History, however, does not record the person you want to be, but the person that you are right now, and God is interested in the person you are now just as much as the person He has called you to be.

Obedience and faithfulness are the tough work of a life of fruitfulness.  What you and I sow now, what we invest our lives in now, become the things that feed us in years to come.  And it’s not just we who reap the benefits, but our families, our neighbors, our co-workers, our city, our state, our country, and quite possibly the world.  We just can’t always see it now.

Whenever I am dissatisfied with things I see around me, or in my life–when I am in a complaining mode and upset, I usually begin to state my ideals.  I fantasize about how it “should be”, and I begin dreaming.  This is when Larry Burkett’s words come to mind.  These ideals, these hopes….am I investing in them now?  What does my current lifestyle show that adds credence to my dreams?  If I take an honest look at myself, and see no investing in that future, no discipline, no tenacity, no obedience, no follow-through, then I need to expect that my future will look no different than it is right now.  I will be the one always wanting someone to give me the RV for the road trip I have never planned for and likely will never take.

If, however, I realize that the future I desire depends on how I invest my life today, and I change from complaining to working, to praying, to discipline, to follow-through, to blessing, and to sacrificing now for what lays ahead, I am more likely to “become”.

Someone who has learned faithfulness in the small things, can be placed anywhere and be found doing the same–even in a motor home.  If God has called you to the King’s Palace, may you be found faithful in the hospital ward.  If you are called to reach many, may the few friends around you find you trustworthy.

Micah 6:8

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly with your God.

 

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