My new house has a blueberry bush. Through our living room window, I see ripening berries. When they get a perfect blue hue, then I’ll know it is time to pluck them off. Yet, there’s one problem to my hypothetical dream…
Birds. Pesky little birds keep stealing my fruit. When I see a berry all blue and ready-to-eat, a bird comes along, sits on a branch – and pluck! My luscious berry is gone. In a split-second, my ripe fruit is stolen right off the vine.
This situation happens in our spiritual life too. Many of us have ripening fruit in our life (God is growing real things), yet there is an enemy who wants to steal our ripening fruit. This can happen without us realizing it.
God is growing patience, yet we fall into self-defeat when an event triggers. We say, “Why bother trying!?”
God is growing endurance, yet a test comes and we figure our pain will never end. “Things will never get better.”
God is growing our love for another, yet a horrible situation happens where, it seems, the person shows no signs of changing. “God won’t really do this.”
The enemy steals fruit when we believe lies. The lies are usually: Things will never change. I am bad, guilty and will never be better (because of this mess-up). God will not come through for me (or them).
Where is the enemy plucking God’s fruit in our lives?
Just because God is allowing us to go through something, doesn’t mean he isn’t doing something, or growing something in us.
“The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message about the Kingdom and don’t understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts.” (Matthew 13:19, NLT).
More than hearing truth is understanding it — where we go about living it. More than knowing a bible verse is having it lay claim to our life. More than seeing a problem is understanding God will show up. Are we only hearing God-stuff or are we understanding that it applies to us?
Remember, Jesus is Teacher. He doesn’t waste problems; He teaches real things through them. . .
It matters less what you know, or what you recite by rote-memory, and far more — what you truly understand in your heart.
A true defense against the enemy starts in our hearts.
As it pertains to that blueberry bush, I took action. After some research, I wrapped aluminum foil around part of the bush to repel pesky fruit eaters.
And, it worked.
Now when I look out my window, I not only see luscious, ripe fruit but I now eat of that fruit. Yet, in order to keep the fruit, I had to stop the enemy in his tracks. I had to set up a defense.
We must do the same — by setting up a defense…
How? We: resist. We resist sneak attacks by taking care of ourselves when we’re tired, hungry, or lonely. We can resist defeat and discouragement by turning on worship music and singing from our heart. We resist becoming a victim when we remember we truly are who God says we are . We resist going downhill when we allow God’s grace (because of Jesus) lift us up again.
When we resist, then we persist – in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control.
Prayer: Dear Lord, I want to learn from you. I want to grow in true fruitfulness and in understanding. I want to be taught by you. I pray that the enemy of my soul may have no access to my heart, soul, mind or spirit. I pray that I can believe the truth in all things, in all ways and at all times by your grace. I pray that I will trust you to provide and to take care of me. I want you above all else. You are my greatest pursuit. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.