Part 2: LISTEN TO GOD AS SOMEONE RE-CREATED TO BEAR FRUIT!
Here’s an audacious thought?
THE REDEEMED VERSION OF OURSELVES LISTENS IN ORDER TO BEAR FRUIT!
In James’ letter to the redeemed believers scattered by persecution he writes:
BE QUICK TO LISTEN, SLOW TO SPEAK AND SLOW TO BECOME ANGRYJames 1:19
As always it is vital to study scripture in context. In the verse before 19, James emphasizes that believers were born into God’s Kingdom through the Word of Truth. But the purpose of our spiritual birth is conveyed in the second part of verse 18:
“That we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.” This is a parallel truth. By ‘parallel’ I mean James 1:18 is prophetic from both the Old Testament writing in Jeremiah 2:3* and runs parallel to what Jesus taught His disciples in John 14. Bottom line is that to bear fruit we must be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.
Jesus instructed us to bear fruit as evidence that we are His disciples. (see John 15:7-8) To bear fruit we must be quick to listen! In John 14 Jesus tells us that Holy Spirit will “teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:26-27 If our heart is troubled, it’s on us! Priority: Be quick to listen.
Our lives are to bear fruit. We are redeemed members of the Body of Christ and as His Body we are participators in His harvest. Consequently, we must never allow the cultural or political or secular noise of the times that we are living to dictate:
the way we think… the way we make decisions … nor the way our emotions run.
We must quick to listen to the Holy Spirit as students of God’s Word. Thus, slow to speak and slow to be angered.
One of my morning prayers comes from Isaiah and it keeps me listening and ‘hinged’ to the heart of God. I ask the Lord to: waken my ear to hear as the learned. As born-again believers we have been given spiritual ears to hear deeper than the circumstances around us. The world’s rhetoric must not be our perspective. Consider Isaiah’s words:
“The Lord God has given me the tongue of the learned that I should be able to speak a word in season to him that is weary….He wakens my ear to hear as the learned.”Isaiah 50:4 KJV
Prioritize your listening from God’s perspective as the redeemed of the Lord. By living tuned in to the Holy Spirit, you will hear as the learned and bear the fruit you were redeemed to bear!
Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry!
(*“Israel was holy to the Lord, the first fruits of his harvest” Jeremiah 2:3a)