Daniel H. Brokke
“If a man abides in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
Jesus was completely clear with His desire for us: to bear much fruit and that our fruit would remain. His vision for us and the key to simple fulfillment of that goal could not have been stated more simply and clearly. Abide in Him, let His word abide in us, and we will bear much fruit. This expectation throws all of our best efforts into an absolute dependence on the work of God.
It compels me to trust in God’s will and work that goes beyond the best that I can do in myself. I often pray that God would overrule wherever I am out of sync with Him. But, fundamentally it begins with two core building blocks in day-to-day life:
- First, everything flows out of the deep, deep love of the Father for me. It doesn’t change based on my performance – it is life changing.
- Second, being gripped by and confident in the reality of one’s identity in Christ, and not in temporary things and accomplishments. I must trust Him completely for everything.
There is always temptation to shift our confidence to what we can do, what we have accomplished, and how people view us. However, there is something simple and powerful in living as a child – fully dependant who we are in Christ and at rest in the Father’s love and mercy.
Daily fruitfulness then flows from the life of Christ in us and flowing through us. How do we live in such a way to release and sustain this flow? How do we live life of fruitfulness?
Ask God to Reveal Himself in New Ways
If we ask God to reveal Himself to us in new ways – to fill us with His heart and to “realign” us to His pattern of thinking, He will certainly do so. The Word of God assures us:
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is– His good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)
The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. (Deuteronomy 31:8)
Fulfill His will and walk in His ways and we will be fruitful.
See How We Fit in God’s Picture
I am always encouraged when I see God’s work move forward and gain a fresh vision of how we fit in God’s big picture. Working with fellow servants has been a pure delight.
When I seek understanding from God, I am convinced that we are entering into a new season of abundant fruitfulness around the world. God is doing of work of mobilization, training, and sending of workers into the harvest field that is unprecedented.
The Gospel of Christ is now preached in more places and in more diverse cultures than any time in the history of the Church. The results are there for every one to see. Today there is a picture of workers being raised up from all nations to all nations. Our missionary training looks at this beautiful picture of the Church in action. We are here to serve, to be in step with God’s move, and then to step out for more fruit.
Be Willing to Go to the Next Stage
When we recognize that God is taking us to the next stage we will strengthened to take a “next step” with Him – the implications are His to reveal and unveil. Faith is required. God is not obligated to show us what He is doing. But when He calls us, are we willing to act? Jeremiah 33:3 promises, “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” Right now, our priority is to call out to Him, to seek Him, and to pursue Him. And finally, to respond in obedience.
Listening Well and Listening Honestly
A friend of mine recently shared the importance of “listening long enough.” Along with that is listening honestly enough. Listening and being teachable go together. As we listen, we need to pray that we would listen long, honestly, and openly to what God might be saying. My desire is that in every effort we will have the “spirit of wisdom and revelation” to know what is on God’s heart for us and for the world around us.
The pressure and pace of life can obliterate our sense of wonder and awe. For instance, in reading Luke 1 & 2 and meditating on the mercy and promises of God, I am challenged at the faith of a simple girl who would say, “Be in unto me according to Your word.” Those are amazing words in response to an incredible message from the angel. Mary heard God’s idea to use here and fully embraced it. May “the words of our mouth and the thoughts of our hearts be pleasing in the sight of God, our rock and redeemer.” (Ps. 19)
As you follow Him faithfully, we will see amazing things: the fruit that years of relationship bear and the tremendous opportunities that are only possible by His grace! If we listen and are faithful to his Word, we will certainly see these amazing things.
We Never Graduate from Needing to Trust
David Ravenhill stated, “We never graduate from neediness before God.” It isn’t always the BIG things for which we find ourselves in need – more students in our missionary training schools, more money, more time, etc., but the simple ordinary things of everyday life!
The temptation is that when fruit comes, when God’s anointing and power are revealed, and lives are transformed, we forget that it is His work, not our ability. We have not “graduated” into a higher level of power. Rather we have moved to a greater level of neediness – without His work there will be no lasting fruit. The reality is that “apart from [Him] we can do nothing.” He delights when we come to Him with the little, the simple, and mundane. If He isn’t the source there will be no Kingdom life and impact! Without God’s presence and working all that we do here and everywhere falls short of bearing lasting fruit.
Commitment and Waiting
There is a poem by the German philosopher, Goethe, titled Commitment. Goethe wrote,
The moment one definitely commits oneself then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never have otherwise occurred. A whole stream of issues from the one decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamt would come his way.
As we commit to fulfill God’s purpose to train and send workers to fulfill the Great Commission. As we embrace a radical obedience to God-He gives more fruit. He has given favor in so many little actions. Do we recognize His hand? Will we give Him the credit? Are we continuing to walk in commitment and obedience?
Our Success Rests on a Simple Process
Our way forward and ultimately success rest in a simple process: Seek God’s direction, Agree together, and Do it. We may not always get it right, but God is at work as we wait on Him, as we agree with Him, and as we obey Him. Listen, Agree, and Obey.
Isaiah 40:31 says, “But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Let me share a note that I received from a friend: “In pondering this (passage) a bit more (waiting on the Lord) I was brought to the very next verse. Isaiah 41:1, “Keep silence before Me, O coastlands, and let the people renew their strength! Let them come near, then let them speak;”
I was encouraged in this. As we wait, as we draw near we will certainly have our strength renewed, but also we will have the words of God. We should be in that place of nearness before speaking. I am encouraged by the call for us to come and continue to ask for the Spirit of wisdom and revelation. I want to see this become more and more of a reality for me, for all missionaries and workers, and for all missionary training centers. We are called and desire to be on the front lines and to serve our Lord with greater vigor, determination, and fruitfulness.
A Global Wildfire
Several months ago massive fires occurred in Southern California. News reports stated that these fires, “killed 6 people, injured 57 people, destroyed 1,800 homes, and burned a half million acres, 753 square miles, and will end up causing more than $1 billion in damage. Across the region, 10,693 people fought fires, using 1,293 fire engines. The five-day fight has tested the stamina of many of the firefighters.” This fire required a massive mobilization.
Throughout the world, there is another fire raging, which consumes the hearts and souls of mankind. We are called to respond, to work side by side with Christians around the world, to pray, to preach, to train, to send, and to “rescue and recover” the lost wherever they may be found.
What Are We Wasting Our Lives On?
There is a global battle for the hearts and souls of this generation. As Ken Krause, director of Bethany College of Missions and a dear co-worker of mine, shared in a chapel recently about living with eternities values in view, “Everyone wastes their time on something. The question for us is what are we wasting our lives on – frivolous, temporary things or deep eternal significant things?” He encouraged us to “follow after a holy ambition and the visions that God has for the kingdom.”
This is a day and we have a challenge that can not be met in our own strength. Without full cooperation with God, without abiding in Him, without His Word filling our hearts, we will not see abundant and lasting fruit. But, we have full access to Him. As we abide in Him, He has promised that we will “bear much fruit.” What a privilege it is to give our energies to fight for the hearts of people for Jesus sake!
Daniel H. Brokke
6820 Auto Club Road, Suite A
Bloomington, MN 55438