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Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday Freelance: FRUITFUL

"March toward the sound of the guns."
~ Military Adage

Friday Freelance: FRUITFUL


The last week has been especially intense. My personal life has hummed along at the typical "hang on by your fingernails" pace—no more or less stressful than usual. But each blog post wrung me out, and numerous invitations to connect with others have pulled me in many directions.

I'm always afraid to make it known when life feels intense, because I don't want anyone to hesitate sharing what's going on with them. Yes, I also get overwhelmed enough at times to cry "Help!" It doesn't happen often, and the Lord is ever faithful to send just the right person, as long I'm staying in touch with Him. (If I've been a little out of touch with my God, and I get to that overwhelmed point, He lets me flail around a bit until I turn to Him.)

Being an intense person (Type AA, workaholic, etc.), I thrive on intense. My blood pressure likely stays low because I see most challenges as opportunities (excepting unruly children—gotta work on that). Life in this world is a spiritual battle, I'm a warrior, and warriors don't train to hang out in the barracks. Warriors belong in the thick of things. Unless I'm at that rare place of feeling truly overwhelmed, I live to run toward where the battle rages hottest.

The difference between this world's wars and spiritual war is that the former always wreaks destruction and death, but the latter brings life and light if we but fight in the strength of the Holy Spirit. He first equips us for battle, and then empowers us. The mission: produce spiritual fruit.

"You did not choose Me, but I chose you
and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit,
and that your fruit should remain,
that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you."
~ John 15:16 (NKJV)

A most fundamental principal of survival is reproduction. After breathing and eating, the urge to reproduce is prominent. Danger is no deterrent. How many species have males which battle for access to the females? How many females will fight to the death to protect their young? The Creator's first command was, "Be fruitful and multiply," and He programmed creation to comply.

I daresay this model echoes the yearning of divinity. The Holy Spirit's compelling drive is to prolifically reproduce the life of Christ in us. Like bull elk clashing antlers against each other, it is the purpose of spiritual warfare.

Comments for yesterday's post ("Identity"), about what marks a Christian, mentioned the characteristic I had foremost in mind: fruitfulness, manifest in love. Galatians 6:22-23 mentions nine components of spiritual fruit, but ultimately, they all come down to love.

Consider the words of Dwight L. Moody:
The fruit of the Spirit begins with love ... [and the] other eight can be put in terms of love.
Joy is love exulting.
Peace is love in repose.
Long-suffering [patience] is love on trial.
Gentleness [kindness] in love in society.
Goodness is love in action.
Faith is love on the battlefield.
Meekness [gentleness] is love at school.
Temperance [self-control] is love in training.
So it is love all the way.
Did you note the last part of the above verse from John 15? Jesus gives a reason to be fruitful: "... that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you."

This is worth fighting for, without constraint, however intense the battle, whatever wounds sustained.

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
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  1. So many battle fronts so little time.

  2. Excellent Moody quotation. Thanks for bringing it to my attention! And thanks also for the description of clashing antlers, which helped me see it in a new light.

  3. Anne, praying peace and rest for your weekend, my dear friend. Praying that God replenishes richly and allows you to contemplate by still waters.

    May He reward His warrior with renewed strength for the battle. Great post, Anne.

  4. There is another military adage I love: "Warriors close with the enemy." Which simply means we strive to be proactive, gain initiative, and not reactive when possible. We take the battle to the enemy.

    But, we also have to remember that 'rest' and 'timing' are essential component of our battle plan.

    As followers of Christ. This means God's rest and our Father's timing.

    Have a blessed weekend Anne... :-)

  5. I laugh as I write this, but...WORD.
    His's so good, such a constant, so much of Him breathed into each page.

    I am going to write out that Moody quote and hand it near my computer.

    And paragraph #1...ditto. Lord, replenish Anne. Instill a quietness in her spirit only you can bring. Sing over her. Lavish your love on her and her family. We love you, God.
    ~ Wendy

  6. Russell,

    First, thank you for sharing the "march toward the sound of the guns" quote. It links to your blog post where I discovered it and came to appreciate it.

    You might guess that I appreciate your comment's adage every bit as much. Some day I may do a post just how closely I've ventured to engage the enemy.

    Last, your counsel about rest and timing are well-appreciated reminders. I sleep soundly and try to allow the Lord to choose the time I awaken to spend quiet time with Him. But I've had to regularly re-learn the hard way to keep Him first. The battle each morning is against imposing distractions, and that war never ends.

    Thank you for your blessing and wisdom. I worked at resting all morning ;D

  7. Denise, I'm blessed by your every word.

    T. Anne, it is difficult to discern which way to run at times. I suppose it's best to sometimes head "where the battle rages hottest," sometimes fall back and regroup, and sometimes rest to garner strength.

    Rosslyn, the clashing antlers drove this all home for me, because I don't ever want to lose sight of why the spiritual war rages. Love and war don't seem compatible, do they?

    Gwen, as long as I begin my morning establishing good communication with the Lord, I'm good. No worries! Thank you for always blessing me.

    Wendy, I thank you for the prayer. It has already been answered, in the very relaxed morning I've enjoyed before another busy day.

  8. Woot! I join the battle cry. I love how feisty you are, ready to get fingernails dirty in battle. And still ... still, the warrior in you concludes with LOVE. It's all about love, isn't it? Love is worth fighting for.

    You rock, Anne Lang Bundy, because God is rockin' in you.

  9. As one who has been unable to "be fruitful and multiply" in the literal sense, I often get lost in the read with my own shortcomings. Your sentence "The Holy Spirit's compelling drive is to prolifically reproduce the life of Christ in us" awakens new insight for me when thinking of the term "fruitful". Much to ponder as life rages on.

    Praying for courage to press on into the battle. And, praying that you find time to regroup at the Commander's table.


  10. Yes, Jennifer, love is worth fighting for, "whatever wounds sustained." You don't know how much I look forward to Heaven, when people like you will be a 24/7 experience!

    Denise, I pray this has blessed you. The Lord gives many ways to be fruitful, and His intimate desire for us is part of that. You may find posts of interest under the label "Union with Christ" at left. One I especially like, from a year ago, is God's Favorite Place.


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