"For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah His pleasant planting [the plant of His delight]. And He looked for justice, but behold, [He saw] oppression and bloodshed; [He looked] for righteousness (for uprightness and right standing with God), but behold, [He heard] a cry [of oppression and distress]!"
In this scripture, the "vineyard" represents God's people. It has always been God's delight to lavish His children with love, care, and provision. Yet still, we see in this scripture that God's people did not produce positive results...sinning in all their ways and taking advantage of God's grace.
Sin and disobedience grieves the heart of God. We can often see a person's level of maturity by how they respond to disappointments, by the decisions they make in life, and by the results those decisions have on their life. God desires to reward those that are His with good results.
He desires to speak to His children daily in order to guide us and helps us make wise and sound decisions. "Bad" fruit or having a life that is "unfruitful" is often rendered by the negative influences of this World. In order to be over-comers, one must strengthen the Spirit of God through His Word, through prayer (communication with God), and through praise (thanksgiving to God). God wants us to bear good "fruit"!
One of God's expression of "good" fruit is His working power in our inward being that changes our thoughts, our actions, and ultimately our lives. In other words, we produce "the fruit of the Spirit". The Spirit of God desires to dwell in us as born again believers. May we not think it a small feat. May we see the honor and privilege it is in housing the very Spirit of God. "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body" (1 Corinth 6:19-20). It is through the Holy Spirit that God speaks to our innermost being, guiding us every step of the way, and equipping us to bear good fruit.
Often where we put our efforts signifies where our heart and focus is, "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also" (James 2:26). We don't need to "strive" or prove to God our faithfulness. However, the evidence of bearing good fruit and being spurred on to good works can be linked to the overflow of God's Spirit that compels us to such good works.
Christina is the founder of Relentless Love Ministries and lives in Linton. She is an active speaker, guest lecturer, and published author. For more information, questions, or comments, email firstname.lastname@example.org .