The Fruit and The Vine:
“Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.” Proverbs 14:29 (ESV)
One of my major struggles has always been that long suffering stuff. Better put when it comes to patience I ain’t got’em too good!! I’ve never been too sure what happened along the journey that had been taking place before I came to the foot of The Cross that I could zone in on and say, “There’s the reason I have no patience”. All I know is now that I try walking the narrow road and the art of long suffering needs to be in place. I have to zone in on the here and now to bring it into focus. To become a person who understands themselves and human nature, and can have great command over their passions so that I can be someone who shows themselves to be a person of great wisdom and understanding…and therefore someone who could possibly write the Book of Proverbs? (That’s a stretch ain’t it?)
Sometime before my good friend, James Getz, went home to sing, dance and play guitar for Jesus I promised him I would take the time to examine my ways through the nine fruits of The Spirit and share what I find out about myself with all of you. He also recommended that I read a book by Bruce Wilkinson titled “The Secrets of The Vine”. Even though that was back in the summer of 2014 I am still digging in and finding out there is no way to avoid the topic of long suffering. There are some who would dare to say that because I suffer from Alacolonsuffing (a-lack-of-long-suffering) and that I may not truly be saved as deeply as I would like to believe. That I’ve really only purchased “fire insurance” and that at least I avoid the lake of fire…hogwash I say!!
With all that outta the way let’s examine my spiritual condition jokingly known as Alacolonsuffing…
I think it is reasonable to say that there are benefits that come from long suffering but I think that comes from understanding the principles of abiding in the LORD (YHVH) and putting them into practice first. You can read your Bible and Oswald Chamber devotions all day long and still miss the attachment that’s needed to The Vine. The very life force that maintains our attachment to Jesus is in the sap of the Vine and not the externals that we show people when they hear us pray before eat our happy meals at McDonalds. I always have to keep in mind that I am no more a hallowed man when I pray for the offering I help collect on Sunday than I am that same no-more-a-hallowed man when I give my offering. Understand?
In Wilkinson’s book he gives two principles to break through in abiding, one is to deepen the quality of devoted time to God and the second is to broaden it. This means taking it from morning devotions to an all-day attentiveness to His presence. If I am attentive to His presence more often than I have been then I realize I must decrease and He must increase…following me so far? Decreasing for one of us doesn’t happen at the same pace that it does for another of us and therefore the fruit of long suffering ripens faster for some of us than it does for the rest of us. (That’s very Watchman Nee there) This tells me that the spiritual fruit of patience happens when I become deeply grafted into The Vine, so there is hope that it will ripen in my life.
I am going to stop here for today and I will hope that you’ll be joining me in my next Freedom Fighter as I continue on my examination of my spiritual condition of Alacolonsuffing. Until then why not join me and take a patience inventory for yourself. At what times and in what circumstances do you show symptoms of Alacolonsuffing? For me it can start at the coffee pot first thing in the morning or it can be that last straw in a moment that snaps as loud as comb that breaks in your hair while you are trying to look your best. It is funny how the writer of Proverbs tells us that “He who is slow to anger better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.” (Pro 16:32) I pray you remember that tidbit of wisdom for your day…Amen? Chris Hughes is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and is a weekly Freedom Fighter blogger. You can write Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org
Daily Bible Reading: Isaiah 20-22; Mark 5:21-43
Think About This: “Brethren, God knows what is best for each of us in His desire to make us the kind of saints that will glorify and honor Him in all things! …God has said He will exalt you in due time, but remember, He is referring to His time and not yours!”—A.W. Tozer
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: Be of good courage, and let us be strong for our people and for the cities of our God. And may the Lord do what is good in His sight. 2 Samuel 10:12