Marching Orders

“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….” (John 15:16)

We long to hear God’s voice, to understand what he wants us to be about, to figure out his will and his ways for our life. We complicate the matter most of the time by looking for signs, questioning our own motives, and doubting his plan.

The Lord’s clear voice slices through the confusion like a sharpened steel sword, leaving little room for reservations. Uncertainty dissipates, and we are left marked with a charge as forthright and convincing as if he actually handed us written marching orders. In black and white, we read his powerful call: “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.” The Lord clarifies our relationship: he selected us for a special mission, a purpose only we can fulfill. He chose us by appointment for the specific task of bearing fruit, for accomplishing what is eternally significant.

What is this fruit he desires? What can we invest our lives in that will outlast us and soar into eternity? People: loving them, leading them, guiding them to the Savior…touching them with the remarkable, life-­changing power of the Gospel and helping them to recognize other pursuits as far less worthy. Plowing this soil is hard work; weeding, fertilizing, and watering all take time. Pruning, shaping, and trimming are essential for a healthy harvest.

The payoff is the fruit…bushels of men and women walking with the Savior who are eager to do his will and who understand that he has chosen them for such a time as this.

Father, make us aware of the men and women you bring across our path. Guide our efforts so we make worthwhile investments in their lives. Pour your Spirit through us and make our lives an orchard laden with your fruit of righteousness. Keep us from discouragement when the work is hard. Remind us that you are in charge. May our lives be marked by obedience, regardless.

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