Fruitful Living: Discover God's Purpose for Your Life
May 29, 2019
by Dr. J. Vernon McGee
Believer, God has a specific purpose for your life. Not only did He choose you for this purpose, but He keeps you here in the world so you will accomplish it. It’s so important, He even makes it a condition for hearing and answering your prayers. What is your purpose? The Lord Jesus Himself reveals it, saying to His disciples at their last meal together,
By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples….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 15:8, 16
If you are a child of God, your purpose in this life is to bear fruit.
What is this fruit? What proof characterize the life of the follower of Jesus? God’s Word makes it as clear and easy as selecting a fruit tree out of a garden nursery catalog. But first, we need to understand that only the Holy Spirit can produce fruit.
What Jesus wants most in the lives of His children is not just fruit, but “much fruit.” How is that fruit produced in our lives? Only by the Lord Jesus using the Holy Spirit who lives in us.
The moment you trusted Jesus Christ for your salvation, you were indwelt by the Holy Spirit.
But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. –Romans 8:9 (Also read Galatians 2:20.)
Think about that for a moment: God lives in you. So while your flesh may fail at times and you fall into sin, you can’t continue in that direction for too long because the Spirit in you is holy. The time will come when your new nature longs for His holiness to be manifested in your life, and you’ll turn from your sin. (See 1 Thessalonians 4:7, 8.)
But Paul makes it clear even our new nature has no power to produce the fruit of the Spirit:
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. –Romans 7:18
In fact, it’s only in the power of the Holy Spirit that we’re able to live for God at all—“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16). We are not asked to live the Christian life on our own; it’s Christ who lives through us. We simply can’t do it by ourselves.
In case you’re wondering, the Law can’t produce this fruit, either. It was given to hold the flesh in check: “But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law” (Galatians 5:18).
The fruit of the Spirit is entirely different from the works of the Law:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. –Galatians 5:22, 23
That is certainly a lovely list. But not a single one can you produce on your own. We are totally incapable—this fruit can be produced only by the Holy Spirit.
More from Dr. McGee on Fruit-Bearing:
When You Grow Closer to God
The fruit of God’s Spirit is reflected not in what you do, but rather in who you are becoming as you grow closer to Him (Galatians 5:22, 23).
Here’s how you can recognize that God is bearing fruit in your life:
Love –Unconditionally wanting the very best for someone; most clearly seen when I sacrifice for them. (John 15:13)
Joy—The deep satisfaction that comes when I embrace God’s will and sovereignty. (Romans 5:2)
Peace—An inner rest and quietness, even in adverse circumstances; God-given peace can’t be explained. (Philippians 4:7)
Patience—Taking a long-minded view of circumstances; being able to rest even in challenges. (Romans 5:3-5)
Kindness—A consistent compassion and helpfulness compelled by my growing grasp of God’s love. (Colossians 3:12)
Goodness—A deliberate, firm preference of right over wrong; a resistance to anything not morally true. (2 Thessalonians 1:11)
Faithfulness—Reliable in my commitments; being a careful steward of what has been entrusted to me. (2 Timothy 2:2)
Gentleness—Not needing to force my way in life; humble submission to God and others. (1 Peter 3:15)
Self-control—Able to marshal and direct my energies wisely in physical, emotional, and mental areas. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)