In our last blog we stated that in Acts 2:47 the Lord added to the church daily because the early Church was truly functioning as a living organism, drawing its life from within, whereas the Church today tends to draw from without. Then we put forth a powerful truth that organic principles utilize a minimum amount of energy and yet produce maximum results (fruit).
“All by itself the soil produces grain…” (Mk 4:28). All by itself … I repeat… all by itself … a living organism produces fruit from the soil, which in this case represents the heart of man.
As another example of a living organism producing fruit from within itself, take our physical bodies. Our physical bodies do not struggle to grow. As long as it has breath, rest, exercise, food, and drink it thrives. The same could be said of trees, crops, and plants. As long as the soil in which they’re planted receives sufficient nutrients from the sun and the rain these living organisms will thrive. It’s the same way with the born again spirit of man. As long as it gets fed with the proper nutrients of the Word and the Spirit, and has the privilege of fellowship with God and other believers it will grow (Acts 2:42).
My younger brother whom I referred to earlier led a local Catholic man to the Lord a few years ago and also in being filled with the Holy Ghost. I’ve spoken to this brother many times, and he is on fire for God. With little provoking and prodding from us he is testifying to his family and friends of what Jesus has done in his life. All who knew him before know that he is a changed man. He is devouring the Word of God regularly and prays continually. Because he works the night shift he is not able to attend a church yet. The only real fellowship and encouragement he has right now is mainly from a few older believers like me. Yet this convert is growing spiritually by leaps and bounds and continues to testify of the good news of Jesus without shame and timidity. All his growth has come from within the soil of his heart. That is organic!
No church or person is telling this brother that he has to read the Word, pray, and witness to others. It is the desire and joy of his life. He has received a new nature. And he is nurturing that new nature and being renewed daily through fellowship with God. It is the miracle of what new life produces.
Old Testament thinking makes you produce apart from that new life and nature. Old Testament thinking is based on the law which was given to spiritually dead people to govern their flesh, and it works from the outside in, but New Testament thinking moves from the outside, the flesh, to the heart and the new nature within that we receive by grace. The law hardens the human spirit because it does not deal with the hidden places of the heart, but grace is an inward transformation that softens our heart.
“I am the Vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).
All fruit is a result of fellowship. That’s where true life flows from. If we tend to the Vine (Jesus) then the branch takes care of itself and produces fruit automatically.
The reason for our attempts in seeking to produce a quality of life in the Church from the outside in is simply due to the absence of the Spirit of God in our lives and our inability to receive from Him, negligence in feeding the new nature within us, and a general insensitivity in us to follow His leading. Again, stemming from an Old Testament temple mentality, we separate our corporate gatherings, church services, functions, and programs from our daily spiritual life. Our daily lives is where the reality of a walk with God is tested and cultivated.
Cultivating an awareness of His presence and the reality that you are the temple of the Holy Spirit, and that He is always with you will increase your spiritual sensitivity and receptivity and cause you to enjoy His life more on a regular, daily basis. In other words, learning to cultivate the ability to live from within, following your heart, following where the life of God is leading you is the key to maintaining freshness and fruit in your walk with God. That is how the organic nature of the kingdom of God works.