I Am Chosen For Fruitfulness
By Pastor Michael Olawore
New Wine Church, London
Foundation Scripture: Genesis 17:6, John 15:16
Sunday 1st March 2015
I begin a new series today titled ‘I Am Exceedingly Fruitful’ as we begin to delve deeper into our theme for this year. Today as we lay the foundation for this series, I will be sharing a message titled ‘I Am Chosen for Fruitfulness’.
We have been mandated by God to ‘Excel’ this year, as instructed in Genesis 17:6; ‘I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you’. In God’s plan, your fruitfulness has already been established and concluded; the next move is now yours – You are already exceedingly fruitful!
If you take a close look at the bible, you will realise that God’s position for His covenant people has always been fruitfulness. Right from the creation story in the book of Genesis, He declared after He formed man, ‘So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them’. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it’ (Genesis 1:27-28). You’ve not been created to struggle or get by in life. God’s desire for you is to embrace and deploy your fruitfulness and greatness, in order to effect changes in the world. Hence, you are a world changer and a difference maker.
Fruitfulness has always been God’s covenant blessings upon mankind. As His child, your difficult experiences that are contrary to this mandate is not God-sent, as it is impossible for God to contradict Himself. Fruitfulness according to this mandate includes but exceeds procreation – your walk with God, ministry, career, business, finance and every facet of your life. He wants you to live in abundance and splendour, and ultimately making an irreversible and significant impact on your world. Needless to say, Isaiah 60:1 emphasizes this: ‘Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you’
John 15:16 reads: ‘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’. It was God’s choice (including His grace and love) to give you this awesome privilege to excel and exhibit your fruitfulness. You may have experienced rejection from your loved ones and others, but God has chosen you to become His child. Besides choosing you, God has also appointed you for this assignment.
Let’s expatiate these two words: chosen and appointed. To be ‘chosen’ means ‘to be called out or picked out’ – God has chosen and picked you out from the crowd. He loves you so much that it was unbearable for Him to miss you; hence He drew you to Himself. Jeremiah 31:3 put it this way: ‘The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with loving-kindness I have drawn you’. To be ‘chosen’ also means ‘to be preferred, picked, selected and considered to be special’. Your uniqueness stood you out before God that His choice of you, confirms this. Your past, accomplishments, economic conditions or background were irrelevant in God’s inclination towards you – it was simply His choice. You are not an afterthought; you have always been God’s original intention.
You were chosen and then appointed. To be appointed means ‘to be ordained’. A good illustration of this is an ordination of a minister or priest. As God has placed His authority on you, you are not just an ordinary person. Since you have been chosen and appointed, you now have Heaven’s backing to bear fruit.
Most of the times, you may not necessarily feel called, chosen and appointed to bear fruit, but this does not negate this truth. Regardless of your feelings, it could be suicidal to undo the ongoing work God is doing behind the scenes on your behalf. All you need to bear in mind is that you have been chosen to bear fruit and this should be your final disposition toward this command from Heaven. You may not fully understand or be able to explain it, but it makes no difference nonetheless - the day God chose you to be fruitful, He placed within you what it takes to walk in fruitfulness.
In this season of grace, it is important that you see yourself through the eyes of grace and the finished work of Christ. Ephesians 1:4 reads: ‘Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes’ (NLT). Your breakthrough in this season will not depend on what you can naturally see with your eyes. Let Abraham inspire you. He lived seeing with the eyes of faith, so much that the bible records that ‘who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be”. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God’ (Romans 4:18 and 20). So then, you are in Christ and everything about you should stem from that position.
Although God has given the mandate to be fruitful, you will still have to contend with four different opinions. The more assured you are at taking your stand against these opinions, the better you will be at embracing your God-given mandate. Here are the four different opinions:
(a) Your opinion about yourself: Your opinion of yourself may be exceptional, but it is limited. It is not always accurate and as such you cannot base your full and final opinion on what you think of yourself. 1 Corinthian 13:9 reads: ‘For we know in part and we prophesy in part’ (NIV). No one knows and understands it all, hence you cannot form the basis of your entire life on your partial knowledge; otherwise you could deviate into error.
(b) The devil’s opinion about you: The devil’s opinion of you is a lie and should never be considered. The devil has always been a liar and every time he speaks, he can only lie. So then, why would you want to form your final opinion on, or be predisposed to the lies of the enemy? John 8:44 reads: ‘He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies’ (NLT). Isn’t it unfortunate though, that many people including Christians have embraced the lies of the devil? Our society today accurately reflects how well the devil has misguided and misled the populace. Why listen to the devil? Who told you that you will not experience exceeding fruitfulness this year? You were designed to change your world by embracing God’s word.
(c) People’s opinion about you: People’s opinion about you fluctuates frequently. There will be days when they will be happy with you and days when they will not be too pleased with you – affecting their opinion of you. To live on people’s opinion is to deprive yourself of your God-given identity. Compliments and commendations are good as long as it confirms what you already believe about yourself. You must be mindful not to give other people that much validation and power over your personhood.
(d) God’s opinion about you: This is the final and best opinion about you. Whatever God says to you, believe, live by and do it. When Mary spoke to Jesus’ disciples regarding the wine in the wedding at Cana in Galilee, she said: “Whatever He says to you, do it” (John 2:5). You must build your life around and live by God’s opinion. John 17:17 reads: ‘Sanctify them [purify, consecrate, separate them for Yourself, make them holy] by the Truth; your word is truth’ (Amplified).
So you have been chosen, but you also have a purpose – both are intrinsically linked. ‘You have been chosen’ speaks about your significance in the eyes of God, and ‘having a purpose’ speaks about your relevance in God’s grand scheme. You must always remind yourself of this truth and who you are in Christ. You are not defined by material things or your status. Your true fulfilment comes from realizing your identity and purpose.
In rounding up, let me introduce you to a term that we hardly talk about these days – Spiritual warfare. Jesus introduces us to the victory we already have in Him in Luke 10:18, 19 which reads ‘And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.’ Now your role is to enforce what Jesus has already procured for you on the cross.
Between where you are presently and the place where God has ordained as your place to ‘excel and exceeding fruitfulness’ is a gap created by the enemy. In Ephesians 6: 1-9 we read about the ordinance and governance of family and work ethics. These verses have very little to give away about warfare as stated in verses 10-12. ‘Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly place’. In other words, Apostle Paul made it clear in these verses on spiritual warfare that in order to enjoy the blessings that family life and work satisfaction brings, as a Christian you will need to be strong in the Lord. Besides this, you will need to put on the armour of God. In spiritual warfare, issues are not primarily addressed from a human perspective; hence we need to desist from arguing with our spouses and work colleagues if we want to enforce the victory that has already been won on our behalf by Jesus – Successful spiritual warfare is fought on your knees.
Apostle Paul speaks further about the armour to be taken for warfare: girding your waist with the truth of God’s word and the breastplate of righteousness (Ephesians 6:14). For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared (V15 NLT). Losing your peace could subject you to the peril of making irrational decisions. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil (V 16). Your faith is your victory, hold on to it! Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (V. 17). Meditate on the word on God – Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8 NLT). Guard your mind against wandering aimlessly and thinking negatively. Declare the word of God regularly into your situation every day. There is creative power in your words, and as you speak the word of God, you are reprogramming your mind and releasing life into your situation. And lastly, Paul writes: Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere (V 19). Praying in the Spirit must regulate your sleeping and waking hours. Learn to spend time in prayer, even at night time.
I declare that your situation changes this year. You excel and breakthrough. In this year, you will prosper and go forward! In this year, you discover new territories in Jesus name (Amen!)
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