21st Century Collection of Life Works.

30. Our Fruit Will Be What We Are

Water cannot rise above its own level. Neither can a Christian by any sudden spasmodic effort rise above the level of his own spiritual life.

I have seen under the sun how a man of God will let his tongue go all day in light and frivolous conversation, let his interest roam abroad among the idle pleasures of this world, and then, under the necessity of preaching at night, seek a last minute reprieve just before service and by cramming desperately in prayer try to put himself in a position where the spirit of the prophet will descend upon him as he enters the pulpit. By working himself up to an emotional white heat he may afterward have reason to congratulate himself that he had much liberty in preaching the Word. But he deceives himself and there is no wisdom in him. What he has been all day and all week is what he is when he opens his Bible to expound to the people. Water cannot rise above its own level.

Men do not gather grapes of thorns, nor figs of thistles. The fruit of a free is determined by the tree, and the fruit of life by the kind of life it is. What a man is interested in to the point of absorption both decides and reveals what kind of man he is; and the kind of man he is by a secret law of the soul decides the kind of fruit he will bear. The catch is that we are often unable to discover the true quality of our fruit until it is too late.

If we would be realistic in our Christian lives we must not overlook the tremendous power of affinity. By affinity I mean the sympathetic attraction which certain things and persons have for us. The human heart is extremely sensitive and altogether capable of setting up an inward relationship with objects far removed and forbidden. As the needle of the compass has an affinity for the north magnetic pole, so the heart can keep true to its secret love though separated from it by miles and years. What that loved object is may be discovered by observing which direction our thoughts turn when they are released from the hard restraints of work or study. Of what do we think when we are free to think of what we will? What object gives us inward pleasure as we brood over it? Over what do we muse in our free moments? To what does our imagination return again and again? When we have answered these questions honestly we will know what kind of persons we are; and when we have discovered what kind of persons we are we may deduce the kind of fruit we will bear.

It is one of the cliches of the evangelist that the true worth of a church member is revealed by his life on Monday rather than on Sunday. There is a world of sober truth in the statement, and it is devoutly to be hoped that we who thus admonish others may ourselves remember to live the week through in the same atmosphere of sanctity that we desire so earnestly to inhabit on the Lord's Day.

It is written of Moses that he "went in before the Lord to speak with him ... and he came out and spoke to the children of Israel." This is the Biblical norm from which we depart to our own undoing and to the everlasting injury of the souls of men. No man has any moral right to go before the people, Who has not first been long before the Lord. No man has any right to speak to men about God who has not first spoken to God about men. And the prophet of God should spend more time in the secret place praying than he spends in the public place preaching.

As we dare not overlook the power of the human heart to establish affinities, so we dare not ignore the importance of the spiritual mood. Mood is mental weather. It is internal climate and it must be favorable to the growth of spiritual graces or they will not appear in the soul. The Christian who allows day after day a chilly climate to prevail in his heart need expect no grapes of Eshcol to hang over the wall when he goes before his Sunday school class, his choir, or his Sunday morning congregation.

One swallow does not make a spring, nor one hot day a summer; nor will a few minutes of frantic praying before service bring out the tender buds or make the flowers to appear on the earth. The field must be soaked in sunshine over a long period before it will give forth its treasures. The Christian's heart must be soaked in prayer before the true spiritual fruits begin to grow. As the field has learned to live intimately and sympathetically with the rain and the sunshine, so must the Christian learn to live with God. We cannot in a brief time make up for the long neglect of God and things spiritual.

God's children live by laws as kind and as severe as those that govern nature. Grace operates within those laws but never contrary to them. Our fruit will follow its native bee, and not all our frightened prayers can prevent it. If we would do holy deeds we must be holy men, every day and all the days that God grants us here below.

From The Root of the Righteous by A. W. Tozer. Lightly updated to the language of the 21st century by D. N. Pham. (c) 2012.

Insights of the past for the present

Root of the Righteous - A.W. Tozer

1. The Root of the Matter

2. We Must Give Time to God

3. God Is Easy to Live With

4. Listen to Who Listens to God

5. We Must Hear Worthily

6. That Utilitarian Christ

7. On Receiving Admonition

8. The Great God of Entertainment

9. Bible Taught or Spirit Taught?

10. The Terror of the Lord

11. Not Without Reformation

12. Faith Is a Perturbing Thing

13. True Faith Brings Committal

14. The Great Disparity

15. Our Enemy Contentment

16. Christ Is the Pattern

17. The Cross Is a Radical Thing

18. Must Die to Live

19. Christ Died For Our Hearts

20. Stand in Christ's Triumph

21. To Be or to Do

22. Make Room For Mystery

23. The Whole Life Must Pray

24. Nothing Without Lordship

25. A Sweet Lute, Sweetly Played

26. The All-importance of Motive

27. The Presence and the Program

28. The World's Most Tragic Waste

29. The Hunger of the Wilderness

30. Our Fruit Will Be What We Are

31. Baptism of Clear Seeing

32. Narrow Mansions

33. Sanctification of Our Desires

34. In Praise of Disbelief

35. Thankfulness As a Therapeutic

36. Understanding Dry Spells

37. About Hindrances

38. The Uses of Suffering

39. Praise God For the Furnace

40. Victory in the Disguise

42. Something Beyond Song

43. Three Degrees of Love

44. We Need Cool Heads

45. We Can Afford to Wait

46. God, the First and the Last


Knowledge of the Holy - A.W. Tozer

The Pursuit of God - A.W. Tozer

The Dwelling Place - A.W. Tozer

Plumber of Lisburn - A.W. Tozer

Spiritual Power Vows - A.W. Tozer

Root of the Righteous - A.W. Tozer

Essays - A.W. Tozer

Fourfold Gospel - A.B. Simpson

Gospel of Healing - A.B. Simpson

Life of A.B. Simpson - C&MA

Mark Gospel 1/4 - A MacLaren

Mark Gospel 2/4 - A MacLaren

Mark Gospel 3/4 - A MacLaren

Mark Gospel 4/4 - A MacLaren

Gospel of St. John - F.D. Maurice

To the Romans - R.V. Foster

To the Romans, vol I - C. Gore

To the Corinthians - J.S. Riggs

To the Philippians - R. Rainy

To the Galatians - Luther

To the Hebrews - H.C.G. Moule

To the Hebrews - T.C. Edwards

Wisdom of James - A.T. Robertson

Epistles of John 1/2 - W. Alexander

Epistles of John 2/2 - W. Alexander

Kingdom of Heaven - E. Burbidge

Deuteronomy - C.H. Mackintosh

Religion and Theology - J. Tulloch

The Being of God - St Anselm

The Existence of God - St Anselm

God Became Man - St Anselm

The Other Wise Man - H. Van Dyke

First Christmas Tree - H. Van Dyke

A Christmas Carol - C Dickens

Thoughts on the Universe

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May your insights be worthy.