...why you're not 'fruitful'?
One morning, during my QT, I was pondering on fruitfulness or the lack thereof and the Holy Spirit dropped 2 reasons in my heart:
Water quality: I won't be surprised if the first thing that came to your mind was the story of the sower.* We're quick to attribute a lack of fruitfulness to bad soil. The truth is that it takes more than good soil to be fruitful. Let's read 2 Kings 2:19 together:
“Look, master [lord], this city is a nice place to live [well/pleasantly situated/ located] as you can see. But the water is so bad the land cannot grow crops [is unproductive/unfruitful].” (Expanded Bible)Obviously, the soil was great but the water was the problem. Ephesians 5:26 tells us that Jesus washes us (the church) with the water of the Word. Ps 1: 3, Jer 17: 7-8 & Ezek 47:12** also tell us the benefit of water - the right water - for tangible and timeless fruitfulness.
Jer 17: 7-8 Happy are those who trust in the Lord, who rely on the Lord. They will be like trees planted by the streams, whose roots reach down to the water. They won’t fear drought when it comes; their leaves will remain green. They won’t be stressed in the time of drought or fail to bear fruit. (CEB)
Anytime, we add to the water of the Word to suit us, we adulterate it and reduce the ability of that water (Word) to truly make us fruitful.
My advice: Ensure that every time you take in the Word of God that it's pure. Even in the physical, when you are really thirsty the most exotic fruit juices cannot quench that thirst. The purer the water, the sooner you'll be satisfied and refreshed to keep going to your goal.
Walking trees: A few chapters after the parable of the sower, Mark shares about Jesus healing a blind man...and the conversation that ensued in Mark 8: 23 -25:
After spitting on the man's eyes, Jesus placed his hands on him and asked him, “Can you see anything?” The man looked up and said, “Yes, I can see people, but they look like trees walking around.” Jesus again placed his hands on the man's eyes. This time the man looked intently, his eyesight returned, and he saw everything clearly. (GNT)From this rendition, it's obvious the man knew something was wrong and Jesus intervened quickly because men are not supposed to be 'Walking trees.' He expects us to be rooted and grounded in Him.*** The reason is simple, if you're planted by the Lord - and stay where you're planted - you will thrive. God plants us in specific life situations for His glory.****
Psalm 92: 12-14: The righteous thrive like a palm tree and grow like a cedar tree in Lebanon. Planted in the house of the Lord, they thrive in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, (Holman Christian Standard Bible)So if you feel that you're not a fruitful as you should (could) be, start by checking the quality of the water you're planted beside - and reconfirm that you're even planted where the Lord wants you to be planted. Once you're in the right place, take root and you'll bear fruit.*****
* Matthew 13: 4-8; Mark 4: 3-9; Luke 8: 5-8
** Ezekiel 47:12 - All kinds of fruit trees will grow on both sides of the river. Their leaves won’t wither, and they won’t fail to produce fruit. Each month they will produce fresh fruit because this water flows from the holy place. The fruit will be good food, and the leaves will be used for healing.” (God's Word Translation)
*** Colossians 2:7a - Have the roots [of your being] firmly and deeply planted [in Him, fixed and founded in Him], being continually built up in Him, (Amplified)
****Isaiah 61: 3b - that they may be called oaks of righteousness [lofty, strong, and magnificent, distinguished for uprightness, justice, and right standing with God], the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified. (Amplified)
***** Is 37:31 - Those in Judah who survive will flourish like plants that send roots deep into the ground and produce fruit. (Good News Translation)