“Bring forth fruit in keeping with repentance.”
Satan has no new tricks. Only ancient recycled ones that he hopes I won’t recognize in various disguises. Appealing to lusts, insecurities, fears, shame, regret, he tries to trigger the same swirling and futile thought patterns that led me down the wrong road the first time. So I have to be always on the lookout and on guard for old patterns trying to creep back unnoticed, all nonchalantly as if they are old friends just dropping by for a visit to catch up on old times.
Except I don’t want to catch up. They are past. They are not fun. They lead to bad places I NEVER want to go again. Having repented of past futilities and apathies that led to destruction and ruin — and a place of ‘enough is enough, change starts NOW,’ the fruit of repentance looks like not ruminating and dwelling on second guessing the past and what might have been but wasn’t and cannot be changed; nor imagining what ifs and rehearsing hypothetical future conversations that likely will never happen and if they do, God can give me the right words in the moment.
Most often though, I am wasting my time dreaming up answers to questions and justifications for things that no one has nor ever will ask me to justify or explain. And I don’t need to justify or explain obedience to God. I don’t need someone to think I am witty, wise, clever, intelligent. I don’t need to prove my point to people who mostly are honestly not all that interested in hearing it or going that deep.
I don’t like loose ends. So it bothers me when I am trying to explain something to someone and they start to glaze over and give perfunctory nods, or just suddenly find someone else more pressing to talk to and wander off or somewhere more urgent they need to be while I am still mid-sentence–even if they asked the question and I am just answering. Trying to finish the conversation later generally doesn’t go well because they were not all that interested in the answer to begin with and don’t remember or care to hear the end of it.
So with God’s help, I have learned in the last several years to just shut my mouth and walk away when it becomes evident that someone is not really interested in what I have to say or my company, even if I am not finished with my story or explanation. I have had to learn that it is OK to cut it off cold and not finish and not let it bother me so much or to try to finish the explanation in my head just for a vicarious sense of closure. It saves me from a whole lot of hassle and heartache just to accept that some people only ever wanted a skin deep pleasantry and not a heart deep, profound or meaningful answer.
So I don’t have to or need to explain myself…I just need to obey GOD and let Him explain it to those who really need to understand. If I go back to old habits, I am not bringing forth fruit for Him because I am trapping myself in the past or chaining myself with worrying about a future I cannot predict or control, instead of focusing on living for Him in this moment, listening for what He is asking me to do right now. My job is to bring forth fruit in this moment…and the next and the next. God will take care of what might be in the future and has already redeemed the past. I don’t need to dwell in either place. To do so is a waste of my time and energy and a distraction from what He is calling me to do today, right now, in this moment. To live there is to allow the enemy to win and that is patently not acceptable! GOD alone has my heart and access to the controls of my thoughts and actions. In HIM alone is the victory and that is where I want to live each and every moment of every single day!
Thank you for rescuing me from my own futility and frailty. Please help me stay rooted in you, mind, heart, soul and spirit and live every moment to Your glory and in Your victory. Remove the threats of futility, apathy and worthless thoughts that do not benefit me nor testify of Your sufficiency and glory in my life. Be my Shield and Protector against the spiritual attacks of the enemy that try to trick me into old habits again and help me live every day in Your presence and Your wisdom alone! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Be strong and courageous for the LORD your GOD will go with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
I am not ashamed for I know in Whom I have believed and am convinced that He is able to guard that which I have entrusted to Him until that day. 2 Timothy 1:12