God's judgments are good. Judgment is different from wrath. Wrath is God's destruction against sin. Judgment is God's righteous discipline and brings redemption and restoration. God's wrath destroys. His judgments redeem.
As we look at our nation today, we can quickly see that our moral foundations are decaying. But this is just a sign that there is a much deeper problem—there is also a crack in the moral foundation of the church.
If we are to see God's hand of blessing and favor remain on America, the church in the U.S. must repent of all compromise and sin. We must allow God to cause His fruit to grow in our lives. Fruitfulness in the church will have a profound impact not only on us but on our nation as well.
Jesus is looking for fruit in the lives of His people. It's not enough to look good from a distance—He's looking up close for fruit.
"And seeing in the distance a fig tree [covered] with leaves, He went to see if He could find any [fruit] on it. But when He came up to it, He found nothing but leaves, for the fig season had not yet come. And He said to it, No one ever again shall eat fruit from you. And His disciples were listening [to what He said]" (Mark 11:13-14, AMP).
From a distance things can look great. The fig tree looked great from a distance; it was filled with leaves. But when Jesus got up close He discovered that there was no fruit on it.
From a distance the operation of the gifts of God in our lives can look great. God's gifts are without repentance; so you can start off right and begin operating in gifts of the Spirit because of your relationship with God. But it's not enough just to start right. We have to finish right.
It's possible to begin with a strong relationship with God but then to start riding on the gift God has given you and stray from Him in your heart. It's possible to have strong gifts that can be seen from a distance. But it's only when you get up close to a tree that you can see the fruit it has.
Our true fruit is revealed through our closest relationships. Only when you get to know a person can you see what fruit they truly have. Jesus doesn't just want us to be leafy trees operating in gifts. He also wants to find fruit. His destiny for us is that we would be fruitful trees.
Jesus took this so seriously that even when the fig tree was out of season for bearing figs He still held it responsible for not having fruit. The truth is, despite what season it is, despite what our circumstances are, despite whether we're having a good day or a rough day, Jesus wants us to be bearing fruit. It will not always be easy to bear good fruit. It requires a death to the desires of the flesh and to the self-life. But God wants us to be ready, in season and out of season, as we see in the apostle Paul's letter to Timothy, his disciple:
"Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry" (2 Tim 4:2-5, NASB).
God is determined to have a church that bears fruit. Joel prophesied about this: "Be not afraid ... for the pastures of the wilderness have sprung up and are green; the tree bears its fruit, and the fig tree and the vine yield their [full] strength. Be glad then, you children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord, your God; for He gives you the former or early rain in just measure and in righteousness, and He causes to come down for you the rain, the former rain and the latter rain, as before. And the [threshing] floors shall be full of grain and the vats shall overflow with juice [of the grape] and oil" (Joel 2:22-24, AMP).
As God continues to work in His people, He will cause wilderness places to become green pastures. He will cause dry, dead places to become alive. He will cause the tree to bear fruit and the vine to have full strength. God is releasing a strength in His people to bear the fruit He desires us to have. He's making His people strong in the Spirit.
As God releases a heavy latter rain upon His people He is going to cause every seed that has been sown to spring forth to full maturity and harvest. Every seed of God's Word that has been sown on the inside of us will spring forth to maturity. In other words, God is causing His people to grow up. He is bringing His corporate body into a place of maturity.
One of the signs of growing into maturity is, things that offended you before will no longer irritate you. You will be less "offendable." You will have fewer reactions from your flesh and be led more by the Spirit.
Another sign of spiritual maturity is that you are learning to resist temptation and walk and live in a way that pleases God. Spiritual maturity will be reflected in your thoughts, attitudes and behavior, especially with those closest to you.
It's time we really evaluate ourselves in the light of God's presence and truth. It's time to deeply repent of the besetting sins of our flesh, turn away from ungodly attitudes and offenses, and fully surrender to God's dealing in our lives.
The threshing floors will be full of grain. This speaks of a mature harvest. It will not only be a harvest of souls but also a harvest of God's Word in you causing you to be a mature son and daughter of God. Every area of our lives that has been placed on the threshing floor will produce a harvest of maturity and fruitfulness.
The result will be that our vats will overflow with new wine and oil. Out of a place of maturity and harvest God is bringing His people into a place known as "overflow." We are going to live out of the overflow of God's presence and anointing in our lives. It's not just a new season. It's a new dimension.
God's people will carry so much of His presence and power that there will be an overflow of His presence from our lives changing the atmosphere around us. This overflow of fresh anointing will not only transform us but also have a profound impact on the world around us.
God is not a God of "just enough." He is always a God of more than enough. He doesn't want to give you just enough anointing for yourself. He wants to give you so much of Himself that His presence and power is more than enough and overflows from you to reach the world around you.
Pray this now in agreement with me: "Father, I humble myself before You today. I build an altar in my life. I give myself to You. I repent of every area of sin and compromise. Forgive me for offending You. Cleanse me and make me righteous in Your eyes.
Holy Spirit, help me to live in a way that pleases You. Cause Your fruit to grow in my life. Bring me to a place of maturity in every area. Release a fresh anointing and empower me to live in Your overflow. Fill me to overflowing with your power. I repent of all hypocrisy and besetting sin. Heal my spirit, soul and body. Restore your abiding presence in my life.
Father, heal our nation. Turn America back to You. In Jesus' name, amen."
About the author: Matt Sorger is a prophetic revivalist who ministers the Word and the power of the Holy Spirit in conferences, prophetic healing-revival services and miracle crusades throughout America and around the world. He also hosts pastors and leaders conferences to train and equip leaders in the power of the Holy Spirit and is the host of his own television program, Power for Life. In his meetings, many are instantly healed and infused with greater passion for God. Learn more about him and his ministry at mattsorger.com.
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