- Lori Doner Jones
Updated: Dec 9, 2021
This week my husband went back to the office for the first time in 19 months. This is the first week where the house has been silent. There’s no clicking of a keyboard in the office, no conference calls as background noise, no television or children learning online upstairs. It’s just me, and the cats who seem to have gone for a nap, because they are also unusually quiet. As I was preparing our "Fruit of the Spirit" videos and waiting the necessary downloading time, I listened. I heard the sound of the furnace and a bird outside the patio doors. The house was eerily quiet and seemed to be resting while the others were out. I tried to rest too. I turned off the kitchen light. I sat in my momma chair – the 100 year old + rocking chair in my kitchen that used to be my grandmother’s and I listened to the house and the wind outside. I spoke to God – or I should say I tried to, as I realized my distractions were many and my mind was filled with thoughts like, what time is it now? How much time do I have left to get my work done? There are boxes of ornaments that need to be dealt with, vacuuming to be done, beds to make, things to tidy up, Ministry items that need attention, emails to be sent… I don’t want this precious alone time to escape me when I have so much to do.
How difficult is it for you and I, to turn off all distractions and just be with God? Sometimes it seems very difficult to let go of the chores I need to do and just have undistracted time with the Lord. I got my Bible out and started to read and as I did so, I began to turn over topics and ideas for ministry in my head; my mind rapidly working even in this time of seeking rest. I was still missing the moment of God’s presence, where it’s just Him and quiet rest, where nothing else is speaking over Him in my ear. I imagine He’d say – “daughter, I don’t need you to serve me right now, just be with me.”
Sometimes, at night, my daughter will jump into my bed while I am reading and cozy up beside me with her own book or maybe she will draw, while I read. We don’t talk, we just sit close to each other and just enjoy the presence of the other. I love this time, when there’s nothing going on at all and we are just together. I would imagine God loves to spend time with us, like I do with my daughter, just like that; when we just sit in quiet rest with Him and feel Him close by.
I wonder today if you can make time to just be still – to rest. Just be in His presence and clear your mind of distraction .
Philippians 4:4-6 says this:
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again. Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus”
Imagine that! Peace that transcends our ability to even understand it… that would be something, wouldn’t it? That kind of Peace is not out of our reach, He wants you to have it! Peace is a fruit of the Spirit, that we can achieve - but only when we are abiding in Christ; only when we make time to meet with Him and know Him better.
Today, maybe you feel like Peace is just beyond your reach. Maybe you feel like all the fruits of the Spirit are just at your fingertips but you can’t quite grab hold. Today, let’s ask God to help us bear fruit, because it’s not by our might or our power, but only through Jesus that we can truly abound in all He wants to give us.
The following is taken from a book that was given to me years ago by a woman who led a bible study I attended. She always used to remind us that “He is the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were” (Romans 4:17) In other words, even if today things look one way – God changes things. He sees not just who we are today, but who we are going to be. He can change a life with no Peace, into a life that has Peace that surpasses understanding! Ask Him for that, and believe He wants to give it to you!
Prayer to Bear Fruit:
Lord, Jesus, you chose me and appointed me to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last. Father you are the Gardener. You prune every branch that bears fruit, so it will be even more fruitful.
The Apostle Paul said to be filled with the fruit of righteousness and that he desired that fruit might abound to our account. Therefore, I commit myself to bring forth the fruit of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. I renounce and turn from the fruit of the flesh, because I now belong to Christ and have crucified the flesh with its affections and lusts.
A seed cannot bear fruit unless it first falls to the ground and dies. I confess that I am crucified with Christ: Nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith and the Son of God, Who loved me and gave himself for me.
Father, I thank You, that I am good ground, that I heard Your Word and understand it, and the the Word bears fruit in my life – sometimes a hundredfold, sometimes sixty, sometimes thirty, I am like a tree planted by rivers of water that brings forth fruit in its season. My leaf shall not wither and whatever I do shall prosper.
Father in Jesus’ name, I thank You for filling me with the knowledge of Your will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding that I may walk worthy of You, Lord, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of You. Amen.
From “Prayers That Avail Much”