good tree, bad tree.

A little while back, I wrote a post about being “good” and why that’s… well, bad.
Okay, not bad, but not worth striving for, because it’s not what’s required of you. (you can read it here: https://samfindsfaith.wordpress.com/2013/07/25/good-christian-bad-christian/ ).
The whole thing revolves around this statement: Sin doesn’t make you bad, it makes you dead. Holiness doesn’t make you good, it makes you alive. And I’m here to expand on that a little bit because God is constantly growing this in me and it’s putting me through the ringer, I’ll be honest, and exposing a lot of my heart – definitely replacing stone with something much softer.

First I want to say that the only way to actually obtain a Holy life is through the Holy Spirit alive in you. This is not something you possess naturally. This is not something you’re born with. This is something that God gives you when you accept Jesus as Savior that helps you guide your way through this life and assists you in becoming holy. It is the method in which God speaks to His people from the inside out. It is the Spirit of God that dwells in you, His temple.

“However, when He, the Spirit of Truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.” John 16:13

“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that haven been freely given to us by God.” 1 Corinthians 2:12

This one, for me at least, is a bit of the kicker:
“because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so He condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but he mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.” Romans 8:2-6

*Fun fact about the Holy Spirit: I didn’t know that verse when I originally surmised that holiness equaled life, not goodness. But it says it right there, in black and white in the Bible, that (again- holiness is brought upon by the Spirit, so when we are set on the Spirit) holiness is life. Someone had to tell me that in order for me to know it… Hmm… case for the Holy Spirit, just saying…

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that if you are trying to be good, YOU’RE the one trying. There is nothing good in you aside from what God has given or what God IS in you. You can’t do it, it’s impossible. There is only ONE who is good (Matthew 19:17).

I found what I think is even more Biblical truth in Matthew 7:17-18; Jesus says, “Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. And good tree cannot bear bad fruit and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.”

So, before I get into this, let me say that we are NOT wholly bad, however, my point is that we are not ever going to be WHOLLY GOOD either, and you can tell by our fruit.
See, as Christians, not a one of us bears only good or only bad fruit. We tend to bear both. God is in us, via the Holy Spirit, and we DO good. We say nice things, do nice and good things, volunteer, hold our tongues, etc etc… but there are the times we sin. There are times we’re mean, we disappoint others, we cause them to stumble, we succumb to temptation, etc etc… we bear bad fruit.
And because we can never attain sinless perfection in this life, we will always continue to bear both good and bad fruit, thus making us neither GOOD nor BAD.

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I’ll be totally honest: I’ve tried to abstain from a lot of sin in my own power. I’ve carried it on my own shoulders to be nicer to people who hurt me, forgive trespasses I know will occur again, stay pure, watch my mouth… I mean the list goes on and on…
And it’s a struggle to not have control over it. But that’s the thing; in a relationship with God, we are not the one’s in control. We subject ourselves to Him and His leadership, Him and His authority, Him and His sovereignty. Not our own.

This morning, as I sat at my desk, I turned the page of my calendar which features a new verse daily. Today’s was Genesis 1:31: “and God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good.” Before the fall, we were good. In heaven, we will be good. And as I pondered the in between, it was like God shook me up a little bit, and said, “Samantha, give up your trying to be good, and allow Me to be the good in You.”

I want to be a good representation of Christ, and sometimes, in my trying, I fail. And God knows my heart, thankfully, and I know He loves me despite myself, but ultimately, if I’m ever going to be a good representation of Him, I need to allow Him to work THROUGH me, not just on me. I’m going to need to hand Him the wheel for my words and actions and my feelings, at that.
I know a lot of people feel the way I do about this, where we try and we try and we try… and sometimes, it just doesn’t work out. Well, I think maybe we need to evaluate who has control in those situations, and figure out who is the one doing the work. Maybe we shouldn’t be trying so hard and should be surrendering more fully.
I don’t know. Think about it, and please… share your thoughts.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

There is nothing worth more
That will ever come close
Nothing can compare
You’re our Living Hope
Your Presence

I’ve tasted and I’ve seen
Of the sweetest of loves
Where my heart becomes free
And my shame is undone

Your presence Lord

Holy Spirit You are welcome here
Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere
Your glory God is what our hearts long for
To be overcome by Your presence Lord

Your presence Lord

There is nothing worth more
That will ever come close
You are our Living Hope

Your presence Lord

I’ve tasted and I’ve seen
Of the sweetest of loves
Where my heart is set free
And my shame is undone

Holy Spirit You are welcome here
Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere
Your glory God is what our hearts long for
To be overcome by Your presence Lord

Let us become more aware of Your presence
Let us experience the glory of Your goodness

Lord
Holy Spirit You are welcome here
Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere
Your glory God is what our hearts long for
To be overcome by Your presence Lord

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5 thoughts on “good tree, bad tree.

  1. Pingback: 13 things I learned in 2013 | a look back | sam finds faith.

  2. Pingback: good girls and boys | the reason our family chooses not to celebrate Santa | sam finds faith.

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