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He Is Looking For Fruit – Day 4

Fig_TreeLuke 13: 6-9

In my life, I have had the distinction of frustrating a lot of people; usually they get over it. I also know what it is like to be annoyed by others. I got over it. Does God just get over it when he is seemingly frustrated with us? For the record, I do not believe God is ever really frustrated, for he is sovereign. Still, for the sake of discussion, let’s imagine his response to frustration, of sorts.

This week we read of the land owner’s response to his frustration with the fruitless fig tree.

For three years he had visited this fig tree looking for fruit without finding any. The fig tree had not produced any fruit in three years. Can anyone stand in judgment of his decision to “Cut it down!”? Can you hear and feel his exasperation when he says, “Why does it even use up the ground?” This fig tree was wasting resources. As long as this fig tree was alive, it was also a cause for shame—Vineyard owners rejoice in fruitfulness—A vineyard’s glory is its fruit!

The vineyard owner doesn’t say “cut it down” because he is cold, or lacks compassion. The vineyard owner understands to leave the fruitless fig tree in place would have a negative impact on the other fruit.

I am often confronted and discomforted by the lack of seriousness with which we take God. Do we assume his goodness prevents him from saying, “Cut it down?”

The command in the text “cut it down,” gives the overall sense of causing to fall by delivering a blow. On Day 2 of this devotional series, we addressed the fact that this fig tree was immobile and partially anchored to the ground (or other plants). If we are not fully anchored, it is easy to be delivered a blow and knocked down.

So, the owner instructs the fig tree to be cut down because it is using up the ground. In other words, it is using the ground inappropriately. The ground in which the fig tree is planted is to be a place of productivity and potency, not just potential. This is good ground.

As believers it is our ripe fruit that says: We are planted in a ground that is powerful and effective.

As believers we exist to bear fruit, ripe fruit that finds its beginning (seed) in HIM.

Think about this: Are you taking up space and draining the ground of its nutrients?

So, how are we to stop frustrating the landowner? Stop taking up space.

Lord, anytime you visit us we pray we are using our place in time and space appropriately, Amen.