Die To Bring Forth Fruit

Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

John 12:24 (KJV)

The Cross comes before the filling of the Holy Spirit. Spiritual death before resurrection life.  Repentance before the fruit of the Spirit. Cleansing from sin before anointing. Brokenness before blessing. Heart-change before Spirit-immersed ministry. Wilderness before exaltation. The Sinai Desert before the Promised Land.

Moses had his desert, Joseph his prison, Daniel his lion’s den, David his cave and Paul his Arabia. Before God could place these men in leadership, he had to transform their character. Before God can bless us, he must break us of our pride, self-will, and self-sufficiency. God uses our trials and tribulations to bring us to the end of ourselves. He is not punishing us, but loving us into holiness. God accepts us just as we are, but he loves us so much, he does not want to leave us as we are.

Brokenness is a heart yielded to God; ready and willing to obey the Holy Spirit whenever and wherever He directs. Brokenness makes us needy, less perfectionistic, patient with others, and open to God’s purposes. Brokenness makes our hearts available to the Holy Spirit.

Calvary ever comes before Pentecost. The reason why the Holy Spirit of God is not being evidence in so many of our lives and in so much of our ministry is not that there is a gift that we have been unfortunate to miss; it is not that there is a technique we have been unable to adopt: it is that there is a death we have been unwilling to die. Jesus tells the disciples that the pathway to glory lies through the seed going into the ground to a death, that the fruit may abound. And this is precisely the pattern which the New Testament declares in every book: the way to Pentecost lies through Calvary.

Eric J. Alexander, “The Source and Conditions of Blessing,Daily Thoughts from Keswick: A Year’s Daily Readings, ed., Herbert F. Stevenson (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1980), 318.

Every one that gets to the throne must put his foot upon the thorn. The way to the crown is by the cross. We must taste the gall if we are to taste the glory. When justified by faith, God led them into tribulations also. When God brought Israel through the Red Sea, He led them into the wilderness; so, when God saves a soul, He tries it. He never gives faith without trying it. The way to Zion is through the Valley of Baca. You must go through the wilderness of Jordan if you are to come to the Land of Promise.

Andrew A. Bonar and R.M. McCheyne, Memoir and Remains of R.M. McCheyne, electronic ed. (Chicago: Moody Press, 1996), 216.