Jesus said those who abide in Him will bear fruit, and those branches that do not bear fruit will be cut off. What fruit are we to bear, and how do we know if we are bearing it? II Corinthians 13:5 exhorts us to “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?”
This is a most important self-test that few Christians are aware of, much less do regularly. So before proceeding, we will examine a few biblical ways to take this self-evaluation of our spiritual state. This test is not difficult to understand, and it is an “open book” test. In fact, all the questions and answers are readily available, as we will soon see.
Self-evaluation is a discipline that virtually all high-impact people practice, and in the verse above, Christians are commanded to do this. This is a test to determine where we are in our walk, so we can take the next steps on the path of life. Doing this can greatly help us navigate this path, so we can clearly see where we are, where we are going, and what our next steps will be in our spiritual walk.
Paul wrote in I Corinthians 11:31-32: “But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged.” It is much better for us to judge or discipline ourselves than for Him to do it. Remember the Holy Spirit is the Helper, not the Doer. Clarity makes everything easier, especially in how we judge ourselves, so He will not have to. It is much easier to fall on the Rock and be broken than to have Him fall on us and “grind us to powder,” as He said in Luke 20:18. Following Him is difficult enough without us making it more difficult. Instead, we need to follow the easier ways God has provided.
II Timothy 1:9 states that God “has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace…” The Lord not only saved us, but He also “saved us and called us with a holy calling.” Every Christian has been saved and called with a holy calling.“has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace…” The Lord not only saved us, but He also “saved us and called us with a holy calling.” Every Christian has been saved andcalled with a holy calling.
To fulfill our calling and bear the fruit we are called to bear, we must first know our calling. We learn this by seeking. He promises those who seek will find, yet many Christians have not even sought to know their purpose in Him. I have polled thousands of people in conferences and found less than 5% knew their purpose or calling. And those who come to conferences tend to be the hungriest, most devout believers. So, if only 5% of conference attendees know this, what is the percentage in the general body of Christ?
How well would you be doing if less than 5% of your body was functioning? This is the present state of the body of Christ. Is this not a primary reason for the weakness and lack of fruit in the body of Christ today? Yet we know from the Scriptures His church at the end of this age will be all it is called to be, and He will have the glorious bride He so deserves. The question is, will we be a part of it?
A friend of mine was telling me about some of the weddings he had performed and how one of them witnessed the greatest miracle he had ever seen. He went to check on the bride five minutes before the ceremony, and she was a wreck! He was sure the wedding would be delayed for hours, but five minutes later, the bride emerged and she was fine! Jesus likes to do miracles at weddings, but this miracle may have been even greater than turning water into wine. Could this be a prophetic picture of the church at the end of this age?
As Peter reminds us, a day is as a thousand years with the Lord, and a thousand years is as a day. This means He can do in a day what we think will take a thousand years. He can also do in five minutes what we think will take hours. Nothing is impossible for the Lord. So, His bride may currently look like a disaster, but that can change fast. Likewise, if we have wasted years or decades of our lives without even seeking to know our purpose, much less walk in it, that too can change fast, and we can still accomplish it. Still, there is no time to waste.