Thus says the LORD: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the LORD.
He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD.
He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
What I learned from this passage in Jeremiah is that our hearts will do one of two things: 1) Trust God or 2) Turn away from God.
Turning away from God:
If we turn away from God we will be like a shrub in the desert. Our lives will not see any true good. The Gospel will not go forth from our lives, and we will not be sanctified in our hearts. In other words we will not be conformed into the image of God’s son Jesus. We will live in bondage and be enslaved to sin. We will be living in our flesh and doing whatever our sinful passions desire. We will believe lies about God and about ourselves. Our lives will be like a parched desert. The wilderness will become the place where we make our home. We will wander like the disobedient Israelites in the uninhabited land.
Trusting in God:
If we trust God we will be like a tree planted by the water. We will have roots that go deep into God. We will love God, trust him, and serve him.We will be alive and thriving. Though the heat will come, we will not be afraid. When our lives encounter suffering, trials, or persecution we will not be surprised, but we will go deeper in our relationships with God. We will trust in the Lord with all our hearts, and not lean on our own understanding. In all our ways we will acknowledge him, and he will make straight our paths (Pro 3:5-6 ESV). Though heat and drought come, two things that could destroy a tree, we will not die. Our leaves will remain green and we will bear fruit.
How do I bear fruit?
- Accept the discipline of the Lord
For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. (Heb 12:11 ESV)
- Keep repenting
Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. (Mat 3:8 ESV)
But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. (Rom 6:22 ESV)
- Abide in Jesus
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. (Joh 15:5 ESV)
- Hold fast to the Word of God
As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience. (Luk 8:15 ESV)
“Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live. (Pro 4:4 ESV)
In conclusion, we will all bear fruit. The question is what kind of fruit will we bear?
The backslider in heart will be filled with the fruit of his ways, and a good man will be filled with the fruit of his ways.(Pro 14:14 ESV)