Bogus Fruit. The Forgotten Message, Part 11


Kiwi vines

We probably have heard of this Bible text: "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." (Gal 5:22,23a, NIV); but are we aware that there are bogus fruit as well? Here's the list: "The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissension, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like." (Gal 5: 19-21a, NIV)

The first and only legitimate fruit are approved by our Heavenly Father: "Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires." (Gal 5: 23b, 24). The second list is only bogus fruit, good for nothing: "I warn you as, I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God." (Gal 5: 21b, NIV)

Notice that the real fruit are approved, while the bogus ones are not. This is also the reality of those who depend on God for the healing. If anything stands in our way in our relationship with our Heavenly Father, He will not be able to hear us, as sin separates us from Him: "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." (2 Chron 7:14-15)

Sadly, many have been affected by bogus fruit. If our focus is on the flesh, genuine fruit will not be occurring. We may long for it, but as long as we harbor the unhealthy fruit, no healthy fruit will develop. The only way to ask our Father to fill us with His victory is to forsake these bogus fruit and ask for His fruit to take root within us. If depression hits us, call for the joy of our Father. If hate and bitterness dominate, ask for the help of God's Holy Spirit, who will lead us to forgive like never before. If fear leaves us trembling, ask For God's peace to fill us to overflowing. We can be victorious. The more we depend on God, the more His genuine fruit will sprout fruit forth for eternity.

The following real life illustration will demonstrate what happens when God's fruit germinate in our life: Testimony witten by Pastor Francis Ngobeh

Iím living in the Peninsula at Mile 13. I was with some friends from the same community, sitting on the shoulder of the road. We are having a good time together, drinking and having fun. We saw a car pass by, and then stop just past us. The gentleman got out of the car. We had never met him or seen him before. He approached us and greeted us. He introduced himself to us, that he was Pastor Andrew. We welcomed him.

The Lord had spoken to him that he needed to come and speak to us. We were surprised because we were drinking alcohol and having fun. We tried to tell him that we were drinking and he was a pastor and itís not the right time to talk to us. At the same time he said, ďThe Lord told me to talk to you and I think it is important. Jesus loves you and He gave me a message to pass on to you. I have never seen you, but because the Lord told me to stop and talk to you, I feel responsible to do that.Ē He said, ďThe Lord said to me, that this is not the right thing you are doing. He has a purpose for you. He wants to manifest His power in your lives.Ē

Then we replied, ďIf you say that this is the Lordís message you want to pass on to us, then we accept it.Ē A couple of the friends didnít want to listen to Pastor Andrew, because some of them were saying that we are not convinced with what you are saying.

At that time, I felt touched by his message, so asked the others to focus and listen. Pastor Andrew passed on the message, that he saw we were covered with darkness, but the Lord is pouring His Light on us. We needed to accept Christ as our personal Saviour.

Then he asked how many of us were Christians? It was 3 of us. The other 4 were Muslims. They refused to accept the message. The 3 of us, who were Christians, accepted Christ and confessed our sin. From that day when I accepted Christ, my life began to change gradually. Pastor Andrew took our contact numbers. He started to communicate with us and encourage us with the gospel.

He asked if there was any church in Mile 13. I told him no, because it is a Muslim dominated community. Different churches have tried to establish churches in this community, but no one has succeeded over the last few years. He told me, the Lord wants to establish His church in this community. I told him it is not easy, because the people of this community do not believe in Christianity. He told me, itís not by my power but Godís power, to establish the church in this community.

We started to have evening services in Mile 13, in an unfinished building. During this time, I was really being touched by the messages and devoted my life to God. Then I had a calling that I needed to pastor this church. Pastor Andrew announced this message, during the service that Brother Francis was to be the Head Pastor of this church. I was really doubtful how this would work, but the Lord confirmed it. He wanted me to do His work. I just prayed to Him and let His Spirit flow in me and let His will be done in my life.

I started having some Bible studies with Pastor Andrew and he shared his experience with me. We continued the Sunday evening services. That is when I started to have trials and temptations with the community members. They started abusing me for establishing a church in this community. They didnít want a church here, because itís a Muslim community. So, I was given notice about the building where we were holding church. They didnít want us to hold church there anymore and asked us to leave.

I continued to hold church in the open by the side of the road. I was praying to the Lord, to make a provision for us to have a place where we could hold church. The Lord spoke to me, that whenever My people gather and call upon Me, I will hear their cry. So, with few members in the church, we were all worried about where we would hold church, because the rainy season was getting closer.

I put my request to the Lord, to make provision for us. I asked members of the church, to make this a prayer point. One of my friends, who is a member of the same community, has a cinema hall. I decided to go and discuss this with him to see if he could help us and let us use his hall, in the Name of the Lord. At first he said no. Iím a Muslim and my religion cannot accept that. I turned back home and the Lord spoke to me and said, just pray. I prayed for a couple of days and went back to see him. Then he told me, that I could hold the service every Sunday, in the hall, with no cost involved! This was the time; I really started to sense the wonders of God in Mile 13.

The Lord continued to show His wonders to me in this community, by touching the members who were trying to stop this ministry from being established here. They started to communicate with me on good terms. Some of them even testified that they were surprised that Iris Ministries had been established in Mile 13!

They knew me from my past experience, when I was drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana and doing illegal things. Today, they are seeing me as a changed man of God. I told them, itís not my doing, but itís the power of the God that Iím serving. I told them, they need to confess their sin and invite Christ to be their personal Saviour. If they donít, they will not enjoy the goodness of God and enter the kingdom of Heaven. Some of them were looking around at the others, and some accepted the Lord. I am still praying that the Lord will rule over Mile 13.

We are using this cinema hall temporarily. Someone has offered us some land to buy, so we can establish our church. I communicated this to Sr. Pastor Andrew, and we put it as a prayer point, that God would make a provision for his church to be built in this community.

One day I was praying at home, when a member of the community came and called me. He said there was a young girl who is led by the spirit of thievery. I went there and asked her, what is happening in her life? Whatís the problem? She said she had no financial problem, because her family is looking after her. She didnít know what was happening to her. I prayed for her and tried to counsel her for a couple of days, before she confessed that she is led by an evil spirit.

The spirit appears to her when she is alone and leads her to go inside peoplesí homes to steal money or jewellery. The people do not know that she has entered their homes. The spirit shows her where these things are hidden so she can take them. When the victims investigated, they discovered she was the thief. The spirit would disappear from her and then she would realize what she had done.

Sheís from a Muslim family. Members of the family said, they were going to take her to the Juju Man. I told them, no. This girl had been having this problem for a few months. No one could identify this problem, but God is the One who has seen it and identified it. I told them, the girl has to confess her sin and to invite Jesus into her heart because He loves her. She accepted Christ as her Saviour. Now, when she senses the evil spirit coming to her, she pleads the blood of Christ over her and rebukes the evil spirit. She has had no more problems of stealing and her family is very grateful for this. Today, she is a member in the church.

Thanks to https://www.irisglobal.org/sierra-leone/journal/mile-13-testimony

Rob Chaffart

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