I’m a pretty boring fruit person—I like the basics, at least that’s what I buy on a regular basis. Ido like mango, but my grocery doesn’t stock the kind I like. I like kiwi fruit, but sometimes I forget to eat it. Have you ever felt a mushy kiwi? It’s kinda creepy.
If you looked in my fridge right now, you’d find one grapefruit and five apples. The apples aren’t crispy, which is to bad. I like them to crunch and squirt apple juice all over my chin, and they must have the perfect blend of tart and sweet. So maybe I’m not really a boring fruit person, but a picky fruit person. Some people would think so, but I just say I know what I like.
I’m glad God isn’t a picky fruit person. I don’t think he’d throw me away if I weren’t crispy like I do with my non-crispy apples. In my house, apples are not guaranteed security. In God’s house, I’m accepted, secure and significant.
I’m studying the verses surrounding my identity in Christ, and I’m finding out who God says I am. He says I’m chosen and not just once or twice, but over and over again. He says I’m secure in him and in today’s world, I need that security. You, too?
But significance? That’s a tough one because pride twists it into something ugly and sinful, rather than something beautiful and holy. Our hearts, my heart, yearns for significance, and I’ve looked for it in people, in approval, in my strength, in my independence, in my roles, in how well I do this marriage thing, and how well I mother my kids. The problem with that?
The pressure to perform squeezes me dry and I fail repeatedly. I’m hurt when I’m overlooked and not recognized, but then I feel guilty when I read Bible verses about humility and meekness. So I squelch this desire for significance, but it grows and comes out in ugly, arrogant ways.
There is the self-seeking, arrogant, all-about-me side to significance, which reveals a gaping hole in my heart that cannot be satisfied with anything but God.
My identity—my approval, my security, and my significance— is found in him. He placed this desire for significance in my heart so that I would gain a greater understanding of who I am in God. And God says I am significant.
I am significant. You are significant. Did you know that you and I are God’s workmanship? We are created for purposes prepared in advance for us to fulfill because we are significant players in God’s plan for mankind.
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10
I’m not created for myself. I am his. He longs for me to walk in his ways, not mine. I’ve messed things up enough to know that my plans aren’t that great so I’m totally okay with his plans for my life. I’ve found that when I walk in his ways, my desire for “self-seeking significance” is traded for the real truth.
The real truth is that I’m significant because Jesus chooses me. Imagine! God chooses me. He chooses you. God chooses the educated and the uneducated. He chooses the wealthy and the poor. He chooses us because he made us, and he is waiting for us to respond to him. When I stop striving for self-defined significance, and I rest in the significance of Jesus’s choice, I am given two choices.
I can either receive it or reject it. I’ve done both. When I’m stuck in a place of perfection and insecurity, I reject his choosing me. I receive His truth when I give up perfection, insecurity, and disbelief. The belief that I have purpose in God’s plan and that I’m chosen by Jesus to bear fruit is intertwined and cannot be separated.
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.” John 15:16
“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.” John 15:5
Fruit bearing is impossible without abiding in Christ. We are either branches disconnected from the vine with fruit that rots from the inside out or we think we are the vine itself and the fruit we produce will look like fruit, but it’s a mirage.
Our significance comes when we receive God choosing us and planning for us to fulfill the works he has prepared for us. We don’t bring our resume. We don’t bring our list of accomplishments as a prerequisite for significance. We come with humble, wide hearts, and he receives us.
I don’t know about you, but I want to be good fruit. I don’t want someone to take fruit from my branch and be disappointed by the quality. I accomplish good fruit bearing when I live my life wholly committed to His absolute, unswerving truth. This is my significance and it is yours. Will you receive it?