“In the morning, as Jesus was returning to Jerusalem, he was hungry, and he noticed a fig tree beside the road. He went over to see if there were any figs, but there were only leaves (Mark 11 - it says the tree was not in season). Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” And immediately the fig tree withered up. The disciples were amazed when they saw this and asked, “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” Then Jesus told them, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and don’t doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.”” Matthew 21:18-22 NLT. This fig tree represents the life of a believer! Jesus WANTS TO CHECK THE FRUIT OF YOUR LIFE! Notice that Jesus was hungry. He hungers and desires to see fruit that looks like Him in our lives. 1 Corinthians 13:13 says, “Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.” It is important that we get a “FRUIT CHECK” and be sure that these three attributes are evident in our lives. Let’s take a look at these 3 “FRUIT CHECKS”.
1. CHECK YOUR LOVE
Remember, love is most important, 1 Corinthians 13:1-7 says, “If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”
Love needs to be the primary motive of your faith. Only faith, filled with love, counts!! James says we don't get what we ask for because we ask with the wrong motive. If you are believing for more money, a new car, new house, promotion etc., ask yourself "WHY??" Desire these things for the sole purpose of giving God glory and to increase His kingdom.
2. CHECK YOUR HOPE
Let's look at your HOPE. Hope is the joyful expectation of your faith. A good is example of hope is a father promising his child that he will meet him at a water park. Because the child believes and trusts in his father’s word, he will be filled with joy, expectation and excitement. If you find areas of your life that are full of depression, doubt or fear, then you need to check your faith!
3. CHECK YOUR FAITH
Faith is the assurance, title deed, or confirmation in your heart that what you are believing for is done. In order to be full of faith, we must listen to God’s Word. “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God “(Romans 10:17). Let me ask you... what are you listening to? A mind full of doubt and logic is like having weeds in your heart that choke out the faith in your life. Like Jesus uprooted the fig tree, make up your mind to uproot anything that is contrary to His Word. Your words have power. Cast those mountains out your life and fill your mind with the incorruptible seed of God’s Word. I challenge you to allow the Holy Spirit to give you a "faith check" and come into a faith-filled life that's full of love and hope! Remember, with God, NOTHING is impossible!