“He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters” Luke 11:23

There are two verses in the Bible we may come to link to this one. “Behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him” Is.40:10; “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to each according as his work is”, Rev 22:12. One may have a reward without God, or God without a reward while on earth. The Promise is to have both and together in the same vessel.

There is always a work of previous grace in the heart of man before such are called to work, of which they are seldom aware of. Many may regard their call according to the work that has previously been done within – not by the voice they may have heard. The preparation God has wrought from within may hint to the kind of calling one may have to be obedient unto. But, once God works something in any heart whatsoever, that special work has a special link unto Him, which may never be disabled in future times by being taken for granted it is done and now we can move on our own, so to speak. God grants the gift, the grace to practice the gift, the revelations to work salvation with fear and trembling, the fruit of that same gift, but withholds the power of His presence to do so until man comes to seek God daily to endue such with might according to the need, moment upon moment.

The ability to carry out, the notion to do so, the belief to have been given by God to carry out will not breed fruit. Paul said, “I have planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. (7) So then neither is he who plants anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase”, 1Cor.3:6,7. It does not matter whether one is capacitated to do things, for one may. If man is to trust whatever God has enabled him to do, he is instantly tempted to trust upon the gift as he may have it and become idolatrous by going back to “the course of this world” with a new fashion and a new shape of it formed from within. What counts is not whether that gift has been granted by God – which is something crucial by itself – but whether it becomes fruitful and multiplied, and that by God as well, for God has to follow up whatever we do for Him. We know that there was someone God granted talents and he did not fructify or multiply by them. And what happened to him? He was thrown out along with all hypocrites.

A man, having been given by God, may go down in fear and zeal to be a mere holder of gifts, a zealous keeper of them (whom God regards as a hider and of the kind of fearful we hear about in Rev 21:8), which may even be regarded by us all as the opposite of a certain kind of scatterer and destroyer such as the prodigal son, (of the kind which does not gather with God because of the zeal not to loose, even though they breed the same amount of guilt); he may trust self through it though, or he may do whatever else the flesh would with something which was not coming from God as well.

The opposite of the one who is fearful and started off with the right kind of fear by having wisdom granted him at first – for God would never grant a gift to a fool at all – is the one who will jump to conclusions and do things but not with God after he has received from Him. What God will come for, is not for labor. If He finds fruit, He rewards the labor; in not finding fruit, not even hard labour will be rewarded - how can, then, no labor be regarded as something good? Nevertheless, His keen eyes will be set on the fruit of the labor and not on the kind of zeal the gifted man may have implemented. Such may have the zeal to keep it from sin, but not from barrenness and it will always be worthless if fruitless. And there is this promise to the children of Isaac, which states: “(3) Rejoice, O unfruitful (barren) one that never bore; break out a song and shout, you who never travailed. For more are the sons of the desolate than the sons of the married woman, says Jehovah. (2) Make the place of your tent larger, and let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings. Do not spare, lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes; (3) for you shall break out on the right hand and on the left. And your seed shall inherit the nations, and people will inhabit ruined cities. (4) Do not fear; for you shall not be ashamed, nor shall you blush; for you shall not be put to shame; for you shall forget the shame of your youth, and shall not remember the reproach of your widowhood any more. (5) For your Maker is your husband; Jehovah of Hosts is His name; and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; the God of the whole earth shall He be called. (6) For Jehovah has called you as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when you were rejected, says your God. (7) For a little moment I have left you; but with great mercies I will gather you”. Is.54:1-7

Rebecca and Sara were created as woman with all to bear children. Yet they were barren. Sara was humble enough to acknowledge she was the barren one and not Abraham. So should a Christian believe concerning his Husband, the Lord. Deceit will say the Lord is barren and that’s why many a church go on as they do, for they believe they are praising and working hard for a barren Husband. They start regarding themselves as the right church and feed upon the writings of the apostles as the Israelites would do upon those of Moses and the Prophets. Yet, there is no fruit to be seen, such as will become accepted by the Lord among them.

If a woman starts regarding her husband as the barren one, and if there is any kind of pressure upon bearing children unto God, it is obvious it will soon turn the heart towards adulterous ways of conceiving children. That was Israel’s sin. But if she, the woman, regards herself as the barren one, she may come to God and plead as did Rebecca and Isaac, or she may obligate the husband to turn sin into a fruitful field for her.

In the Old Testament, people would not regard someone as a real woman until she bore children unto her husband. To be married was not enough to her, as to consider herself a blessed woman. Today christians are content to be married women in barrenness –as long as they are a woman of a certain Husband, or at least believe they are, they will be fully satisfied. Marriage is the aim today. God comes to look for fruit and a fruit which comes from a marriage to God alone, just as much as any husband would have the children born in his marriage to be his own and not another's. To sleep with God does not always bring children, and it should. God is not coming to look for the tree, but rather for a useful, fruitful tree.

If God tills the ground, that tree may grant fruit or it may not. If it brings forth fruit, it may either be of God or not. We read in the Old Testament “From Me is thy fruit found”, Hos.14:8. Does it work out the same way with you?

“Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O LORD, and give not thine heritage to reproach: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God?” Joel 2:17.

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José Mateus