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True spiritual power comes in the wake of spiritual fruit, not as a predecessor to it. The trouble is, we often confuse power with fruit. We see an influential or charismatic leader, and assume that natural ability (and the numbers it often generates) are a sign of God’s blessing. Very often, it is not. Very often, power is just power.

Even those who witnessed Jesus’ “triumphal” entry into Jerusalem were looking for power, not fruit. And yet, almost immediately after pulling into town on his stretch limo donkey Jesus says this:

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him (John 12:24-26, ESV).

Alone, we are kernels of wheat. We might be big, talented, self-impressed kernels, but kernels nonetheless. But by dying to self, God can turn us into stalks of wheat, which Jesus can then use to create and serve the bread of life to others. But it can’t happen until we die—then we can begin to grow. And then, we can bear real fruit—the kind that nourishes and enables others to grow.

So, are you feeling lucky—or more to the point, led? Lay down your power, so that God can turn it into fruit.

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