Fruit. It’s an interesting subject in the low carb world. How can anyone LIVE without fruit? We’ve been told from our earliest years to “eat our fruit”. It is always the first question I get when someone starts asking me about my keto lifestyle. Do you eat fruit? Can I eat fruit? No? Sometimes? Rarely? WHAT?
The idea of fruit has not left my mind in the past year as I have felt God moving me in a direction to share my story and how he has pruned me and ripened certain areas of my walk with him. I find it a little amusing that he is using fruit as the central theme of my spiritual journey. I don’t really eat fruit. Maybe a few berries once a month, but that’s it! People are so serious about their fruit! Seems like an important topic to explore!
The most profound truths I learn from his Word daily are from topical fruit. Get it, topical? Ha! Some topics include these characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23): love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Other topics I’ve been learning and living require actions: planted, watered, rooted, nurtured, bloomed, ripened, pruned, nourished, FULFILLED.
I see God’s hand in the analogy of fruit every day in my life and in the lives of those walking in these truths. It is the deepest passion of my heart to share these truths to inspire, encourage, and motivate you to find fulfillment in your physical, emotional, and most importantly, spiritual healing. God is making a way for you right now to live your most beautiful life! This journey I have been on is so contagious. I have been witnessing it every day through the life changing transformations of family and friends. Come along on my journey to JOY!
My fruitful journey began when I very early on in my keto journey latched on to the concept of “choosing joy”. I made this the prayer of my heart and I meditated on joy all day. As I read scripture daily, that word “joy” pops up everywhere! I circle it in my bible whenever I read it. I know it’s not a coincidence that I’m circling that word every day in my bible study time. JOY is a beautiful gift from God. Once you realize exactly what it is in your life, you can’t help but share it. It is overwhelming and overflowing and it’s open to you!
I have many verses that I’m leaning into on this journey, but this passage has to be THE one that will keep me focused on being fruitful for the work of Christ. I recently finished a study on the book of John and claimed this passage as the foundation for my fruitful journey. These words were spoken by Jesus himself, as recorded in John 15: 5-8:
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”
That’s a solid foundational statement to your spiritual walk right there! Right from the mouth of Jesus, he tells us how to be fruit producers and why.
He is the vine, you are the branch. You absolutely can not be effective in the “why” if you are not connected to the vine. Jesus even comes right out and says, “you can do nothing”. How often in our daily walks do we attempt to do it all in our own power? I did this for years. Especially when it came to my health and wellness. For three decades I tried every suggestion by man to control my weight issues. Even when I did one program centered around biblical principles of wandering in the desert – I still did not lean on God through that journey. Of course, I was left deserted and thirsty for that spiritual fulfillment.
It wasn’t until I finally included him in every aspect of my health that I began to have an understanding of just how absolutely necessary it was to have my spiritual health restored first! As that healing happened every day – I then witnessed my physical health completely transform, too. Not to mention I was feeling incredibly well mentally and emotionally. Each and every day I felt myself becoming a well-rounded, balanced, healthy person filled with so much JOY!
So how did I do this, you ask? For starters – I truly began to make time every morning for my bible study! I’ve never been a morning person (ask my friends…)! It took some real effort to make sure I could have at least a half hour of time in the morning before I had to run out the door to work. I have a comfy chair set up in the living room (a room that I’m the only one that uses, really). The end table next to it is stacked with my bible, bible study books, prayer journal, writing journals, pens, and my laptop. I brew a cup of coffee and settle in to see what God has to share with me. And let me tell you, it is always a divine appointment. I never want to leave that chair…but then there is my job…and I have to leave that comfy corner.
When I started writing this piece on Saturday, I had to get up and walk away from it because I was stuck. I was mulling over in my brain how to explain the depth of how important my walk with God has been on my journey. I have lots of scripture that I lean on. I highlight and star lots of things I read. I have devotionals that I read and say “Yes, Yes, YES!” That’s my life. But there was something that I just couldn’t quite put my finger on.
Then I went to church like I do every Sunday. My pastor referenced chapter one from the Old Testament book of Haggai. Yes, a pretty obscure book as my pastor referred to it (by the way, thank you Adam!). Here’s the passage (Haggai 1: 5-15):
5 Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways.6 You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.”
7 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 8 Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build my house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,” says the Lord. 9 “You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the Lord Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with your own house. 10 Therefore, because of you the heavens have withheld their dew and the earth its crops. 11 I called for a drought on the fields and the mountains, on the grain, the new wine, the olive oil and everything else the ground produces, on people and livestock, and on all the labor of your hands.”
12 Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest, and the whole remnant of the people obeyed the voice of the Lord their God and the message of the prophet Haggai, because the Lord their God had sent him. And the people feared the Lord.
13 Then Haggai, the Lord’s messenger, gave this message of the Lord to the people: “I am with you,” declares the Lord. 14 So the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of the whole remnant of the people. They came and began to work on the house of the Lord Almighty, their God, 15 on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month.
I almost jumped up in the pew and shouted some hallelujahs as pastor read that passage. It was exactly what I had asked God to reveal to me! Here it was in some obscure, Old Testament book!
Can you understand my excitement? Probably not! I immediately wrote a notation in the side of my bible “my body, the temple!” You see, all those years the Israelites had been busy attending to their wants and desires of their hearts they were neglecting the rebuilding of God’s temple. While they were busy chasing these worldly things – they were never fully satisfied, and Haggai told them this! You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. Does that not sound like us in our wandering ways as we try to fill every need with things of this world?
Through Haggai, God says stop what you are doing, you have lost your way! STOP trying to do everything in your own power! He also says TWICE “Give careful thought to your ways!” Little did I know when I started this journey, that God equipped me with the tenacity, the stubbornness, and the sheer will to “give careful thought” to the way I was treating my body – a temple to be used for his glory!
1 Corinthians 6:19 – Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own.
When I think about how drastically my health has changed – spiritually, emotionally, and physically – I just can’t help but be filled with such joy and a willingness to do whatever He calls me to do with this new freedom and spirit! Every day I improve a little more on giving up “my” power and lean into God to sustain all my needs. I know He is my provider. I know He has made a way for me to eat that will allow me to be healthy and the best I can be for Him. Every day I am learning deeper lessons on how He fulfills my every need and many desires of my heart. Every day I am developing my spiritual maturity in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
I give all the praise to God for planting those desires in my heart. For watering my thirsty soul. For rooting me in His word every day. For nurturing me through all the lessons and sermons. For blooming the buried gifts He has given me. For ripening my faith. For pruning the dead branches in my life. For physically nourishing my body with real, wholesome food. And finally, for FULFILLING every part of my being – mind, body and soul.
The deepest desire of my heart is for you to experience the level of understanding of how very much God loves you! He wants you to rely on Him for your health needs. If I can testify to anything – my journey has completely changed my life – because it was all made possible in His power, not mine!
I leave you with a verse that was emailed to me the other day from a reader. It’s a perfect verse that describes your new journey to JOY!
Psalm 51:12 The Passion Translation (TPT)
12 Let my passion for life be restored,
tasting joy[a] in every breakthrough you bring to me.
Hold me close to you with a willing spirit
that obeys whatever you say.
I’d love to know how you spend quiet time with the Lord daily? If you don’t – is this something you can start planning in your morning? What plan can you put into action tomorrow morning? I am positive that you will see your fruits of the spirit nurtured and nourished right before your eyes! Leave me your comments below!
I’ve created a free resource for you with my favorite five tips for your weight loss success. Grab it here:
5 Tips to Jumpstart Your Health and Wellness Journey
Melinda Shaw says
God truly answered a desperate prayer about how to address my weight/health issues 8 months ago, too! Since then, as I see so much more clearly what was really going on in my body, I have wondered about those many other same desperate prayers that appeared unanswered over the years. (Did the wandering in the desert plan too😊) It is taking some serious praying -lots. And, then some serious studying of the Word along work of the Holy Soirit to remind me that God is: Almighty. Faithful. Trustworthy. Loving -toward ME. Purposeful -in His work in ME. And that led to asking what purpose is there in this unsettled, seemingly barren season of my life. It seems that perhaps that impassioned plea of mine was much more than about my weight/health. My whole way I thinking, living, obeying needed an overhaul. His Word does that when we seek His will. When we pray for help and are willing to give up whatever it will takes to be aligned with Him. He address the heart issue as well. I have a lot of self going on….it’s a process to adjust how I view God/myself/my life after years as a believer. But a breakthrough for sure. Just like you had , Christine. I am humbled. Too often I tend toward despair rather than joy. The tension between my ever present sinful nature and the truth of our redeeemed current status! It’s an act of faith to say, ‘I trust in what I know You have promised for me- You ARE working in the little and big things of my life. It ALL has purpose.’ Now THAT brings JOY.
Wow, Melinda! I think you “get” what I’m saying. I wonder when I’m writing if anyone will actually “get” it! LOL. What an awesome journey we are both traveling. I’m so glad we connected. I sometimes just sit and cry when I try to wrap my brain around the truth of joy. Just SO. OVERWHELMING!
Melinda Shaw says
I am awed at how God has turned my own desperate cry to Him about my health/weight into a renewing of my faith, too. So many things are being revealed in what I despairingly felt was an all time low point of my life. Even as I estatically came to see the real issues could be addressed by changing from carb fueled to fat fueled, He is persisting in showing me that area is not all that needs renewed. He wants me to reassess EVERYTHING. Perhaps His huge blessing in answering the cry of my heart in this one area is to draw me to Him for a truer relationship. And isn’t just like Him to work all things for our good! Melinda.
My bible study this morning was Psalm 10. Verse 1 and Verse 17 were especially applicable to what you’re saying. Check them out!
And thank you so much for sharing, I truly appreciate hearing what others are journeying through (makes me feel not alone 😉 )!
Christine, Lately I have been spending time in bible study every morning. Every morning I am wowed by what I read. This week God has reminded me over and over just how BIG He is. Isa:40 is a fantastic chapter on all that God is. God has never changed, but people throughout time lose sight of God because we take our eyes off Him and concentrate on “OUR” stuff. God has made it very clear to me that my focus needs to remain on God as my provider in everything. He has always been faithful to me. I must purposefully remain faithful to Him, seeking His guidance in all my decisions. In the area of food choices, I am choosing to be faithful to God, eating His nutritious proteins and green veggies. I am choosing to ignore the enemy’s bright temptations of junk foods. I recognize that these foods are not food at all. Even as I choose to be faithful with my food choices, God is renewing my mind daily (Rom. 12:2). I experience God’s huge power in this area of my life, BECAUSE I am being faithful with my food choices, and I am trusting in God’s faithfulness to me. Every day God shows me more information to confirm that I am on the right track. The weight is falling off. I am at peace with food thoughts. I am overjoyed!
Hi Arlene! Nice to hear from you. Isn’t it just so, so AH-mazing how very much he loves us right down to what he provides to nourish our bodies?!? I love all the lessons he shares with me daily. I am so happy to hear that your weight is falling off – because I’m sure that means you are feeling better every day! LOVE it. So much JOY!
HOPE WALDBIESER says
Another God-incidence! I started my time with God and daily devotional (New Morning Mercies) and scripture THIS MORNING, and then read this blog a couple of hours later. I have only been doing KETO and IF for nine days and can already tell a HUGE difference in my level of inflammation throughout my body!! I am so looking forward to healing in every aspect of my life! I choose JOY!!
I love your name. You can claim it in your new journey. Congratulations on your excellent start. And yes, His mercies are NEW every morning. That’s why I love to start my day each morning with Him (and my beans – coffee!). Thanks for leaving your very encouraging comment to inspire others, too!
Blessings and JOY,