We’re heading into summer and the strawberries are getting so tasty! They just get really red and sweet this time of year. They’re also less expensive because there’s a surplus of them. This works for me because I eat them every day. I love all kinds of fruit. It’s definitely one of my favorite food groups. You can look at it this time of year and easily tell what is ripe and what is not. Ripe fruit will have a vibrant color and be sweet. Unripe fruit will be sour and even the animals don’t want to eat it. Did you know that unripe fruit can even be toxic to your system? This is true in the natural and it’s also true in the spiritual. People bearing good fruit bring refreshment to others. People bearing unripe fruit bring a level of toxicity to situations. Just like on a tree, the good fruit gets picked. The bad fruit gets looked over. 

If you’re living for the Lord, don’t be surprised when the enemy gives you a hard time. You will most definitely be picked on. He can spot the ripe fruit of the Lord and he wants to mess with you. He doesn’t want you to be effective for God’s Kingdom. He will distract you in any way possible to shut you down from using your God given gifts and talents. “Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.” (‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭4‬:‭12‬-‭13‬ ‭NLT‬‬) The Bible tells us not to be surprised by trials. If you are helping advance God’s family in any way, the devil is not going to stand by and watch. No need to worry though. Jesus has already defeated him. He basically is a nuisance but we have to be on guard and stand our ground. It’s odd to think that following Jesus and “tough times” point to the fact that God is using us for His glory, but that’s the truth. We tend to think that if we’re walking with Jesus, everything should be smooth sailing. Not the case, my friend. The enemy takes notice of your goodness and desires to squash it. God, however, says that there’s goodness on the other side. 

Instead of being discouraged, keep going. Keep spreading kindness. Keep helping people. Keep pointing people to Jesus. This is how you combat the efforts of the enemy. Show him you’re not afraid. Remember, “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (‭‭I John‬ ‭4‬:‭4‬ ‭NKJV‬‬) This is key. The Greater One is in you. Almighty God is on your side! If people can see the good fruit God is producing in you, the kingdom of darkness can certainly see it too. This is a threat to your adversary. We are told in the Bible not to be ignorant of his devices. We are definitely in a war! “Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses.” (‭‭1 Timothy‬ ‭6‬:‭12‬ ‭NLT‬‬) Declaring the true faith is what makes you ripe fruit that’s refreshing to others. This is what changes lives. This is what points people to the One True God. God’s goodness brings light to the darkness. People will find peace and life when you are “ripe” with God’s Word and love. So, are you being picked on?

 

Today’s writer is Brandi Crowe. A hairdresser for over 25 years, she is currently the owner of Brandi Crowe salon in Buford, GA. She loves hiking, a good cup of coffee, and spending time with family and friends. Brandi lives in a custom farmhouse with her husband Robby and cat Harold.

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