Focus on Roots, Not Fruit

Sep 4, 2019 -- Posted by : RyanHaley

If you’re like me, you have a natural default to focus directly on outcomes and not the process. This is a natural human tendency, and it can get us in trouble sometimes. Matthew 6:33 in The Passion Translation (TPT) says it this way: "So above all, constantly chase after the realm of God’s kingdom and the righteousness that proceeds from him. Then all these less important things [food, drink, clothing; i.e., our material human needs and desires] will be given to you abundantly" (emphasis mine).

How much time do you spend thinking, worrying, and chasing after the “less important things” of life? This can include money, health, opportunities, and even relationships. We try to accomplish these things for ourselves, but God wants them to be given to us by Him. It’s very uncomfortable and counterintuitive for us to go against the grain of our human logic by not directly achieving these outcomes by our effort and wisdom. It doesn’t seem “right” to give up our anxious striving and instead focus more of our energy in sitting quietly in stillness with God to ask Him for what we need and listen to what He’s telling us.

Yet that is what will ultimately accomplish far more than anything we could do in our own human abilities. God can accomplish far more in one moment than we ever could in an entire lifetime. Jesus says in John 15:4-5, So you must remain in life-union with me, for I remain in life-union with you. For as a branch severed from the vine will not bear fruit, so your life will be fruitless unless you live your life intimately joined to mine. I am the sprouting vine and you’re my branches. As you live in union with me as your source, fruitfulness will stream from within you–but when you live separated from me you are powerless. (TPT) The secret is in focusing on the root, and not the fruit.

What does this mean, practically? It means putting our focus on: beliefs, not behaviors; God, not ourselves; Grace, not Law; process, not outcomes. This may seem indirect and inefficient since we desire expedience: to go directly in a straight line from Point A to Point B. Though this may partially work on a short-term basis, it will never bring us the sustainable long-term results we truly desire. It’s like trying to constantly purify water downstream from a poisoned well. It might result in some amount of drinkable water for a short time, but it won’t ultimately solve the problem. We have to address the issue from the source.

Initially, cleaning a poisoned well may take more time and effort with little to no immediate results. But once it’s done, it’ll be the gift that keeps on giving. From a business perspective, you can think of it as making the up-front investment of capital and time to create an assembly line for cars. If it takes 6 months to get the assembly line built, you won’t be producing any cars, revenues, or profits during that time. The guy making the cars manually will be producing more during those 6 months.

But once it’s built, you’ll be cranking out cars in record time with more efficiency and effectiveness; very quickly surpassing the output of the manual process. So it is with our focus and thinking. It may take awhile to dismantle the old system of wrong thinking and believing and to then build the “assembly line” of right thinking and believing from changing our focus from ourselves to God. Once done, though, it will “produce” far more in our lives and the lives of others.

If we were to spend a fraction of the time praying and seeking God for solutions to the myriad questions and problems in our lives and businesses as we do on trying to figure it all out on our own, we would eventually see supernatural results and outcomes. As I frequently say on the podcast, when we live this way our lives and businesses will demand a supernatural explanation. And the beauty of it is that we will not only get much better results, we will be doing it without the stress and anxiety that comes from doing it on our own. After a while of practicing God’s Presence, it will come naturally and effortlessly as a result of being in “flow” and alignment with Him.

As Jesus said in the above verse, “fruitfulness will stream from within you”. We will then be living from the inside-out, and not the outside-in: what is on the inside of us (peace, joy, provision, assurance) will affect the outside world of circumstances and outcomes, instead of circumstances and outcomes affecting what and how we think and feel.

Application: How can you go from focusing on “fruit” (behaviors and outcomes) to “root” (thinking patterns and beliefs)? Take some time every day to invite Jesus into the challenges of your business and life, and wait to see how He changes things through His power and abilities as you live in life-union with Him as your Source.

When you have, write in to share your testimony!

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