Per usual conversations with God, one time I was pondering inquisitively with Holy Spirit, the great counselor and teacher,… “If You command us to, ‘Be Fruitful and Multiply,’ how do we do that?”
I walked into my art studio and grabbed an adult coloring book a friend of mine had published, thinking I’d distract myself in it while noodling and doodling on ‘the how.’ Only randomly opening to any page in the middle, proved to be not so random. The page I opened to was a garden floral design with the word ‘fruitful’ on it.
I didn’t even know the address of where the scriptures say God commands us to be fruitful and multiply, so I had to look them up. Both in
Genesis 1:28 Daddy told Adam and Eve
Genesis 9:1 and again in 9:7 Daddy told Noah and his sons,
“Be Fruitful and Multiply.”
Ok, great that was an old testament command, but my question is
How do we accomplish Your command, “Be fruitful and multiply?”
I did a word search for fruitful in the new testament and landed in John.
John 15: 16 You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you and I have appointed and placed and purposefully planted you, so that you would go and bear fruit and keep on bearing, and that your fruit will remain and be lasting, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name [as My representative] He may give to you.17 This [is what] I command you: that you love and unselfishly seek the best for one another.
Great! Chose us. Appointed us. Placed and purposefully planted us to not just bear fruit, but keep on bearing lasting fruit.
My immediate prayer was, “Teach us how to bear fruit that remains and how to multiply all of the resources You’ve entrusted us to steward. How do we do this?”
I felt God nudge my heart in a taunting way, shooting questions right back at me as if we were playing ping pong, “What was he talking about before this?”
So I bumped back further up in John and the verse before 16 literally shoved the light bulb on.
15 I do not call you servants any longer, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you [My]friends, because I have revealed to you everything that I have heard from My Father.
Serving doesn't create fruitfulness and multiplication, FRIENDSHIP does!
Friendship with Jesus via Holy Spirit, the conduit communicator that Jesus left for us when He died, came back to life and went to go hang out at the right hand of God on the throne. No plowing secrets. No Farmer John tips on agriculture. No how to ride the waves of the financial stock market trends. Just leaving slave status and accepting His friendship.
My spirit jumped seriously for joy, in that…one) I suck as a farmer and literally must have a black thumb as gardener and as a plant-mom and two) I am really good at being a friend. I could totally do friendship and not only be really good at friendship, but I would actually really sincerely like it and not at all feel obligated with absolutely no sweat or cringing angst about it. I’m so thankful that God ‘made-me’ for friendship. He actually designed and created us for exactly that. Remember verse 16? He chose us. He appointed us. He placed and purposefully planted us to be His friends.
I was so relieved that He is the way He is and not some mean crusty ogre that would be like the script writer in Indiana Jones and throw me into a pit of snakes or make me eat monkey brains or something like that, just to get me to fulfill His command to be fruitful and multiply.
Fruitfulness and multiplication isn't even ‘the thing,’ it's merely a resulting byproduct of the thing, which is actually friendship and fellowship.
At the time, Brad had recently preached about Praise and God's Presence and the interesting thing about praise, friendship and fellowship is it's the one thing that God cannot have or obtained in of Himself alone. Yes, there is all that (friendship/fellowship) amongst the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but they are One, and together They want a Kingdom Family and They need our free-will participation to have that.
After God shoved the lit up ping pong ball back at me, I felt Him ache in His heart for us all to understand Him better in our friendship with Him. He began to pour out His heart to me.
Somethings I feel He wants us to know about Friendship and Fellowship with Him:
He doesn’t want us to be unevenly yoked 2 Corinthians 6:14.
He designed us to have big askers and big thinkers. Read all of Ephesians 3.
He wants us to take Him at His word and TRUST His Authority through us, just like the Centurion in Matthew 8.
(Do you know that we can ‘amaze’ the Lord? He likes surprises too.)
He wants us to understand that that friendship with the world means enmity against God? James 4:4
He wants us to activate how Faith WITH Works PROVES Friendship. Abraham was considered His OT friend. James 2:22
He wants us to Acknowledge Him before others, so He can acknowledge us in Heaven and with Angels. Why do you think He wants to do that? Matt. 10:32 Luke 12:8
He told me this punny phrase (He must be into Dad jokes as well).
Tendship is Friendship
Of course like all good dad jokes it takes a second to let it sink in…
Do you Love me?
Feed My Lambs
Shepherd (TEND) My Sheep
Feed My Sheep
Stewardship of the mutually encouraging friendship that God offers to have with us equals:
Tending to the plants & animals & subduing the earth.
Tending a friendship.
Tending our first love.
So here was my next question and is now my activation question for you to invest some time pondering:
What makes someone a good friend? What makes someone a not so good friend?
I challenge you to think about that with Holy Spirit and enjoy going and being that good friend with Him.