Jesus has appointed us to produce results. In the kingdom of God, results reinforce faith in action and secondly, the Bible says faith without works is dead (James 2:26). Using information from agriculture as a basis for explaining faith in action, Jesus points to producing fruit in one of His teachings. In fact, bearing fruit is so essential, He notes that producing fruit is also connected to having what we ask from the Father:
“Ye did not choose me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that ye should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should abide: [so] that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, He may give it [to] you” (John 15:16, ASV).
What makes this verse especially intriguing is the Lord’s declaration of “appointing” the disciples to produce fruit. When we understand the revelation behind the appointing to produce, we can place a demand on the appointment to achieve results.
“Ye did not choose me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that ye should go and bear fruit…”
Set in Place to Produce
In the above verse, the Greek word for appointed [τίθημι], means to place, lay, and set. Stated directly, Jesus appointed [set] the disciples’ [in place] to produce fruit. Producing fruit is a characteristic of the appointment and is also a condition for having what we want from the Father.
Furthermore, the fruit we produce should abide. Abiding fruit is the result of a spiritually disciplined life. Spiritual discipline is a process, and discipline is sustained when we follow Holy Spirit.
The first disciples had Jesus to instruct them in the principles of faith, but once He left the earth, they received their directives from Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit stepped in and continued to sharpen their faith and refine their ability to produce lasting fruit.
Because we are appointed and set in place by Jesus to produce, we can meet the condition for obtaining what we ask from God. In the kingdom, when Jesus sets something in place, it remains until and unless He moves it. It’s easy to have confidence in our ability to produce abiding fruit when we know we are immovable.
Everyone who has received Jesus produces some fruit when they apply kingdom principles to their lives, but abiding fruit is the result of those who have welcomed discipleship.
First, what does it mean to abide?
7 “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatsoever ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; and so shall ye be my disciples” (John 15:7-8, ASV).
Abide [μείνῃ], translated in the Greek means: remain, dwell, continue, tarry, and endure. Disciples dwell in Jesus, He is our home. We tarry in Jesus, waiting on the promises of God, and we also endure in Jesus—we remain and abide in Him no matter the persecution or the cost. The fruit we produce should contain the same distinction.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, [and] self-control (Galatians 5:22-23, NKJV).
Abiding fruit requires intimacy with Holy Spirit. We produce abiding fruit by applying kingdom principles to our circumstances, but we learn how to apply those principles with the help of Holy Spirit. He shapes us for service and prepares us for new appointments. He gives us the capacity to grow in our authority as we learn to demonstrate our faith in each assignment.
When we abide, remain, dwell, tarry and endure, we are positioned to produce fruit that lingers and we are accepted as His disciples.
Secondly, what is the Biblical definition of a disciple? According to Jesus, a disciple is one who gives up everything to follow Him:
So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple (Luke 14:33, NKJV).
Disciples Produce Results
Not everyone who believes in Jesus is a disciple. True disciples forsake everything for their appointment. The abiding fruit they produce in the kingdom is the result of continual devotion to Jesus. They forsake all others in order to serve at the bequest of Jesus as He desires.
Disciples allow God to cultivate their internal soil, pruning what needs to be cut back, and removing what needs to be cleared away. They throw aside useless knowledge making room for revelation so they are fit for service in the kingdom. Revelation is to the spirit-man what fertilizer is to a plot of land. Both are needed to produce growth.
Additionally, true students of faith allow the Spirit of God to mold them and shape them into tools for the Master’s use. Moreover, the student adapting to the rigorous training of faith produces fruit that supersedes the fruit of others.
Producing Requires Faith
Everything we do for God must be done by faith. Faith pleases God and He has given each of us a measure of faith for kingdom living. He has also blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3) giving us a leg up over our adversaries. Through faith, we produce significant results, but results must meet certain requirements.
For example, if we’re not producing fruit in keeping with repentance (Matthew 3:8) it will be difficult to receive a good harvest. Repentance simply means we turn away from principles that conflict with the Lord’s way of doing life. God is a rewarder of those who seek Him, but we have to seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). Casual Christians don’t walk upon high places and shift atmospheres. True discipleship is seeking Jesus and applying His teachings to our lives in order to produce results for the kingdom. Intimacy with Christ produces fruit and producing fruit is a condition of having what we will.
Appointed to Serve
We’re appointed to serve and each appointment gives us license to demonstrate our authority in the earth. Jesus is the Head of the Church and just as He has appointed the offices of the five-fold ministry, He appoints each one of us to produce results that promote and edify the kingdom.
Just as we trust in the saving power of Jesus Christ to restore us to God, we’re to trust in the appointment for service. We can do all things through Christ and He backs us through the office of our appointment.
No military general places a commanding officer into combat without giving them access to the support and resources of that office. The same can be said for Jesus who assures us we will be producers in life if we utilize the support and resources made available through the office of our appointment. If He says we are appointed to bear fruit and that fruit will remain, then it will. We must personally decide if we’re going to accept the appointment and allow Him to transform our lives.
On a side note: appointments can expire and what is set in place can be moved. As we grow in faith, appointments will change. These changes give us the opportunity to increase our faith leading to more appointments. Each new appointment increases our spiritual understanding and leads to improved results. These appointments are meant to develop our faith and advance the kingdom.
One of the Chosen
Disciples are chosen by Jesus to advance the kingdom (Luke 4:43; Luke 9:2; Luke 12:31). Jesus said, “Many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:14). The chosen receive the appointment and the authority that comes with the appointment.
Many people are called to duty, but only a select few occupy positions of great authority. Usually, those who secure positions executing great authority have been tested under harsh conditions. They have proven they can make wise decisions without emotionality. Moreover, appointed people typically have characteristics that set them apart from others. They are distinguishable from the ordinary.
The Appointment Sets Us Apart
The appointment of Jesus sets us apart from the carnally-minded Christian. The disciple seeks to become like Jesus so he can establish the will of God in the earth.
The Apostle Paul encouraged the Corinthian church to separate itself from the influence of the world so they would be received by God. Friendship with the world is rebellion against God (James 4:4) and it’s nearly impossible to produce good fruit when aligned with the children of the devil. Once we are appointed to produce, our lives take on a very different structure than those of the world. The appointment sets us apart from the carnally-minded Christian and places us in position to bear much fruit.
17 “Therefore “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.” 18 “I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the Lord Almighty” (2 Corinthians 6:17-18, NKJV).
God is a Father to those who choose Jesus over the enticements of the world and He appoints them to help advance the kingdom. Remember, Jesus said unless one is willing to leave all for Him, they cannot be His disciple (Luke 14:33). Simply put, some appointments are weighty and will require great sacrifice; these appointments will even dictate how we prioritize time with friends and family.
The Appointment Dictates Our Response to Others
Jesus made His kingdom appointment a priority. At the tender age of twelve, after a Jewish festival, His parents found Him in the temple speaking with teachers and rabbis. When His mother questioned Him about leaving the caravan after the festival, He curtly informed her He was about His Father’s business. Even at the age of twelve, Jesus understood His appointment and He conducted His life to reflect that knowledge.
The mature in Christ understand this desire and like Jesus, they work with God to establish Heaven on earth (Matthew 6:10). These same people focus on kingdom business and allow Holy Spirit to condition them for service. Holy Ghost training is sometimes rigorous but it builds our faith and equips us to manifest the supernatural works of Christ.
Like the disciples before us, we too submit to spiritual boot camp in order to acquire strong faith and to pursue the call of God upon our lives. We also have the joy of winning others to the Lord and appointing them to ministry as the Lord allows. Developing others to know their kingdom purpose is an important attribute of Christian growth and maturity. Those developing others to serve as appointed will receive great rewards for their sacrifice.
Furthering the kingdom is priority number one. This is evidenced in the way Jesus communicated to others about His mission. The Bible says He went about doing good everywhere, preaching and demonstrating the Kingdom. Kingdom business is healing the sick, casting out devils and raising the dead. Kingdom business is also manifesting the fruit of the Spirit and teaching others to do the same.
Demonstrating Miracles in the Appointment
Before sending the disciples into service, Jesus demonstrated results in His own appointment. Among the many things He was appointed to do, He was appointed to perform miracles. His first public miracle occurred at a wedding feast after his mother approached Him for help with the wine. (His mother knew He could work miracles otherwise there would be no reason to approach Him for help.) It’s also interesting to note that Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding feast; so it’s safe to assume the disciples were in training well before Jesus performed His first public miracle.
When Jesus is asked to do something about the wine, His reply to his mother is remarkable:
On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and 2 Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the celebration. 3 When the wine ran out, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They don’t have any wine.” 4 Jesus replied, “Woman, what does that have to do with me? My time hasn’t come yet.” 5 His mother told the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” (John 2:1-5, CEB)
Even though Jesus wasn’t ready to publicly perform miracles, He still had the backing [authority] of His appointment and He placed a demand on the appointment in order to meet His mother’s request. Incidentally, this was also the manifestation of power that launched Him into public ministry.
The Bible doesn’t state if Mary perceived it was His “time” to step out or not, but Jesus was compelled to fulfill her appeal. Perhaps, the feat at the wedding feast in Cana really was His divine appointment; but regardless, He demonstrated a great miracle in His appointment and was thrust into ministry.
The Fig Tree
Like the miracle at the wedding feast, in the story of the fig tree, we see Jesus performing another significant feat when He curses the tree:
18 Now in the early morning, when He was returning to the city, He became hungry. 19 And seeing a lone fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it except leaves alone; and He *said to it, “No longer shall there ever be any fruit from you.” And at once the fig tree withered (Matthew 21:18-19, NASB).
It’s interesting the tree wasn’t in season for figs; yet when Jesus approached the tree, He expected to find figs anyway. Like turning the water into wine, an expectation was placed upon the appointed time of His arrival. It didn’t matter if the tree wasn’t in season.
Meeting expectation is a fruit of faith. For example, if someone approaches us for deliverance, we should be ready and able to deliver. Faith doesn’t have to wait on seasons and cycles; it is activated when we decree and command it to produce what we desire. No matter the season, we should be ready to produce the fruit of faith when the expectation presents itself. Jesus was in a state of readiness whether the moment called for teaching, preaching, healing or feeding the masses. In every scenario, as He ministered, He demonstrated His preparation in each office He was appointed. We are exhorted to do the same:
Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. (2 Timothy 4:2, KJV).
When we’ve been appointed, just like Jesus, we can produce results whether we’re in season or out of season. The ability to bear fruit is in the authority of the appointment.
Jesus told the disciples they were chosen and appointed to bear fruit. He also said their fruit was to abide. The fruit we produce is contingent upon our walk with God. If we’re carnally minded, we’re not abiding in Him, and our harvest, if any, will be small. Producing lasting fruit is contingent upon our obedience to the instructions of Jesus and our willingness to leave all to become His disciple.
Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; 20 and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, 21 whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things, about which God spoke by the mouths of His holy prophets from ancient times (Acts 3:19-21, NASB).
The disciples said yes to Jesus and he appointed them to service in the kingdom. He desires the same for us. We have the support and resources of the office we occupy. Like Jesus and the disciples, we make kingdom business a priority above all else and we reap the benefits of those sacrifices. As we train with Holy Spirit to produce results, our appointment makes room for us to share the supernatural with others. Furthermore, as we utilize the authority in the office of the appointment, we bear lasting fruit and position ourselves to have what we will from God. We also demonstrate powerful feats of faith in service to the kingdom.
©2021, What You Will