“Longevity is a hidden secret for those who truly want incarnational fruit. This incarnational fruit doesn’t just happen. It happens over time, and the more time we can give to a community, a street, a school, a sports club, or a pub, the more impact we will have.” – Hugh Halter, from his book Flesh
Incarnational fruit is simply life-change among those who’ve been influenced by followers of Jesus because they embodied Jesus in their thoughts, words, and actions…wherever their lives were stationed.
I believe that Hugh Halter hits the nail on the head, because, if followers of Jesus are unwilling to consider putting down roots and sticking it out for the long haul, then we are, in many ways, forfeiting any hope of seeing incarnation fruit.
I realize that this is just not possible for certain individuals and families, based on their employment, etc. But there are definitely some among us of whom God is tapping on the shoulder, inviting them to embrace longevity and sink their roots for the sake of a community.
It’s a simple decision to embrace an awareness of God’s work among us. I’m reminded of a verse from the book of Acts, chapter 17, where the author communicates that, “from one man he made every nation of the human race to inhabit the entire earth, determining their set times and the fixed limits of the places where they would live…”
You see, I’m convinced that God desires to be dynamically involved in our lives. This involvement isn’t forced, it’s welcomed. Welcoming God’s rule and reign and involvement in our lives is a result of walking by faith and not by sight.
For many of us, welcoming God’s involvement and leadership in these ways is not going to come easy nor is it going to happen overnight. Perhaps the first step may be that we get to the point that we want this to be what we want. Even that is a way of positioning us toward allowing God to help us consider putting down roots for life.
I know, for me, that I’ve wrestled with this idea of longevity and am at the point where I know that I long to hear God’s voice and desire to obey. So, as I wait and listen, I look forward to God’s revelation in this area. For now, I commit to being present in the neighborhood where God has placed me. I choose to build friendships with those whose front doors are just 50 feet away from mine. And I”m looking for those places where my family and I frequent where we can continue to connect with the people who are there all the time. It might be the gym, or Starbucks…and that’s a great place to start.
Have you ever sensed that God is asking you to put down roots in a specific place for life for the sake of a community?