“Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard him, and observed him: I am like a green fir tree. From me is thy fruit found. Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the Lord are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein.” – Hosea 14:8-9
Once we come to the knowledge of Jesus, the next step is to put our full trust in Him and come into obedience to that knowledge. Once we hear the voice of the Lord, we must lay aside all idols an follow His ways only. What constitutes as an idol? Anything you serve, trust, or give your attention to before God, and that includes your self. Yes, you can actually make yourself an idol by putting more trust in your self and serving your own understanding, logic, and desires instead of trusting God. This simple reality is what holds most people back from walking in victory and true righteousness. They come to know of God and even have a desire to be His but never truly put their trust in Him enough to walk in His ways and abandon their own.
“For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” – Romans 10:2-3
Our opening passage states that “the wise know that God’s ways are right” and put their trust in Him. When you truly lay down your self idolatry (or trust in yourself more then your trust in God), then you are finally able to put your faith in Him. At which point He will then release His grace to empower you to walk righteously, doing good works, and baring good fruit.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” – Ephesians 2:8-10
You see, when you make yourself an idol and trust yourself you will only produce bad fruit. This is because when your trust is in your self or your own abilities and understanding, you can’t truly be saved. Why? Because we are saved by grace, and grace only comes by way of faith, and faith is putting your trust in God, in His Words and instructions, and in all His ways. However, once we finally abandon our trust in ourselves and place it fully in God, His power then is given to us and flows through us, producing good fruit.
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.” – John 15:4-8
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22-23
Jesus is the vine and we are grafted branches, once dead but now alive through Him. When we stop trusting our dead works and connect with Jesus like a dead branch that is connected to a live vine, His grace can then flow through us like the life giving sap and waters that flow from the living vine to the dead branch bringing it to life and causing it to bare much fruit. However, we have to do more then know that the vine is real, that it’s right there, that it is full of grace and can bring us back to life. We have to actually connect with it, abandon all that we are and become part of it, trusting that it’s fruits are better and it will bring forth much good fruit in us.
“As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him. For who is God save the Lord? or who is a rock save our God? It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect. He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and setteth me upon my high places. He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms. Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.” – Psalms 18:30-35