No Root, No FruitHave you ever wondered why you do what you do?
One former Navy pilot tells how he was living a wilder life than he knew he should live. He decided his problem was that he was being led astray by his friends in flight training. So he arranged to finish his work in the program early and be transferred to another field nearby. Yet, it wasn't long, he said, before he was back in the same old bars, with the same girls, just with different friends. One night out-on-the-town he wondered, "Why do I do this?" And he realized, "Because I like to."
Before a person becomes a Christian-I mean a real Christian, not just someone who says he is-his "want-to" is broken. He is not interested in God. He is bored by church and by reading his Bible. He cannot "make" himself "want to" do right and he cannot "make" himself "want not" to do wrong. When a person is born again, God repairs his "want-to." Even though he still feels the pull of temptation, he will have a new set of desires. He will love God and want to talk to God in prayer and see what God has to say to him in His Word, the Bible. He wants to be around other people who love God; church attendance becomes meaningful. There is a new desire to obey God.
Why do we do what we do? The answer is simple: we do what we do because of what we are. It's like fruit trees. Apple trees bear apples, pear trees produce pears, peach trees grow peaches. The fruit is the natural result of the nature of the tree. I suppose you could tie apples to a peach tree, but that would not make it an apple tree. In the same way, adding religious activities to one's schedule doesn't make one a Christian. Just as the fruit of the tree naturally flows from the nature of the tree, even so the attitudes, words, and actions of our lives reveal the true nature of ourselves.
Jesus said, "Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit....Therefore, by their fruits you will know them" (Mat 7:17}, (Mat 7:20).