“Don’t look at the fruit of their gift, look at the fruit of their lives”
-Scott Ross Ligterwood-

If there’s one thing 2020 has taught me, is that FAMILY OVER EVERYTHING really is TRUE!!!! Over lock down we could hardly operate in our giftings because everything was shut down. We couldn’t stand on pulpits and stages and sing our hearts out. All we did was eat, sleep, Netflix, do live videos and be in the house with our families!!! Covid-19 pandemic has been terrible. I do however think there’s always a silver lining in all things. Lockdown was uncomfortable and weird, but strangely needed because it brought us to a pause, back to reality and back to what truly really matters!!! FACING OUR FAMILIES AND FACING OURSELVES! The fruit of our lives were put more to the test than the fruit of our gifts!

2020 has been a year of awakening and getting back to basics! Our families! God’s original structure, which He so highly values. The question now is, worship leaders, who are we to our families? How do they see us? Are they blessed by us as much as the masses are blessed by our gifts? It really was a test of the fruit of the Spirit. Are you long suffering, patient and kind? There were days when I would not leave my room because I wanted to watch a series and just really be in my zone and be by myself. My mom would “disturb” me a lot and I felt the Holy Spirit tell me I needed to be more kind and accommodative. So I listened and let my mom to join in on the fun and we spent the day and night watching Money Heist series. We would even fight coz she’d wanna take breaks and I’m a marathon kinda girl, lol. I don’t stop the series till I’m done. These are memories I’ll cherish forever! How I had to explain certain parts, and just seeing her so invested into the series as I was, got me cracking up. She still asks when the next season is coming. “Kanti i-part two iyo fika nini Lebo?” Lol, I had to learn to accommodate her and I learnt compromise. (Sometimes taking a break when I actually didn’t want to). The time I started spending with my mom was my worship to God. I’m quite sure He was smiling down and so pleased to see that kind of an environment in the house.

I think we like to complicate things and don’t see God in the little things. How laughter, joy and conversation are a sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit in a home. The Holy Spirit who hovers over a home, bringing in joy and peace. This is as important as having a good atmosphere of worship in a church service. Our homes should be our place of worship, in the way that our lives affect those we live with. We cannot be a blessing to the masses and not start at home. It’s not always easy because family dynamics vary and our backgrounds are not the same.

I want to encourage us to seek God for ourselves more than we do for our gifts. Let us need Him to make us better people for the people around us. Let’s lead worship in our families too. Especially in the way that we treat them. And of course in song as well! It’s so much fun, intimate and God is touched by families that seek Him together by having devotional time.

It’s natural to depend on our gifts because we live in a world that constantly wants to see results of what we do more than the results of who we are outside of our gifts. Sometimes the result is that you had a meaningful conversation with your brother and got to know him a little better. And that the conversation somehow has brought better understanding and enlightenment of some sort. Our gifts are not the end all. Our lives and how much they enrich those around us matters just as our gifts do. You may ask yourself, how do I make it a point to consider the fruit of my life more than I place importance on the fruit of my gift? By abiding in the true vine! John 15 tells us that we bear fruit by staying connected to God. We live off the root, not the fruit. So it’s not so much about trying using our own strength, rather our part is to read the Word of God, which teaches us how to live. To constantly be prayed up, not forsaking the gathering of believers as it stirs up our faith. We don’t produce good fruit by running away from sin, but sin falls off as we fully pursue Jesus. It is the work of the Holy Spirit inside of us, who only needs us to abide in Him. You will see how God makes you better and how He is glorified through families.
I think this is applicable even to those that live with housemates, those in friendships and relationships. May our lives bless those closest to us as our gifts bless the ones that receive from afar.

Love Lebo!!!!