I will sing for the one I love a song about his vineyard: My loved one had a vineyard on a fertile hillside. He dug it up and cleared it of stones and planted it with the choicest vines. He built a watchtower in it and cut out a winepress as well. Then he looked for a crop of good grapes, but it yielded only bad fruit. “Now you dwellers in Jerusalem and people of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard. What more could have been done for my vineyard than I have done for it? When I looked for good grapes, why did it yield only bad? Now I will tell you what I am going to do to my vineyard: I will take away its hedge, and it will be destroyed; I will break down its wall, and it will be trampled. I will make it a wasteland, neither pruned nor cultivated, and briers and thorns will grow there. I will command the clouds not to rain on it.” The vineyard of the Lord Almighty is the nation of Israel, and the people of Judah are the vines he delighted in. And he looked for justice, but saw bloodshed; for righteousness, but heard cries of distress. Isaiah 5:1-7 NIV
We may be deceived into thinking that once we get saved, it’s all done and settled, but the truth of the matter is that God has expectations of us. There is no farmer who takes his precious time to prepare his farm for planting, sows seeds and cultivates it to ensure that no weeds grow on it that could hinder the growth of the crops without expecting harvests or fruits at the end of the day. Likewise, every business person invests his time and resources in terms of finances, taking all the risks, with an expectation that he will have returns once his investment matures.
Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’ “ ‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’ ” Luke 13:6-9 NIV
This is the same with God. Man is God’s investment. He gives man all, expecting harvests and fruits from him at the end of the day.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful… This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples… You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last ~ John 15:1-2, 8, 16 NIV
This is why He commanded man to be fruitful in the beginning (Gen 1:28). God gave man the best, and in return, He expected the best from him. But it never happened. Adam ended up messing big time. And this is where trouble started. He fell short of God’s expectations and when it happened, he suffered the consequences. Everytime we fall short of God’s expectations, we suffer the consequences.
Queen Vashti, for example, was demoted as a queen and her place taken by another because she fell short of the king’s expectations (Esther 1:19); God took away the kingdom from king Saul because he failed to do what He expected him to do (1 Samuel 15:28); He saved the children of Israel to possess Canaan by driving out the foreign nations and destroying their places of worship, but when they didn’t He gave them over to their enemies (Judges 2:3). For others, destinies were delayed and or terminated like in the case of the children of Israel. They perished in the wilderness and the survivors reached Canaan after forty years. We also interfere with God’s plans and purposes for our lives.
This is not meant to portray God as the one who is quick to judge and punish, far from it. He is always ready to forgive, restore and give us another chance if we are repentant, ready and willing to do what He has called us to do, like in the case of Jonah for example. But He has also declared that His Spirit will not contend with man forever. This means that we must make up our minds and position ourselves to be used of God and do what He has called us to do.