“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22&23
Observation: When we are living life through the Spirit of God our qualities become more like His. I do not have many of these qualities. And I need them.
Breaking down the concept of fruit, how does one get fruit? Through a plant. How does one grow a plant? By planting a seed. How does one get a good, healthy, strong plant that grows amazingly delicious fruit? By planting it in good soil and tending to it.
I can see that I’m missing some of the fruit of the Spirit in my life, and I’m convicted. I have not been tending the seed of faith that God gave me, and I may even be polluting it’s soil.
On a side note, this realization has nothing to do with anyone else. I’m the kind of person that will compare things in my life to anyone else’s, and this conviction has nothing to do with anyone I have compared myself with, it’s just a straight up message from God that’s popped up on my hard drive. As Galatians says in chapter 6, each one should test his own actions so that he can take pride in himself without comparing himself to somebody else, because each one should carry their own load.
Application: I have this conviction that I need to start “tending the garden”, so to speak. And I feel, above the human tendency toward shame and guilt, blessed to have a God who wants to show me that I need to change some things. His guidance and mercy in this revelation gives me more faith in what He can do, and more determination to start “tending the garden”. So how do I do this?
I read recently that the fruit of the Spirit grows in the soil of obedience. Them’s strong words for a rebellious sinner like me. But I’ve thought of two things that will hopefully aid me in using this statement as encouragement.
For one, the H. Sizzle works in us in ways that we can’t even imagine, because it’s the Spirit of God and He can do all things. He can do things like take the small amount of patience, kindness, or joy that I have and turn it into a mountain of fruit. He can take any small investment and turn it into a huge return. So while I take small steps in faith I know that God will have a wonderful journey set out ahead of me.
Secondly, I do recall that in Isaiah even Jesus “grew up before him like a young plant”. Jesus himself had to deal with the temptations and trials of being human. Sure, Son of God, absolutely perfect and all that, but then this description… Because he was also human. It wasn’t necessarily the fact that He is the Son of God that made Him grow so well. Looking at the Gospels show that He wasn’t just preaching the gospel and sleeping and eating, He took the time to cultivate His garden. So while I am not perfect in any way, I still find encouragement in that the most perfect Son of God still “tended His garden”.
Prayer: God, thank You for being able to bring me into places where I can be repentant and hopeful. Thank You for being merciful enough to forgive me for being imperfect, and still desiring to draw me closer to You. You know how weak my will is, how difficult it is for me to change, but You are bigger and stronger than my will ever is. Thank You for sending the Holy Spirit and for the work that will be done in me. While I try to take the steps towards obedience I pray that You will guide my feet and give me endurance. Thank You for being with me every step of the way.