When the Holy Spirit controls our lives he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control; .
This is a common verse for most of us…. but my prayer is for us to read it with FRESH eyes today.
Fruit doesn’t develop overnight. It begins with a seed that is planted and then needs nourishment.
A planted seed of any kind needs good soil, water, sun light and attention.
But here is what I do… I try HARD somedays to muster up joy. Or be “more” patient with my children. I want to appear kind so I will talk softer to my husband. Or maybe I do nice things for people to appear “good”.
But the reality of these actions (although none of my efforts are bad) are they are just acts. The Fruits of the Spirit aren’t mustered up by me… they are PRODUCED by the Holy Spirit.
HOLY Produce! Ha! I love it! Now THAT is the outer aisle I shop on!
And the only way for the Holy Spirit to produce ANYTHING in our lives is our caring well for the seed He plants in us. And what does caring well for metaphorical seed even mean?! Well…
This looks like:
Being in healthy community with those who sharpen you
Talking to the Lord in prayer throughout the day
Filling our hearts and mind with praise and worship
Reading and reflecting on Scripture. Even if it is just a simple verse.
These are all examples of the watering, nourishing and attending to our seed.
Let us not forget pruning, as well. Yes. That part too.
Pruning, in the traditional sense, is “the cutting away of unwanted parts of a plant for more fruitful growth and shaping. You should prune a plant or shrub to remove crossed, damaged or diseased branches which will stress the plant.” When we really begin allowing the Lord access into our lives, to free us and change us, He begins snipping away crossed and diseased areas that aren’t allowing more fruit to bear.
Bitterness. Unforgiveness. Addiction. Over-eating. Under-eating. Excessive spending. Deceitfulness. Unhealthy relationships. etc…. Any area in our lives that stunts growth He will to cut back – not to be cruel BUT BECAUSE HE GIVES ABUNDANT LIFE. And dead things can’t live in that abundance.
Pruning is painful. But always fruitful.
And always for our good.
- What area of your life is God snipping today? How can you give Him more access to this area of your heart? If it is difficult to allow Him to prune this area, talk to Him about it.
- And how can we water the seed He has entrusted to us? What does that attention to seed look like in your life today?