"God didn't send me out to collect a following for myself, but to preach the Message of what He has done, collecting a following for Him" (1 Corinthians 1:17)

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Fruit of the Spirit

Scripture to reflect upon for Truth Tuesday: Galatians 5:22
The fruit of the Spirit is love, peace, patience, kindness,
goodness, faith, gentleness and self-control.

Does something seem odd to you in this scripture? There’s one word that seems to me that is “not like the other.”

The word “faith” as a fruit of the Spirit surprised me. I’ve read this scripture many times, but last night it jumped out at me: Faith? Why is faith a fruit of the Spirit? Isn’t faith something we’re supposed to just have?

Faith doesn’t come from within. It does not come from our own efforts. Look—the Word says so. Faith comes as a fruit. It is something we bear, share and wear. When scripture talks about fruit, what it’s referring to is what’s grown from our salvation. Jesus is the root of the Spirit, and much like a tree, stems off into different directions. When a tree is healthy, it will bear lush and beautiful foliage.

As the season of Fall bears on us, we may notice that the leaves are falling and dying. This is part of the process, too. We have to die to ourselves, and we usually need to do this often. Fruits are produced in season, and when eaten, it nourishes with its nutrients (love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control). When we feel out of season, that doesn’t mean it’s the end for us. That doesn’t mean it’s over and we won’t produce fruit again. It means we need time to recoup, regroup and reconsider what’s next in our lives.

God is always moving. He never stops even when we do. However, sometimes God needs us to stop. Too many times we have been working on auto-pilot when the leaves have died and the tree isn’t producing fruit; and when that happens, we find ourselves in misery. Instead of realizing that this is our season to rest in Christ, we try to do things through the flesh; we try to make things happen.

Let’s also keep in mind that the tree doesn’t do the dying. The leaves or the fruits do. The tree and the root are still active and alive. It is just waiting until the time is right to start blossoming again. Psalm 1:3 says, “He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season.” Our fruit always need to be produced in season, and it is watered by the Holy Spirit. When God calls us on assignment, He has already given us a strong, sturdy root in Christ. That’s where our faith stems from.

Notice the other “fruits” of the Spirit. Have you ever tried to do these on your own and only ended up frustrated and out of control instead of having self-control? It’s because we can’t do these things on our own; when we do, they are empty and hollow. There’s no real life in our own efforts of producing fruit. It’s like trying to manufacture fruit by using chemicals in hopes of replicating the real thing, but it offers no real nutrients that benefit those who eat it.

NOTE TO SELF: We can’t force to produce fruit in our lives, and we surely can’t make the tree bear fruit that is out of season. Allow the Spirit to be your root and produce sweet fruit in season.

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