"But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things, there is no law." Letter from Apostle Paul to the Galatians
It Ain’t A Fruit Salad
"Why can't I be more loving?"
"I don't feel any joy."
"I need some peace."
"Oh, Lord, give me patience now!"
"I need to be kinder."
"Oh, to be a 'good man'."
"I just need more faith!"
"I should be more gentle."
"I need more self-control."
I often hear the above sayings.
The most common one would be, "I hate to ask for patience, for I know God will increase the trials I am going through!".
Is the fruit of the Spirit like a variety of spices that a chef would add to his creations?
A little of this, more of that, etc.
It is not.
It is the very presence of Jesus Christ living in us by His Holy Spirit.
We cannot produce the fruit of the Holy Spirit; we can only bear it.
In other words, it is not from any effort or straining that we produce fruit but by being a branch joined to the vine.
In abiding and being held by Christ, we can bear His fruit.
As with most things involving the Spirit, He is the agent for completion.
The harder we try to abide, the harder it is to do.
It is like straining against Chinese handcuffs; the harder you pull, the tighter you are bound.
Abiding comes through trusting, not trying.
My prayer for all of us is that we bear much fruit as He moves His life-giving sap through our lives.
What do your prayers sound like when you pray to become more fruitful?
Lord, lead us into intimacy with You. Hold us as the vine holds the branch. Just like where the vine and branch meet, may we become indistinguishable from You in how we love others. Amen