But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Gal 5:22-23
I don’t know how many times I have prayed for a fruit of the Spirit to be delivered to me. When I’m not feeling joyful or loving or patient or peaceful, I pray that I will be gifted with those attributes. When I’m spiraling wildly, I realize that I desperately need self-control. …And why don’t I have it, anyway? After all, I am a born-again believer. I received the Spirit, so where is the fruit?
And this morning my pencil wrote the words, “But fruit needs to be cultivated.” I looked at my page in surprise. Of course. Why have I never thought of that before?
Sometimes trees don’t bear fruit. There was one like that in Luke 13.
And He began telling this parable: “A man had a fig tree which had been planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and did not find any. 7 And he said to the vineyard-keeper, ‘Behold, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree without finding any. Cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground?’ 8 And he answered and said to him, ‘Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer; 9 and if it bears fruit next year, fine; but if not, cut it down.’”
Am I allowing the vineyard-keeper to cultivate me or am I just encumbering the ground? Thanks be to God that He is patient, giving me another year, more time to be cultivated, to produce more fruit for Him.
Dig around me, Lord! Cultivate this Spirit within me and help it to grow, to outgrow me! And that nasty stuff that gets dumped on me sometimes? Help me to realize that it’s fertilizer!