We all want to have fruit in our spiritual life. We want to be fruitful. We want the struggles to end and to have a peaceful productive life. So, let’s talk about spiritual fruit and what that means.
First, let’s discuss the sources of spiritual fruit. There is the fruit that is produced in us by the Holy Spirit. There is the fruit produced by our involvement in spiritual things. There is even fruit produced by Satan and his involvement in our lives through his army. Think about that. Three sources of fruit. Some fruit we do not want in our lives but often that fruit is there because of our flesh and our beliefs. That fruit is toxic to us when it remains there. It becomes toxic to our families, friends and others around us if we do not get rid of it.
Have you ever had a time where you felt defensive, hurt, angry, betrayed, or any number of other feelings associated with negative events or other people’s responses? That shows us the toxic fruit in our hearts. God wants to deliver us from that fruit and its effects. He wants to prune us in a way that will keep that fruit from returning. His pruning will produce excellent kingdom fruit in our hearts that will bless all who encounter us. God prunes us in many ways, each way removes the things in our hearts that hinder healthy growth and fruitfulness.
Satan’s power is counterfeit. It is always based on lies and deception. When he can convince us, amid difficult situations, of a lie that produces pain, we get stuck in that. When we bring that in all its rawness, to Christ, that allows the Holy Spirit to remove it and replace it with greater maturity and healthy fruit.
The picture that I have in my mind is a tree whose branches are scarred with a blight that hinders it from producing fruit that is palatable. The disease eats into the branches, crippling the tree. When the arborist comes, and sees the tree, he sees where pruning will change it. He removes branches that hinder the tree’s growth allowing the tree to grow in a different way. The arborist will come and tend the tree to be sure the blight is removed and cannot return. In time, the tree has grown and in its season, it begins to produce flowers and then fruit. Each season, the fruit gets better and the tree grows stronger.
So, how is fruit produced? The simple answer is that, there is God’s part and there is our part. Our part is being diligent in our communion with God and submitting our hearts, even the bad stuff, to God for Him to change us and mature us so that we produce good fruit. It is our part to seek God and His healing touch on our hearts. It is our part to let go of the blight in us when the Holy Spirit wants to remove it. He will never force us. He gave us the right to choose. But the best path to take is choosing for God to purge us of anything that does not reflect Christ, anything that does not produce His type of fruit.
God’s part as arborist of our souls, is to produce good fruit in our hearts. It is His work, not ours, that produces the fruit. All we do is submit to His work in us. Gal 5:22-23 says, “22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Each of these fruits are produced in us by purging our hearts of Satan’s lies and replacing those lies with the truth. Let me remind you, you cannot do anything in your own power and works to produce the fruit. That is the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. All we have to do is submit to what the Holy Spirit wants to do in our hearts. No amount of scripture reading or working in the church is going to change our hearts. Our creator alone can do that if we allow Him to.
Come before the Lord. Spend time with Him. Build relationship with Him. Read the Bible, God’s word. Listen when the Holy Spirit speaks into your heart. Ask God for wisdom and discernment. He will give it to you. He will create in you a new heart with His pruning. He will change you. He will mature you in the process. He uses so many methods. All we need is a willing heart.
May God bless you, keep you and renew your heart daily, creating a beautiful person, mature in relationship with Him and others!