Fruit is something that comes with God’s Spirit, people often remind us. The fruit of God’s Spirit includes love, joy, peace, and such (Galatians 5). There’s no law against such things: these are some of the things that God is for. These are things that God grows in us.
And since we’re not farmers, we tend to think that fruit is something that happens by itself. God sends the growth; we just watch and marvel.
Those who are farmers understand there’s a bit more to creating a successful harvest. Fruit left to grow on its own can turn out less than lovely.
Late frost may mar the fruit with a brown ring where the bud was damaged. Insects and caterpillars drill into the fruit’s young flesh, taking meals that misshape the produce. Weather too wet or too dry causes growth to be too fast or too slow so the fruit that is beginning to sprout may split its skin. Fungus infections or insect infestations can leave scabs on the skin.
Fighting Pests to Protect the Fruit
Farmers learn how to battle the forces that battle their fruit. Whether they manage their crops with herbicides and pesticides or use traditional organic crop management techniques, they manage their crops. If they fail to manage their crops, their crops won’t represent their farm with quality. Their crops won’t feed their families and their communities. God sends the sun and the rain, but God makes the farmer responsible to care for everything the farmer can do. Like the vineyard manager in Luke 13, who knew that the fig tree needed a fourth year of organic fertilizer dug in around its roots before it would bear fruit (Luke 13:6-8).
What Pests Attack Your Spiritual Fruit?
So are there any “insects” or “fungus” or “bad weather” that you need to battle if you are going let God grow spiritual fruit in your life? What gets in the way of God growing love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-discipline in you?
What seems like an enemy to one kind of spiritual fruit might very well be part of the training for another. My lack of faithfulness and self-discipline gets shown up pretty regularly in visible “bad spots” on my joy and peace. I know I need to get those “bad spots” in my life in order if I want to see good fruit in the rest.
Which fruit is God growing in you? What “bad spots” are you battling now? Are you gaining some ground? Give thanks for the success God has given so far!