How do you know if your life is producing healthy spiritual fruit? A recent doctor’s visit revealed I needed a spiritual adjustment.
“Your blood pressure is high. Is that normal for you?” the nurse asked.
“Not usually. But my GPS trapped me in the parking garage and had me driving in circles for twenty minutes before it took me out only to bring me back into the same garage on the other side.”
My circumstances justified my soaring blood pressure, didn’t they? Or maybe they only revealed another problem illustrated by a plant on my friend’s screened porch.
Too Little Sunshine
Kelly noticed wilting leaves on the small tree inside her porch. On further inspection, she noted the side that faced outside sprouted healthy new growth. Could lack of sunshine be the problem?
She turned the shriveling side toward the sun. Several days later, tender green sprouts budded among the yellowed leaves.
Perhaps like me you’ve read the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control) in Galatians 5:22-23 and realized your spiritual fruit isn’t as vibrant as you want. I blamed my wilted peace in the parking garage on my GPS, when what I needed was more Son-shine.I blamed my wilted peace in the parking garage on my GPS, when what I needed was more Son-shine. #Fruitfulness, #Abide Click To Tweet
We’re tempted to focus on the withered fruit. How often have I bemoaned my lack of patience? But focusing on patience hasn’t made me more patient. I need the Holy Spirit’s power and life flowing through me.
Kelly could have pruned, watered, sprayed, and fertilized the sick side of the tree. But the tree needed sunshine.
When my patience withers, I can pause and take a deep breath, but unless I reconnect with Jesus, the benefit of that deep breath will be limited at best. Putting my roots deep into the soil of God’s love revives me and produces sweet fruit.
How Do I Produce Good Spiritual Fruit?
- Check your roots. Are they deeply rooted in the right soil?
Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness” (Col. 2:7 NLT).
I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. … Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God” (Ephes. 3:16-21 NLT).
- Check your connection. Are you plugged into the Spirit or the flesh (human nature)?
Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing” (Jn. 15:4-5 NLT).
“Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness. So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me” (2 Cor. 12:9 NLT).
Withering fruit reminds us to check our power source. Next time you notice your peace and joy shriveling, remember Kelly’s tree and turn to the Son.
Nurture your spiritual roots and experience peace with the interactive book Give Yourself a Break.