This next Sunday I’ll be launching a new series where we are going to look into all 9 ofthe Fruits of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. (HCSB)
As you look at those 9 characteristics I’m fairly certain that all of us wish we had more of each of these in our life…especially that last one, right! So, you may be asking the question, “What do I have to do, change, work on, or be so that I can have more of those?” Well honestly, that’s the wrong question.
Notice, that Paul calls them “fruit”. When was the last time that you saw a fruit tree working at being a fruit tree? Seriously, have you ever seen a grapevine straining to produce grapes? No, of course not, that’s a silly thing to suggest! You see for the tree or the vine producing fruit just comes naturally…as long as it’s healthy and it gets the nutrients it needs.
Jesus says in John 15:
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vineyard keeper. Every branch in Me that does not produce fruit He removes, and He prunes every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce more fruit. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in Me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in Me. I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me.” (HSCB)
A couple of really important things to notice; first off God is the one who is doing the work on you, not you! He is looking at your life, trimming away stuff that isn’t being productive, removing things that are stealing your energy, and making sure that what you are producing is what He wants you to produce.
Second, notice the key, “Remain in me”! Your job as a follower of Jesus Christ is not to produce fruit, your job is to stay connected. When you stay connected and in close relationship with Jesus, it is him that produces the Fruit in you through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Stop trying so hard to be the ‘perfect Christian’ and simply spend time with Jesus. Allow him to do what only He can do, so that you can be the person He created you to be!