Let the Fruit Grow
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But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! (Galatians 5:22-23 NLT)
A while back, I asked God to give me a deeper understanding of His Spirit. I was hungry for more of the giftedness the Bible tells us about. I was ready for a download of prophetic visions and words and supernatural moments, and instead, I started seeing pineapples. God whispered, Let’s start with the fruit. I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I was less than thrilled; I felt like He was taking me back to Sunday school instead of letting me sit with the big kids in service. After surrendering my pride (it may have been a week or two), I let Him teach me.
Pineapples take 18-32 months to grow to maturity. They need ample space, or else they will not produce and must be in a very warm, consistently sunny environment. Each plant only produces one pineapple at a time.
My vision of this plant was not an accident. God showed me that I am just like a pineapple. With His help, He will create space for me to grow, and His light will keep me at the right temperature, and feed my soul. As my Gardener, He will prune my branches and focus on the areas He knows will help me grow to the next stage while waiting for my fruit to bloom. He is not discouraged by a long growing cycle or frustrated when it takes the full 32 months for me to bloom; He is not in a hurry. He knows the value of maturity.
So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses. (Galatians 5:16-18)
The fact is, we can’t grow on our own. Rushing doesn’t work. Maturing takes time. God designed us this way. We can’t make ourselves become more kind or gentle; it’s only with His guidance that the fruit of kindness and gentleness will appear. Instead of saying, “I need to be better. Sorry, God, I will try again next time,” I try to remember to say, “I need Your help, Holy Spirit. Will You show me how?”
My anticipated Sunday school lesson ended up transforming my understanding of His Spirit. It was not a trivial lesson, but an invitation to go deeper and learn from what I thought I already knew. And I also now appreciate pineapples and those who grow them even more!
Let’s pray together: Father God, thank You for being the Gardener of our hearts. We are giving You permission to show us where You want fruit to grow in our lives. We invite You, Holy Spirit, to guide and direct our steps in our faith's maturity journey. Let Your light shine where we are feeling weak, and wrap us in Your warm embrace where we are cold. We love You! In Jesus’ name, we pray, amen!
Scripture is quoted from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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