We've been studying the book "Having a Mary Heart In A Martha World" in our ladies' Sunday school class. It has been such a blessing to help me start each week with the right focus. This week we studied about having a heart that produces fruit. The section was called "Fruit Happens." It is such a small statement but it carries so much weight. We talked about how, if we are filled with the Spirit, we will produce Godly fruit- once we make the choice to submit to God, the fruit will just happen! And it is so true! How many of us have in the past (or maybe you still do) tried to work on each fruit of the Spirit by turn, only to discover that while you were pouring your heart and soul into being loving, you lost your joy. Or you decided to "work on" gentleness, and your longsuffering just gave out. About 6 years ago, I did a study on the fruit of the Spirit, and I went about practicing it by working on each individual fruit. You know what happened? I got exhausted! And pretty soon, I gave up. So I decided to write one of my research papers in Bible college about the filling of the Holy Spirit so I could unlock the secret of fruitful living. Two words describe what that study was to me- life changing!! It is SO simple- just submit to the Holy Spirit, and you are filled, and you begin showing the fruit of the Spirit. That's why it's so easy to detect a Christian who is carnal- they are not producing the fruit that God says WILL happen if we are filled and living for God. You don't even have to think about it- it just flows out of a heart that desires to be Christ-like and is submitted to God's heart.
I am getting ready to plant my garden. And today an illustration hit me about this subject of producing fruit. What do plants do to grow and bear fruit/vegetables? Two basic things: Absorb water and soak up sun. Now there is the occasional weeding and fertilizing, and sometimes pruning that is done by the gardener, but my point is that the plant has only two responsibilities. They need to absorb water into the roots to be turned into energy, and their leaves face the sun all day to soak up minerals and light. It's so simple! Are we, as God's plants, doing our two basic jobs? Are we soaking up the "water of the Word" and are we looking into the Son's face for everything in life? Also, are we responding well to the Master Gardener as He occasionally weeds us and prunes us?
Two simple things we need for spiritual life: Water and Son-- Soak it up and bear fruit!!