The Pursuit of Fruit
We just dropped our second kid off at college in California. We made a memorable family vacation out of the trip. It was just as difficult to drop her of as it was for our first kid. As tears filled my eyes, I fought sobs for the first 2 hours of driving as we left Santa Barbara. Why would I respond this way, when she is doing exactly what we hoped? I think it is because we have invested so much in her. We have been intentional in every aspect of our parenting 24/7 for 18+ years. Our hope is that our investment will bear fruit.
In Galatians 5:22-25, the Apostle Paul describes the Spirit-led Christian life as one that produces fruit. He writes: “22…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.”
The fruit of love, joy, peace, etc. is desirable! Who would not want to experience these things, or to be known as one who expresses these things? And yet so few followers of Jesus seem to experience it. Sadly, sometimes it seems like the longer some folks are Christians the less fruit is produced. The Bible consistently uses these terms in describing the characteristics of God. It makes sense, then, that our Lord wants those made in his image to have these characteristics and dispense them to others.
The question is, how does this happen?
Biblically, there’s only one way to get this fruit--and it is not by “trying” harder! To use the metaphor, producing fruit requires being rooted, watered, fertilized, pruned (and recognizing seasons of growth!) This is the meaning behind verse 25’s admonition to live and be guided by the Spirit. It is the way that fruit is produced. For us, it is an invitation to pursue the Spirit of God like we pursue our studies, career, relationships or saving money: intentionally!
My prayer is that this series will spur us on to pursue God’s Spirit in new ways! I look forward to bearing more fruit, together!