Posted on Thursday, Jun 16, 2022 by Danny Gokey
The Secret of a Fruit-Filled Life
Do you feel like you are striving in your efforts to live out this Christian life, struggling to make it through? The fruit of the Spirit is not something you can fake. You can try to do it for a little while, but eventually the works of the flesh will come out.
“Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar. I tell you about these things in advance — as I told you before — that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-21 HCSB)
Conversely, the apostle Paul outlines what the life of a believer should look like in Galatians 5:22-23. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
It’s worth noting that while fruit is a natural outflow of the Spirit, the products of the flesh come through works. When we operate in a works mentality, feeling like the responsibility to change ourselves falls on us, it leads to anger, frustration, and eventually all the things that Paul listed. But the fruit of the Spirit is much different because it comes from realizing that we can’t produce it in our own strength. Have you ever seen an apple tree trying to force out apples? Or an orange tree to force out oranges? Of course not! But as funny as that may sound, that is exactly what Christians are doing when they try to produce the fruit of the Spirit in their own strength. There is simply no way to accomplish that in the flesh.
The secret of a fruitful—or fruit-filled—life is by abiding in Christ!
“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.” (John 15:4-5 HCSB)
A fruitful branch is one that is connected to a strong vine. It does not strain to produce its own fruit, but rather relies on the strength of the source. By staying connected to Jesus, the ultimate source, it ensures we are able to produce the fruit of the Spirit, bringing glory to God as a reflection of Him. It is a divine exchange. Just like Jesus’ death on the cross is what makes the way for you to enter heaven when you acknowledge the need for His sacrifice, so does the power of the Holy Spirit transform your life when you surrender fully to His leading.
Today, the challenge is to stop striving and commit to connecting to Jesus, the source.
Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers. (Psalm 1:1-3)
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