In my last post I introduced to you our first exposure to having a fruit tree in our backyard. I shared with you a spiritual lesson learned from that experience. We expected plums because what was in our backyard were plum trees. How foolish to expect anything different. The nature of something dictates its fruit. I equated that expectation to the spiritual truth of God's nature in us produces a Godly fruit. The old nature produces an entirely different fruit - an ungodly fruit.
As new home owners, we were looking forward to a bumper crop of plums, but when it was time for fruit there was no fruit. A little research on our part brought us to the realization that it takes a degree of maturity for a plum tree to produce fruit. Fruit bearing is a process - not only in the physical realm, but also in the spiritual realm.
A key component to growth in the physical world is water. The Psalmist describes the person who delights in the Word of God as one who is like a tree planted by the rivers of water. God's Word is like rivers of water that continuously nourish and refresh the soul. Man's wisdom is like a puddle of water that dries up when the sun of adversity scorches our world. There is no true success and there is no genuine happiness for the person who takes advice from those who would disregard the clear teachings of the Bible. Take away God's Word and the soul withers as the leaf withers when deprived of water. Take away the rivers of water, and the tree will not produce fruit. Likewise we will not produce spiritual fruit when God's Word is neglected.
As we read, meditate on, and do what the Bible tells us; God will produce in and through us the fruit of the Spirit. In Galatians, God explains that the fruit of the Spirit is having love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance demonstrated in our lives. These are qualities everyone wants. Yet, many people look at these as being unattainable. Without God they are unattainable. Often people look at something being unattainable, because they want instant results. Producing the fruit of the Spirit is a process. It takes time and care for a tree to mature and produce fruit. Likewise, it takes time spent in the Bible, and obedience to His commands in order to mature and produce fruit. The Word of God is essential to our spiritual growth. The Epistle of James reveals this truth of the vitalness of God's Word, and also reveals another truth about fruit-bearing. I will look at that truth in my next post.