When the Holy Spirit moves into your heart seeds are planted. God is quite the gardener as you can tell by walking out in nature. The Earth isn’t his only garden, though. He will also plant a garden in you.
The seeds He puts in you aren’t about physical plants, but are the beginnings of the fruit of the spirit, which are Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-control.
Normal plants must be tended to. They need food and water to grow just like all living things. Like with natural plants the fruit of the spirit works exactly the same. They must be fed and watered to give each kind of fruit the chance to grow.
The Food of the Spirit
The food which gives nourishment to the fruit of the spirit is the Word of God (the Bible) Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. (Romans 10:17 NIV) So as we read the Bible and learn about Jesus and his character as well as how to walk in the kingdom we gain faith which is food for the spirit.
Concentration on passages that speak of the fruit itself brings even more growth. To grow the fruit of the spirit it is essential to not only read the Bible but actually study the word and try to get it in your heart as a revelation rather than just plain head knowledge.
Watering Your Fruit of the Spirit
The water we use to promote growth is your daily connection with the Father through the Holy Spirit in Jesus’ name. This occurs with prayer. I can’t over-exaggerate the importance of being in constant connection with God.
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13,14) NIV This connection is the water you need to grow in the Lord and be really fruitful.
If you develop a cadence of daily prayer and study of the Bible, the fruit of the spirit will grow and become healthy, causing a wonderful change in you.
Every Garden Needs a Gardener
When a plant begins to grow there are branches that bear much fruit and some that don’t. When the gardener (God) finds there are things in your life that aren’t bearing good fruit he will remove them so they will not take away from the areas that are doing well. In this way, He makes sure you have every chance to grow as you should.
Fruit of the Spirit God is Looking For
Again, the fruits of the Spirit are Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-control. Each of the latter eight come from and are related to Love, which is the greatest of all. Let’s take a quick look at each to gain an understanding of what we are trying to accomplish and a little about how.
And now these three remain faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13 NIV) Webster’s dictionary defines love as a feeling of strong or constant affection for a person: attraction that includes sexual desire: the strong affection felt by people who have a romantic relationship. while this definition describes what it’s like to be physically attracted to someone it completely falls short of what love truly is.
There is another definition of love, however. The biblical meaning of love is this. First God is Love. After that: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts always hopes and always perseveres. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV) If your goal is to flourish in the Fruit of the Spirit called Love these are the traits you’re looking for.
Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10
The word joy means happiness, gladness, and delight. It’s God’s will that we live our lives full of it. Nehemiah said the joy of the Lord is our strength. We must, however, choose to be joyful, to look at the bright side no matter what the world is throwing at us. When you trust in God and come to the revelation that he will never leave you or forsake you then it’s time to be glad. Taking delight in the Lord and all he is can get you through some seriously hard times.
the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace. (Numbers 6:25,26)
Peace is a state of security and tranquility. It’s quietness and freedom from disturbance. when you’re at peace your free from disquieting and oppressive thoughts or emotions. Reaching this state of being is necessary to walk in gifts like discernment. The more at peace you are the easier it is to hear that small still voice which is the voice of our father.
A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11
Patience is the capacity or habit, of being patient, long-suffering or tolerant. It is valuable when we must wait upon the Lord. It is also powerful when dealing with people. The best way to gain patience is to deal with those who will be trying or troublesome.
Then he prayed, “Lord, God of my master Abraham, make me successful today, and show kindness to my master Abraham.
Kindness is the quality or state of being kind, affectionate and loving. Now we all know how to be kind to those we love or who are kind to us but the kindness that impresses God is when you can give that same kindness and love to those who don’t deserve it.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. (Psalm 23:6)
Goodness is the quality or state of being good, decent, moral, honest, righteous or virtuous. God is good to us and expects us to be good to each other. Practice doing what is best for those around you and look to their best interest. Do what is right both in the eyes of men and especially God.
Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist. (Isaiah 11:5)
To be faithful is to be steadfast in affection and allegiance It means to be firm in adherence to promises or in observance of duty, conscientious. In his word, God’s made over a hundred promises to us as believers. He has been faithful to keep every one of them without fail. We who strive to be like him must also be faithful.
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
To be gentle is to be mild of manners or disposition. Like all the other fruits it is a choice to treat others in a way so as to build them up and not tear them down. Gentleness isn’t only about what we do but also what we say Proverbs 15:4 say’s, “A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.” Remember to treat others as you would want to be treated. The weaker they are in the faith the more gentle you should be.
Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, (1 Timothy 3:2)
Self-control is restraint exercised over one’s own impulses, emotions, or desires. It’s the culmination of all the other fruits of the spirit. If you can become proficient in Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness and Gentleness, self-control follows naturally.
Practice all these. Read about them in the word. Ask God to guide you into all truth concerning them and to strengthen you in them and he will be faithful to do his part but you must do yours also. Start by loving everyone no matter what the others will follow.
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