Okay, I’ve been kinda stuck with something that we talked about during our last blog. Granted, it was the one that my five-year-old grandson helped with, but still I can’t seem to get away from the fact that “fruit never consumes itself”.
As I think about the nine fruits of the Spirit that Paul describes in Galatians 5:22-23, I wonder how many of them I have actually born to be “eaten” by someone else?
Here’s what I mean:
Patience….not one of my strong suits, agreed?
But in the situations that I am actually patient, how often do pat myself on the back and kinda throw a little private celebration party for myself?
Ever done that?
You know, kinda glowing a bit because you were so much “better” through the hard circumstance than you expected?
Yet, that is not the purpose of the fruit.
Once again, the “fruit never consumes itself”.
When the fruit of patience or joy or gentleness is borne in our lives, it is always and only for someone else….never so that we will feel more holy.
In fact, when this becomes our response, I wonder if we haven’t just offered the evil one a big delicious portion of our choice spiritual fruit. Pride, our adversary, is always on the prowl seeking just how he may devour whatever fruit the Father bears within us (1 Peter 5:8). Kinda scary, huh?
So as spiritual fruit ripens on the tree of our life, maybe our first response needs to be, “Father, reveal who You desire to consume this sweetness.” And then maybe, we should be prepared when it is “wasted” upon someone or something with no regard for the process and pain that such a fruit produced.
I don’t know about you, but that challenges me.
You are the Vine and I am only the branch (John 15:1). I know that as Your life sap courses through me, I will bear spiritual fruit.
Yet, I confess to You that sometimes, even before it ripens, I, the branch stands ready to glory in the produce, rather than offering it up willingly to You. I suppose that this isn’t actually the fruit consuming itself, but the branch hungering to consume what it has given birth to. (What a nasty cannibalistic thought…) And yet, I do just that when I glory in my own spiritual progress.
No wonder my faith is small. How can I believe when I seek my own glory by feeding on my own flesh (John 5:44)?
Forgive me from delighting in these spiritual gifts as if I myself had anything whatsoever to do with them. Indeed, I have nothing except what You have given to me (John 3:27). Turn my eyes from the fruit and onto You, the Vine. May it be done to me according to both my belief as well as my worship (Matthew 9:29: Philippians 3:3). In Jesus’ Name, Amen.