Address the Root
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." - Galatians 5:22-23
When you want to get stronger in the gym, you must lift more weights with desire and intention. You don't watch more film. It helps to make a plan and eat healthier, but if you never went to the gym, your results would be bleak. You need to address the root. Just thinking about being stronger each day will not help you achieve the goal of strength.
If you want fruit to grow on a tree, you don't focus on the branches where the fruit "would be." Just thinking about the health of your tree will not help its growth. You must address the roots. You guard it from animals and bugs. You water and care for the tree.
What about the fruit of the Spirit? Do you want to be more loving? More patient? More self-controlled? Do you find yourself gritting your teeth towards a better tomorrow?
There is a reason that these characteristics (love, patience, self-control...) are called FRUIT of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). These fruits are the RESULT of being connected to the vine. You don't produce fruit by looking at where the fruit would be. In the same way, you don't become a faster runner by watching a clock hit the time you want to run. And you don't become kind by trying your hardest to be nice. You must address the root.
Your intention must be matched by action to see results. When it comes to growing in God's likeness, the required action for your desired result is abiding. Jesus says, "Abide in me." Abide means "to make your home in." Home: a place where you find your security, identity, community and affirmation. When you are abiding in the Lord, you find these things in the comfort of the Father rather than the world. You can abide by praising God for the ways in which He demonstrates the fruit of the Spirit to you. Thank Him for being good, loving and faithful. By nurturing this relationship, you will produce the fruit of His Spirit. By taking care of the roots of your relationship with God, His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and faithfulness will flow out of you naturally.
- What characteristics of God's Spirit do you want to embody?
- How have you seen God demonstrate those characteristics towards you?
- How can you cultivate intimacy with God as you choose to abide in him?
John 15:1-17; Psalm 1:1-3; Proverbs 12:12
God, thank you for the simplicity of Your loving-kindness. Thank you for inviting me into Your heart to experience the fullness of Your love and share it with others. Give me a hunger to spend time with You, meditate on Your Word and pursue You in everything I do. Walk with me as I abide in You.