When a baby is born, inasmuch as everyone loves and goshes over the cuteness of that baby, no one wants that baby to remain small forever. As a parent, you watch out for developmental milestones. Doctors have expectations for that child. In England, we have a red book that gives you an idea of what your child should be doing at every stage. If at 1yr old, your baby can’t sit up, you won’t just laugh about it and take it for granted. You will certainly raise concerns and find out what the problem is.
Just as growth is appreciated in the natural, so it is in the spiritual. When we give our lives to God, we are like a newborn baby. God expects growth from us. As a Christian, we should be able to look into our lives and see Christlike traits in us. We should be able to see the fruits of the spirit manifesting. People should notice a difference between the new us and the old us. Otherwise, there is a problem.
We all came to Christ as we were but we are not expected to remain the way we were. As a father, God has an expectation with regards to the growth of His children because He is a loving Father.
He is our Father. He is our source. We are attached to Him.
““Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.”
John 15:5 NLT
The above bible verse shows that growth is certain for those attached to God. I love how it doesn’t say “…. may produce fruits”. Rather it says “…… will produce much fruits”. Not just one or few fruits but much fruits.
The result of us being attached to the vine, is fruit bearing.
John 15:16 tells us that the kind of fruits we bear when attached to the Vine isn’t seasonal fruits. They aren’t based on the time of the day we are met. They aren’t based on our mood. They last through the tests of time. By the way we can’t attest to the quality of our fruits until they go through tests. I have realised that whenever I decide to have more self control, that is when I get tested the most in this area. From the moment I wake up, it’s almost like everyone starts getting on my nerves.
This is a good way to test if I am yielding myself to the Spirit of God or to my flesh and emotions.
A tree is judged by its fruits. So when people expect us to do better as Christians, they aren’t wrong. We should do better if we claim we are attached to the Holy God.
I think our challenge most times is that we do not allow ourselves to stay attached. We pull ourselves out when we want “to show people that they shouldn’t mess with us”. You know those moments? Well I have them too. After doing our thing our way and reacting to things the way we feel like, we then come back to attach to God. This is the reason why we fluctuate. Yes some of us bear fruits but they don’t last. They can’t stand harsh conditions. We are ok with minor offences. However we like dealing with the major ones the way we like to because God’s way sometimes is too calm.
So if I may ask, where are your fruit?
Everyone is preaching. Praise God for that. But we need to see the fruits of what is being preached. No one that had an encounter with Jesus Christ remained the same. Well apart from Judas Iscariot who we know his story well.
The fruits of the spirit aren’t spiritual gifts. So everyone who claims he/she identifies with Christ should have “…..love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”
Galatians 5:22-23 NLT
When it comes to exhibiting the fruits of the spirit, I think we give all of the work to the Holy Spirit and we sometimes fail to realise that we have a part to play.
“Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.”
Galatians 5:25 NLT
I love how the above verse uses the word “follow”. This is where our part comes in. We need to make conscious choice to obey and yield to the voice of the Holy Spirit always. The Holy Spirit isn’t going to force us to stop cursing, gossiping, and doing other evil things. Those feelings will creep in but we are to say no to them and say yes to love and self control. It’s a choice.
Paul said “I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.”
1 Corinthians 9:27 NLT
The disciplining of the flesh is done by us and not the Holy Spirit. Philippians 4:13 also applies to being able to yield to the Holy Spirit. So let’s get our heart in check.
Do we just enjoy talking and writing about holiness only or do we actually practice what we preach? To him that is given more, more is expected. If you are a Christian blogger, leader in church or someone who occupies a certain office in ministry, understand that every post, teaching and sermon you do, will either speak in your favour or used against you on the judgement day. This includes me. We know better. Let’s do better.