My wife and I were recently in a furniture store and I walked up to an expensive kitchen table with a bowl of fruit in its center. This delicious fruit (upon further inspection) was made of wax! It looked so real- I was fooled. The salesman nearby started to laugh and then he commented “it fools a lot of people.” If you were not careful you may have not realized it was artificial until after you bit into it.
Jesus-The Master Gardener
Galatians 5 speaks of fruit- our spiritual fruit. Many have read it and assume that it is something that they have to work at to obtain. Fruit is a great analogy -as it is only something that occurs as more of a reflection about the talents of the gardener in his garden -than that of the fruit itself. Let me explain. It’s the master gardener’s talents and loving care that enables the tree or branch to produce what it is destined to give…healthy and abundant fruit. The Lord is the gardener, we are not – that is not our role. Many of us have put on our gardening clothes and picked up the gardening tools, gloves and are toiling around in our spiritual garden trying to produce our fruit. We are working hard to try to produce real fruit and ultimately we will fail-always. When we do that we risk living in bondage-not in His rest. In John 15 Jesus says “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. The Lord is our gardener and our job is just to be the branch connected to the vine. We should always strive to be continually connected to His supernatural resources – not in the puddles of our own sweat and toil where fruit is difficult or impossible to find.
Where Are The Pruning Shears?
The Lord desires to be the master gardener in our lives. Great gardeners know when, where and how to prune. A weak or diseased part of a branch will never produce fruit and a master gardener in his wisdom will prune anything that hinders healthy growth and the production of fruit. Even a healthy branch can expect an occasional pruning and trimming. This is done by the loving gardener whose only concern is the health and growth of the branch and its fruit. If you find yourself being pruned..rejoice! Yes…give thanks! This is the master pruner just removing something he recognizes as unhealthy, unnecessary or even harmful. When you surrender and give yourself to the Master Gardener you will gently be pruned and nourished and your spiritual health will manifest itself. Your life will be overwhelmed with abundant vibrant fruit.
A branch is an extension of the vine and it shares the same DNA. The branch’s only job is to stay connected, completely dependent on the vine. When it is attached to the vine a natural bi-product of this connection is healthy fruit. It has no choice -it has to produce fruit! In the same way our spiritual fruit happens when we abide in Him, when we stay connected to the vine- which is Jesus. Any other method that attempts to produce fruit will he artificial and Pharisaical in nature. It may look real to others -but it will be nothing more that a bowl of wax. It may look delicious- but it has no useful purpose in His Kingdom. This kind of fruit will ultimately be revealed as circumstances in our lives will expose the real nature of our fruit–regardless if it is artificial or real.
Wax Or The Real Thing…We Can Choose
It is in our life’s difficult, irritating moments or times of overwhelming trials when our spiritual fruit really comes alive and shows itself. Love, joy, peace patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control are our spiritual fruits. When we stay connected to Him we cannot help to have an outward expression of these fruits. The real fruit will give the Lord His due glory, the wax fruit will only melt away. So stay connected and give away your fruit.