How I Grow the Fruit of the Spirit

I need to admit I’ve got to learn more than I teach. I know I can only teach what I’ve learned. I don’t have all this together, but I do have an understanding of I can pass onto you.  our new dog chicklet

We picked up a dog on the weekend that is great with the kids, but afraid of me. It’s really testing my patience… anyway, the thought occurred to me that the Father is probably using the dog to teach me more about Him, so I’d better be ready to listen. One of the ways I listen is to meditate on what I know.

Here’s some of what I know about Pastor.

We need to be growing in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. So how do we do it?

There are 5 truths of the fruit of the Spirit we need to understand and implement into our lives.

  • The Fruit Reflects the Goodness of God
  • The Fruit is Natural to our Spiritual Nature
  • It is Our Choice to Grow in the Fruit of the Spirit
  • Growing the Fruit is a Process
  • The Holy Spirit Empowers Us

The Fruit Reflects the Goodness of God

When people see the fruit of the Spirit in us, they see the reflection of the Goodness of God. We may not possess these qualities in ourselves, and if we do, they pale at what God will eventually have us reflect.

The moon does not have its own light, but reflects the light of the sun to the part of the world that’s away from the light. There are two things that happen to stop the light from the sun being reflected to the world. They both have to do with the position of the moon.

When the world comes in between the moon and sun whose light it was created to reflect to the part of the world that’s away from the sun, it’s called a lunar eclipse. The shadow of the world covers the face of the moon that reflects the light of the sun.

The moon is also capable of coming in between the sun and the side of the world that is directly receiving its light. The shadow of the moon covers a portion of the earth instead of reflecting the suns light to the side of the world that is away from the sun. We call that a solar eclipse.

However, there is also a time when the moon is in the perfect position to reflect the greatest amount of the light of the sun to the part of the world that is away from the sun. It is the brightest, biggest moon of the year. We happen to call that the “harvest moon”.

The same is true for us. We reflect the goodness of God by choosing to grow the fruit of Spirit that reflects His good nature. It puts us in the position to reflect the greatest amount of His light to the part of the world that is still in darkness.

The Fruit is Natural to our Spiritual Nature

Made in the image of God, we are tripartite beings and have a Spirit, Soul (mind), and Body. The Bible says we are saved (Eph. 2:8) (Spirit), we are being saved (1Cor. 1:18)(Soul) and we shall be saved (Rom. 11:26) (Body)

Galatians 5 makes it clear that there are two natures at work in our body. Since we have crucified our flesh and all its desires (verse) we can keep in step with the Spirit.

When we make Jesus our Lord, our natural being becomes our Spirit. We make our choices based on the word of God and no longer on circumstance or negative feelings. Although we can choose to, we no longer have to live by the works of the flesh.

It is Our Choice to Grow in the Fruit of the Spirit

Some people think the fruit of the Spirit just naturally grows, as an offshoot or sign that we have raised our hand or said a prayer. When it doesn’t happen it’s easy to conclude that our experience was not as profound as we thought at the time.
That kind of thinking is a great way to stay immature.

We have a choice to live by the flesh or live by the Spirit.

It is a choice we begin making by agreeing with what God says about us and declaring who we are in Christ daily or even hourly and then choosing to act in the nature of God (fruit of the Spirit) in a situation-by-situation basis.

Eventually our choice becomes a habit and we begin to naturally work out of the Spirit.

Growing the Fruit is a Process

Fruit grows in the spiritual as it does in the natural. There are places in the same orchard that grow better fruit faster because of soil and amount of direct sunlight.
We start stronger in some areas and weaker in others – but we grow in all. As we make choices, we start habits and soon the habits bring our body and soul in line with our Spirit.

This is “working out our salvation with fear and trembling.”

Theologically it’s known as Sanctification.
Poetically it’s “becoming more like Christ.”
Philosophically it’s “become who we already are.”

Because it’s a process we have patience for ourselves and grace for others. It is difficult at first, and we all make mistakes. But aren’t you glad God has the full measure of the fruit of the Spirit? When we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John…)

The Holy Spirit Empowers Us

Whatever God calls us to do, He empowers us to do and provides everything we need to do it His way and in His power.

No one can will himself or herself to have joy over an extended period of time. But it is possible because the Holy Spirit grows joy in us. More than that, the Holy Spirit breaks the yoke off of those with depression when counseling and drugs can’t even work. Maybe we should start with the Holy Spirit?

How Do We Show the Pre-Eminence of Love?

Our Words…

Ephesians 4:29, John 6:68, Isaiah 50:4

Our Actions…

1 John 3:17-19

I’ve got to learn to apply the fruit of the Spirit in my relationship with my relationship with our new dog. Is there someone God’s given you to help you become more and more like Him?

Love to know your thoughts. Please comment.

I’m Trevor Lund, a Christian Writer, Pastor

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  • Matt Brown

    This is great Trevor, thanks!

    • revtrev

      Thanks Matt. Keep doing what you do for the Kingdom through your amazing site!

  • Susan

    I like to affectionately call those learning periods, growth pains. God sends some circumstance or some person into our lives that pushes us to grow in one of the spiritual fruits (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, humility, long suffering, faithfulness and self control) . It can be painful, yet it does produce more and more fruit if we will trust Him and let Him help “grow us up”/ sanctification. Or the Lord can use it to show us some dross (impurities in the metal that come to the surface during the process of heating/ refining of gold or silver) areas in our lives that he wants us to look at and turn away from (repent). Some Examples- we may think our faith is stronger than it actually is and then the Lord turns up the furnace (trials in our lives) and then we realize we are not as mature in that area as we thought, we start to doubt Gods promises. A great prayer for that one is “I believe Lord, help my unbelief”. But, then this also helps us to show mercy towards others experiencing a similar purifying. We understand their pain because we have walked through it ourselves. Or we think we are mature in kindness and patience and then we find ourselves being rude or disrespectful to someone when something did not go our way or we had to wait for something. The best thing to do is tell the Lord “I see that dross (impurity or carnal or flesh side) in me, I don’t want to be that kind of person, help me Lord to turn away from that”. We just have to remember, while we are in the refining process, it will remove those things the Lord wants us to let go of and it will help us become what the Lord wants us to become, Jesus is the fruit of the Spirit. When you read about Him in scripture, you are seeing how our Lord walked in these fruits. He is our example, our teacher. Love is the greatest of these fruits. All the rest, rest upon love. When we are loving, we are patient and kind and gentle ect…… God is love. The fruits are the character of God. Aren’t you glad our Lord and Savior is such a loving-kind, merciful, compassionate and patient God. I know I am. We are all at different levels of maturity (and stumble sometimes) and I thank God everyday for His patience with me. Praise God! He is deserving of praise.

    • revtrev

      Thanks Susan. I’ve written quite a bit about when a silversmith smith silver and have to agree with you…especially with praising God. Blessings.

  • Evelyn Scott

    Thank you so much. Your article really blessed me.

    • revtrev

      You’re welcome Evelyn. Thanks for letting me know.

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