A Work of Heart | Growing spiritual fruit and hurdling stumbling blocks


I can't even begin to tell you how many times in life I thought I had God all "figured out".

But the truth is, we never ever stop growing in Him. And the moment that we do is when we have to take a step back and inspect our Spiritual fruit.

Is it growing?

Is it withering?

Is it dead?

Or did we ever really have any?

This past Sunday my Pastor said something that really struck a chord with my soul....
click here to

He said, "you can't create your own spiritual fruit...it's impossible".

I never thought about that, but we can't just say "oh hey, let me just go ahead and pop out some self control and gentleness today".

No, you see, spiritual fruit is something that you live. Your fruit is seen through the glasses of everyday life. How you act and react. How you talk, how you love, how you learn, how you respect others.

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, patience, and self control are all things that come along with your relationship with Jesus. The closer to Jesus you become, the more spiritual fruit you have.

Guess what.

If you're simply going through the motions of acting like a Christian, you'll have zero spiritual fruit. Certainly, we'll all have weak moments....monthly..weekly..daily.

But when you're walking in the spirit -- when you're living a spirit filled life -- there.will.be.fruit.

You will change. Period.

But how does God strengthen our fruit? How does our spiritual fruit grow?

My favorite version of Galatians 5:22-23 is the King James Version. It says this...

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."


Longsuffering...meekness....faith....

It sounds a lot like God knew life would be hard...as if life would throw every thing in your face when you least expected it to.

Paul once said,
"Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." [2 Corinthians 12:9-10]

Paul, an incredible believer and follower of Christ, was hurting. You read before these verses that Paul is struggling, and I can imagine struggling was an understatement considering his circumstances at the time. But the verse that strikes me the most is the beginning of verse 9, when God says to Paul,
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 

Stumbling blocks.

Heartache.
Death.
Hurt.
Pain.
Illness.
Being a victim of lies, gossip, slander....

Because of our weaknesses, because of our struggles, because of our hurts....grace is made ultimate again.
Grace and power get to take a front seat.

Because when we are weak, when we accept our weakness, then He is made all powerful. He's never stopped being our Christ, but we have stopped respecting Him as our Sovereign Lord.
"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." 

Stop and read that again.

And again.

And one more time, but this time, close your eyes right after you read it, and be still.
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." 
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  
"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." 

It's only Wednesday, and my week has already filled up to the top with stumbling blocks.

But today, instead of allowing them to 'get' me...to beat me down...to make me angry. Instead of falling back into the motions of the path I once walked. Instead of allowing someone else's lack of spiritual fruit cause me to stumble and infect my own spiritual fruit....

I chose to stand on the Rock that is higher than I.

I chose to drop down to my knees and say "take this thorn from my side" before turning to my next "outlet".

And when He replied, "my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness"...

...there was freedom.

There was meekness.
There was love.
There was joy.
There was gentleness, goodness, patience...

You see, the greatest form of growth in Christ, is weakness. Knowing that without allowing our human to lean on His everlasting sovereignty...we are nothing. We will bare no fruit.

Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you." 
Matthew 5:3-12

Therefore, jump that next stumbling block. And if for some reason you choose to let it trip you up, remember, grace is waiting just around the corner.....you need only ask.

Holistic Health