“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” (Galatians 5:22-23 NLT)
I recently decided to build a vegetable garden, except I have the unfortunate reputation of killing every plant that I pot simply because I forget to water it. I buy the plant and set it on my porch… And that’s where my gardening abilities end. I don’t know why I expect this plant to flourish and grow when I don’t water, prune or care for it.
Thankfully God is the Gardener of our hearts and never forgets about us (John 15:1). But I often find myself telling God, the Gardener, that I can water and take care of myself, expecting that I can bear good fruit on my own.
I used to think that the fruit of the Spirit was a list of good behavior for which I needed to aim. While I took it upon myself to bear fruit, I never came close to it. Just like the plant that can’t water itself, I need the Gardener to bear fruit. How do I do that? I need to die to myself (Galatians 2:20). That is because the Bible doesn’t say it is the fruit of Meg…. It says it is “the fruit of the Spirit.” God bought this disheveled plant at a high price and He wants nothing more than to water me and let me grow and bear fruit. That can’t happen if I am still clinging to my old self and my old sinful nature that made me that shriveled up plant in the first place. There isn’t room for old Meg and the Spirit in my heart. Thank goodness! Because I know how I am with plants, and I know how God is with us. Never failing, always present, perfect, God. That’s who I want to fill my heart.
Continue reading in Galatians. “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.” (Gal. 5:24 NLT) What parts of your old self are you clinging to and need the Spirit to fill?
Read Psalm 139:23 and ask God to examine your heart. What fruit do you need to ask the Lord to help you cultivate and grow?
Heavenly Father, thank You for lifting the burden from our hearts to be perfect and giving us the opportunity to be filled with our perfect Savior. I ask You to fully transform my heart and so I can be fully filled by the Spirit. Search my heart and reveal to me the parts of the old me that I still cling to so I can accept Your freedom, walk in Your freedom and live in Your freedom. In Jesus’ name: amen.