The fruit of the Spirit.
The mark of the Spirit at work.
We learned last time that fruit is pluck-able. It is tangible. And its tangible quality isn’t only for others to see and experience. God made it tangible for us. Imagine! This intangible Spirit moving and working in our very being to create something tangible that we can hold, touch, and reflect upon as we continue moving forward in faith.
Knowing it is tangible is powerful. But so is a tornado. Swirling and tangible and powerful, a tornado cannot be denied. But what is the point? I don’t have an answer for the point of a tornado, but if the fruit of the Spirit is merely powerful and tangible without purpose, than why would we even want it? If all the fruit can provide is a temporary movement, than seeking the Spirit becomes pointless.
There has to be something more. And there is. The power found in the fruit’s tangible nature runs a distant second to the point of the fruit. Philippians tells us:
“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live…that means fruitful labor for me….” –Philippians 1:21-22, ESV
Our labor, our seeking, and the work of our hands, is productive, fruitful when it is in Christ. The pursuit of the fruit of the Spirit does not merely deliver when eternity calls our mortal number. The fruit of the Spirit produces in the here and now.
“…who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit?” –1 Corinthians 9:7, ESV
Our Lord would not send us into unfruitful pursuits, nor does He delay too long. He seeks not that we just twiddle our thumbs and walk in circles until we meet eternity. The labor He gives us provides a productive life. We are not here punching a clock until we see reward in eternity. This is not to say that the harvest is immediate. Hebrews explains:
“For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” –Hebrews 12:11, ESV
Re-read the fruit of the Spirit. Love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, self-control. Though some of these things can come in waves, they all also emerge from the faithful, disciplined seeking of Jesus. Submitting to the Spirit’s work, understanding that discipline is also the slow ebb of the ocean tide, the results of which come slowly but they come.
“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” –James 3:17-18, ESV
The good fruits result in a harvest. not only later, but right now too. Let the Spirit do His work. You will see the results.