On Bearing Fruit

My mother always said I was a fruit girl. There wasn’t hardly a single fruit on planet earth that I didn’t love, only cantaloupe, but even that has changed in the past couple of years since I discovered my sweet farmer friend Bob, and tasted my very first ever farm fresh cantaloupe.  

I mean, what’s not to like? It’s sweet. It’s thirst quenching. It gives you pleasure and energy… fruit is delicious.

But now, when I think about fruit it feels different. I think about the parables where Jesus talked about the vine and the branches; the trees and their fruit. The fruits of the Spirit. And I think it’s so clear from scripture that our lives are to be images of this childhood favorite of mine; our lives are to bear fruit. Jesus, speaking of false prophets said this;

 “You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. ” -Matthew 7:16-19 ESV

That’s how they will know that we truly love Him. The fruits of our lives show what we are really all about, not just what we say we are all about.

But for so many of us, I think there are obstacles that get in the way of our fruitfulness. Fear, pride, self-protection, idolatry, addictive sin patterns and habits—just to name a few. 

I know for my own part, though I became a believer at the tender age of seven, it wasn’t until about six years ago when God began to widely free me of my personal besetting sin of perfectionism, that I began to see exponential growth and transformation in my life. Before that I had always longed for those “night and day my life was different” stories, never realizing that mine was just around the corner. Here on the blog you’ll hear me call myself a “Recovering Perfectionist”, and it’s only because of Jesus that I am.

I was trapped in my the need to control. A worshiper of my own opinion of myself (be it high or low). Attracted to the pride of legalistic religion. Living on either the edge of Pharisaical self-righteousness, or hateful self-condemnation. Though I think deep down I truly wanted to live my life for God, I was still in bondage to sin in so many ways.

This is what I never understood about the process of sanctification; that as much as it is a process of growing in holiness and Christ-likeness, it is equally the process of God freeing us from the things that are keeping us less than fruitful. 

I can’t pretend that I have a great handle on this. But I know what I’ve learned through my walk with Jesus thus far, and as an amateur “#homesteadyish” gardener and goatherd. And through it all, I hear God whispering to me. And he’s making the agricultural and pastoral images used all over scripture come alive for me. Maybe some of these words here will make it come alive for you too.

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Or maybe you’ll be like, “Why does this lady keep prattling on about PLANTS???”

It’s okay. I know it’s going to be weird in places. I’m trying to figure it out myself. I’m battling constantly with feelings of total inadequacy, and fears of epic failure. 

But I want to encourage you to cultivate a fruitful life, and that’s more important than my fears. If you are a follower of Christ, then He created you to bear fruit for His glory. I want you to see it, believe it, and live it! 

So here is my prayer for you, for us. As we walk the garden rows of our lives with our creator King Jesus…

May we uproot every weed—

That we may bear fruit.

May we remember that the compost of today is the fertilizer of tomorrow—

That we may bear fruit.

Though thinning and pruning are painful, may we let go of what is good, in favor of what is best—-

That we may bear fruit.

May we grow in our own native sweetness, and refuse the temptation to compare—

That we may bear fruit.

May we accept the seasonal changes of our lives, and refuse to let a need to control hold us ransom—

That we may bear fruit.

May we learn to trust the Gardener’s hand, and may we flourish in the boldness of surrender—

That we may bear fruit for the glory of God.

—Gracie

P.S. Because fruitful habits are the building blocks of a fruitful life, click here to learn more and get the FREE DOWNLOAD of 5 Steps to Cultivating One (new) Fruitful Habit.

 

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