“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (Gal. 5:22-23)”
In the early 1980’s prior to me becoming a Christian, I watched a documentary on one of the local TV stations on “Seeds”. I was amazed what some seeds must go through in order to germinate and grow.
Without a certain process, some seeds can’t germinate and grow, therefore many kinds of seeds have to have help, either by people or by some animal. Corn will not continue to grow on its own, it needed to be cultivated, (planned out, planted in its proper season, care for until harvest and then replanted; if left alone without human intervention it will eventually die out after a few seasons.)
Some seeds depend on man, animals or even the wind to scatter or plant them. Depending on what kind of seed you are talking about; such as trees, you only have to plant them once and they continue producing for years and some can live for hundreds of years. While other kind of plants must be planted every year.
Most of this I already knew, but what I didn’t know was that some seed needs to go through a fire before it can germinate, some have to go through a hard freeze, so its shell will crack; without its shell cracking, it can’t go through the germination process. Then there are those seeds that must go through an animal’s digestive system. Without the seed going through these processes, they will fail to produce.
In other words, some seeds need to go through a process that would be destructive to any other seed. I thought all of this was interesting as I watched this documentary, but it wasn’t until I became a Christian five years later that I saw a comparison to the word of God as being an incorruptible seed (1 Pet 1:23) and I remembered some of the things I had heard.
When I look at the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23), I had to realize that it’s my spirit that produces the fruit, (where it acts as the ground, as the Holy Spirit and the word of God operates in me); which means seeds have to be planted, (fruit doesn’t just pop up out of nowhere or without a cause), and not just any seed would have to be planted. You don’t plant watermelon seeds and have a right to expect a corn harvest.
Another thing I noticed was the fruit of the Spirit is manifested during a time or period of adversity or trouble and the fruit isn’t necessarily something for me to eat, but rather to give to the person or thing that is working against me. In other words, when the world tries to make you hate, you show or give love, meekness, long-suffering or whatever fruit of the Spirit that in needed in the situation.
Which brings me back to the documentary; the word of God as a seed isn’t just planted randomly, but it is planted purposely and cultivated in our spirit as we read and meditate on the scriptures and there are times when it’s planted during moments that would be destructive to any other of kind of seed (or worldly wisdom).
Good farmers don’t wait until they are hungry before they decide to plant for a harvest. No, hopefully they have a storehouse to draw from, so they can eat from it for today; and they plant from it for tomorrow. As a bountiful harvest comes in, they have some to sell, some to keep for seed and some to eat throughout the year, where the whole process begins again. Many times the physical realm and the spiritual realm will mirror each other, therefore if we want fruit, we have to plant the seed that corresponds to that fruit. Reading, meditating and confessing the word of God in the area of joy, will produce joy
Sometimes in the heat of the moment of a fiery trial, we need to draw from our storehouse and plant the word of God by confessing it into the situation; other times we draw from (the harvest or) what has already planted. David speaks of hiding God’s word in his heart, so he can do the right when the time comes. (Ps 119:11)
Sometimes we go through an almost wintertime season within ourselves, this is also a time to know that we or the seed of God may need this moment or time so it can produce the fruit that will be needed later on.
And yes, there may be times when it’s like your seed is being devoured as fast as you plant (confess) it, but through your patience and long-suffering you can know God’s seed will produce a harvest in its proper season. God’s word is incorruptible, even if the devourer eats it, it will pass right through him and it will produce a mighty harvest.
Some seeds produce a harvest rather quickly compare to other seeds. In the documentary it showed a type of bamboo that its seed sets almost dormant for three to five years in the ground; then when it sprouts it grows 18 to 36 inches a day. There are times when the word of God seems to produce certain things into our lives rather quickly and then there are times where we wonder if the word of God will ever take effect in some areas, but when it does manifest there can be dramatic changes in us or our situations.
“For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. (Rom 8:14 NASB)”
The Greek word for “sons” in Rom 8:14 is used to show an adult son or mature son. These nine fruits don’t just happen; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control is developed within us as we are led by the Spirit. As we allow the seed of God to mature in us, we then also mature and bring forth the fruit in its season. The fruit of long-suffering doesn’t develop quickly and its purpose is to allow you to endure through a long period of suffering. You will reap what you sow and in time you will reap, but if you don’t sow the seed, then there can be no expectation of the fruit when you need it!