Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit, Part 1
“Spiritual fruit is not something you can simply manufacture. The source of spiritual fruit is the presence of God. You don’t have to work at it. You just have to bear it.”
Did you know that the Lord Jesus wants to be closer to you than anyone else does? He can be so tangible that you can walk in His nurturing presence hour by hour.
The presence of God is not far from any believer, and the fruit of the Spirit has nine manifestations that should be evident in our lives: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV).
The question is this: How do you assure that the fruit of the Spirit will be cultivated in your life?
I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. (John 15:1-5)
The Lord declares, “I am!” He didn’t say, “I have a true vine.” He said, “I am the true vine.”
This means that the true vine is a person—but not just any person—it is the Lord Jesus Christ!
God the Father is the gardener, the husbandman, the One who is making sure that the vine is bearing fruit.
This passage in John 15 reveals that every branch that is in Him, each true believer, is continually being pruned (the KJV uses the word “purged”). Notice that this word is present tense. There is a continual cleansing and refining happening, and it enables us to bring forth more fruit.
You and I are able to abide in Him so He can do this cleansing and refining work in us. Those who abide in Him share bring forth much fruit!
John 15:16 echoes this:
“You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.”
Spiritual fruit is not something you can simply manufacture. The source of spiritual fruit is the presence of God. You don’t have to work at it. You just have to bear it.
He is the true vine, so we should not seek something. We must seek Him.
Let me share three simple steps that will enable you to abide in the presence of the Lord continually so you will be able to bear spiritual fruit.
Cultivation Step 1: Get to know our Lord better
Jesus didn’t talk about abiding in some feeling or emotional state. He spoke of abiding in His divine person and presence.
Begin to seek the Master through His Word and prayer. Don’t just read Scripture as black words on a white page or routinely go through a prayer list, but rather wait before Him and welcome His presence right into the room where you are sitting or kneeling.
Don’t worry about schedules and agendas. Tell the Lord, “I want to know You!” Then sit and wait for Him to show up. Spend more time with Him, and you will get to know Him better.
My own life was revolutionized the moment I determined to know Him better. When I prayed “Good morning, Holy Spirit,” everything changed.
Remember, Jesus is the One who produces the fruit, and we are the ones who bear it, so the fruit of the Spirit is actually the fruit of Jesus. If you want to bear fruit, you must come to know the special and wonderful presence of the Lord. He is the Source of the fruit!
Cultivation Step 2: Be planted and grow properly by not allowing wrong influences in your life.
The psalmist, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, penned these words:
Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper. (Psalm 1:1-3)
It is impossible to abide in the presence of the Lord if you are living an unsanctified life. If you enjoy questionable company or sit under the influence of wickedness, you will not be able to be planted properly and bring forth spiritual fruit.
Only when you delight and meditate in the law of the Lord will you be like a fruitful tree planted by the pure rivers of water.
God executes judgment against evil works (Ecclesiastes 8:11-13). This is why it is important to guard against strong influences in your life. The Bible also declares that the influence of one sinner can destroy much good (Ecclesiastes 9:18) and that your righteousness can be erased because of sinful conduct (Ezekiel 3:20).
Guard your heart!
Cultivation Step 3: Be planted and grow properly in the right fellowship.
We are promised:
Those who are planted in the house of the Lord
Shall flourish in the courts of our God.
They shall still bear fruit in old age;
They shall be fresh and flourishing. (Psalm 92:13-14)
You cannot bear fruit properly if you are planted in something dead. You must not only be planted in the right surroundings, but you must be planted in the right fellowship.
In order to produce fruit, you must be connected properly to Jesus, our Source, and under the ministry that is producing fruit.
Make sure you are in the right church where you are being fed by a pastor who “does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).
Cultivating Fresh Fruit
The Lord wants you to bear fresh fruit, not fruit that you bore 10 or 20 years ago. The parable of the fig tree in Luke 13:6-9 reveals that God is very patient in this process. He will work with you in cultivating spiritual fruit, but He expects you to work with Him also.
He will fertilize you spiritually. He will energize you. He will anoint you. He will let you taste of His presence to make you hungry for more of Him.
Coming next: Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit, Part 2. There is only one fruit of the Holy Spirit, but there are nine manifestations of it. Next time I want to share a special word about each manifestation, and how to see this fruit evidenced in your life!
My Request to You
As a partner with this ministry, every time you sow a seed you are sending me to the nations to preach the Gospel and win the lost. Each time I step onto a platform or stand in front of a camera, I breathe a prayer of thanksgiving for the privilege I have in serving our wonderful Lord Jesus.
And I express my gratitude for people like you who make it possible for me to continue helping fulfill the Great Commission. You truly share in the eternal reward for each and every soul that is born again.
Thank you standing with me. I’m so grateful that the Lord has called you to walk beside me to take His saving and miracle-working message to the world.
Thank you for praying and giving. Your prayers continue to open up supernatural doors of opportunity for the Gospel. The seed you sow helps proclaim the Word around the world.
Jesus Himself promised:
“Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you” (Luke 6:38).
I ask you to sow the most generous seed you can today. Together, we will share the joy of seeing multitudes come to Jesus during the coming weeks and months, even as He pours out His blessings upon you!
Believing for breakthroughs,