As I sat in a group of human community, my eyes fixed on the speaker. His voice commanded attention. He was not forceful, but he was sure, certain. He had an experience worth sharing. An experience with another human person during the week that birthed fruit. Fruit only nurtured and grown from the Spirit, the Spirit of the Living God. The living God who lives inside of this man with the commanding voice. Not commanding like a military officer. Commanding as in, purposeful direction that one might want to follow. That man shared a story of something so unnatural it could only come from the unnatural nature of man, although it came right out of man. This man.
Men don’t know what it’s like to birth children. It is unnatural for a man to birth a child. Birthing children is amazing and hard and gross and beautiful all at once. Moms don’t worry about growing children in their womb. They worry about what they eat or how they sleep. Moms worry about the things they could do to damage their emerging babe. They don’t worry about growing the baby because they cannot grow a baby by themselves. It’s not like learning to ride a bike. A bike cannot ride itself, yet a baby can grow itself because God is breathing life into that child-being. Likewise, this man could not birth this fruit on his own. Yet, like a mother, he could allow the fruit to be grown in him. He could have done lots of things to sabotage or destroy the fruit. But grow it himself? Nope, not possible.
The fruits of the Spirit- love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control- can grow in us, develop in us, part through our lips or flow from our hands through deeds. Yet we cannot produce this Holy Spirit grown harvest. As followers of the One True God, we have baby fruits in us. As we know the Lord more and more, obey His word, bask in His presence, follow His advice, and generally become more like Him, these fruits grow. Like a baby, they grow so big, they must come out. No longer contained within us, people see these fruits! They are excited about them. They want to get close to them, experience them, taste the delicious sweetness they offer!
Just as fresh fruit entices, I was drawn into this man’s story at community group. What unnatural fruit did he bear? He bore patience and gentleness. He was accused of wrong doing when only justice and righteousness was in his heart. In no way did he want to cheat or deceive, yet he was accused of just that. Did he shout, “No! You’re wrong! How could you accuse me?” He did not. Did he sneer, “You’re such an arrogant jerk! You can’t even see the truth in front of your face!”? He did not. Although he was stunned, hurt, and frustrated with the accuser, he responded in GENTLENESS through PATIENCE that he claims did not come from himself. As he walked away from the incident, praying to our Lord for comfort and understanding, he realized that without insemination of our Lord, he would have responded with harsh judgement and hurtful words. Instead, the good work the Lord had began in him long ago came to fruition. The fruition that only comes through submission to the Spirit of the Living God. #fruitofthespirit #theporticochurch