The first thing I heard when I woke up yesterday and I got into prayer was, “Focus on the fruit of the Spirit.” I loved that message because I love learning about the fruit of the Spirit. The message stayed with me for a few hours while the Lord was teaching me about His fruit and encouraging me to grow it, preserve it and give it away. These are three vitals steps. We need to grow the fruit, then we need to maintain the fruit and finally we need to share the fruit. The fruit of the Spirit is a great gift from God and every gift He gives us is meant to be shared with others at some point. That is why it is important to develop the fruit so that what we give to others is sustainable and lasting. Love is the head of the fruit of the Spirit. I call the fruit of the Spirit “the traits of the Spirit” and love is the most important trait.
Without love, the fruit of the Spirit can go bad. Without love, the fruit of the Spirit can lose its taste. Without love, the fruit of the Spirit can’t multiply. Without love, the fruit of the Spirit is a counterfeit. It then makes sense that love is what we ought to grow in our lives and what we should concentrate on the most. We want faith without going through the love phase. We want peace without taking love into consideration. We want joy thinking that it is crucial to be happy and joyful and love will be added to the list once we have reached a level of happiness. Love should always come first. Love makes everything work. Love is the fuel and the power behind the whole fruit of the Spirit. Remember that the fruit of the Spirit is intended to be shared and love rejoices when it gives and when it shares.
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.* All the components of the fruit of the Spirit are characteristics of the Holy Spirit. We have the Spirit in us and it is up to us to let Him guide us and to give Him room to do what He wants in our lives. We have to put time and effort into it. The fruit is in us and with a willing heart we can see it grow and flourish. When I heard that I should focus on the fruit of the Spirit yesterday, I was reminded that the fruit was there and it is easy for us to ignore it or to put it in a basket and keep it in the fridge where it becomes cold. Fruit baskets are not supposed to be put away. They should be displayed and there should be in the open.
Put oranges and bananas in the fridge and you will have a cold experience that could rob those fruits of the delicious potential that they have. Sometimes we put the fruit of the Spirit so far deep down inside that it sits in the freezer of our thoughts and it is just a distant memory that we don’t think of often. I am not saying that we become monsters but we don’t give the fruit the chance to manifest God’s traits. Love should always be out in the open, ready to be spread and ready to touch people’s lives. Ask God to help you ripen His fruit. His Spirit will take you through the steps of fruit maturation and you will be a basket of peace, joy, gentleness and love above all.
It is crucial to keep love at the center of our fruit basket and to operate through love. We develop love by practicing it and by spending time with the Father. Praise, prayer and worship are amazing times of impartation when the Lord fills us up with His love. When we yield and we surrender, we can be strong vessels of love that are positioned to make a positive difference in people’s lives. Love will always lead us to share Jesus and to give hope to people. During the times spent with God, we also receive peace and joy. If we keep up with those practices and they become a habit, the fruit will be maintained in our lives. We will have it and we will preserve it. We will then have no choice but to share it. We will be patient with people, caring and good.
If we maintain the fruit, God’s traits will be part of our spiritual DNA and our thoughts, our words and our actions will be impregnated with the fruit. We will move around with gentleness and self-control. Self-control is a much needed fruit. It allows us to stay calm when things go wrong and to bless those that wrong us. Today I want to reiterate the message from yesterday morning and encourage you to grow the fruit of the Spirit, to preserve it and to share it with everyone around you. The kindness and the goodness of God in you will leave indelible footprints on the hearts of those you interact with. Do it all for God’s glory. Focus on the fruit of the Spirit every day!
Suggested reading: John 15:2; Galatians 5:22-23*; Colossians 3:12-17