God has called us to be fruitful and multiply, but when it comes to the fruit of the spirit how do we grow and multiply?
We know how to multiply money. Being so important to our existence we have been educated in it from a child.
Likewise, we are to earnestly invest in our spiritual future — our vineyard — to the degree that the vineyard owns us. Until we see ourselves as God’s property for him to prune, shape and trim, where necessary, we remain with a spirit that defies God, not understanding our servanthood.
Matthew 25 parables of the talents is all about the vineyard. The people with 5 talents and 2 talents remained on the wire. the other grew into a wild vine and was therefore destroyed.
As mentioned prevously, everything comes from a seed. Spiritually, we must first ensure we are of the right seed. The DNA of God produces Righteousness and Holiness, so if that is not what is being produced at the moment, we need to stop what we are doing and get back to God.
As we grow, we keep ourselves well-watered daily using the Word of God and deep study accompanied by prayer, praise and thanksgiving. The water needs to go deep. Therefore, we keep the ‘water’ on for sufficient time to allow that. A few drops here and there will not provide enough water and the fruit that both God and we seek will not be produced.
Our role is then to keep disbudding pride and false desire that try to grow too early, which they will, and keep ourselves growing upward, not sideways, to where God will maximise his reaping. Where he gets the most fruit from us, as it is with any vine in any vineyard.
Do not seek fame. Stay low and learn. God may or may not raise you up later. It will be up to him.
Each of the nine fruit of the spirit, love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance, is a project on its own, as we apply Vineyard principles to develop abundant fruit — perfected fruit, ready to be picked.
Don’t be afraid to invest in challenges, persecution or trials, as some of these might be of the Lord. As the saying goes, “if you don’t have a problem go out and get one. For within each problem is the seed of an equal or greater opportunity”. It is only within adversity that we grow. Conversely, in a calm, we remain stagnant with nothing to do or learn.
What this means is, despite the initial shock, we regain our composure and maintain a ‘cup half full’ spirit throughout our ordeal, knowing that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Here are some questions that identify issues that may be hampering growth:
Are you still doing the same wrong things you were doing 10 years ago?
Telling or listening to the same off jokes as you were 5 years ago?
People you had not forgiven 10 years ago, are they forgiven yet?
Are you still watching the same risqué TV programs you watched years ago?
Do you hold anger about anything that occurred years ago? is it still with you?
Are you still grieved by your childhood?
Have you picked up new lusts lately?
Are you lazy when it comes to things of God?
Do you still talk about people behind their backs?
Our life is one of forgiveness and progression. We cannot abide even one of these bullet points if we are to please our Lord.