I recently planted a Redpoint Maple Tree. Anyone who knows anything about planting knows you don’t just dig a hole and stick it in the ground. There is a process to ensure the tree will have healthy growth. Ingredients need to be added to the water. It must be secured to posts to anchor it against windstorms. If I consistently adhere to this process this new sapling should grow at least one foot per year and sprout beautiful red and orange leaves.
I first began by digging a hole in what turned out to be rocky ground. It was necessary to find soft soil. In Matthew 13:20-23 Jesus gives a parable comparing rocky ground with good soil. Then in verses 20-23 it is explained. He says that the “seed sown on rocky places is the one who hears the Word…yet he has no firm root in himself…and when affliction or persecution arises…immediately he falls away…and the one on whom seed is sown on the good soil is the man who hears the Word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit…”
In order for Christians to mature in our faith we must first be firmly planted in the Word of God so our lives will be strongly rooted with God’s power to withstand the spiritual storms.
Psalm 1:2-3 is a beautiful picture of how we grow as Christians. As we delight in the Lord and meditate on His ways we “will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither…”
What is the fruit mentioned in these verses? What comes to mind are the fruits of the Holy Spirit listed in Galatians 5: “love, joy, peace, patience (or long suffering), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control”(verses 22-23). If we are growing as we ought in our Christian walk these fruits will become evident in our lives. Like a beautiful Redpoint Maple, others will be attracted to Christ and our lives can become like a refreshing aroma to the ways of the culture (II Corinthians 2:15).
Question: In what ways are you seeing a steady growth in your spiritual walk that produces the fruits of the Spirit in contrast to the ways of the culture? If you are not, what “ingredients” might you need to add to your life?