OK, so I know I’m kind of on a post streak here, but I have one more thing I need to get out.
Last night as I was trying to go to sleep, I had another one of those “ideas”. I don’t know really what to call them except that they are usually religious based ideas that may be used later (with a lot of help) as a bible study or illustration. Not all the details are clear to me still about why I was even thinking about this and I haven’t even organized my thoughts but here’s what I remember…
In the bible, the idea of a tree bearing fruit is used to illustrate spiritual fruit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control). In my head I asked myself, when someone plants a fruit tree, what do you get? A tree that bears fruit of course. So you know it’s a fruit tree because it has fruit on it. Hence, we can recognize if we are growing as Christians if we are “bearing fruit”. It is of course possible that someone who is not a Christian to see the “fruit” listed above in their life. And it is not only probable but a fact that you will see a Christian with actions and attitudes in their life that are not identifiable with any spiritual fruit.
So in my head I picture two trees. One is a big, luscious, green tree with lots of fruit on it. The other I picture a dark, skinny, almost dead looking tree. And taped on the tree are things that look like fruit. It is possible for the dead tree to appear as though it is bearing fruit but the truth is their is no life in the tree and it is unable to bear fruit on its own. It can tape it up there, staple it on there and make itself look awful pretty, but deep down in its root, the tree will be dead and not be able to bear fruit.
On the other hand, the fruit bearing tree is bearing its fruit from the inside. The source of its fruit comes from the very root of the tree. It is natural for that fruit tree to bear fruit. It is what it is meant to do and it is a gorgeous tree and people feed off of that tree. People are attracted to that fruit, want some of it for their own and if eaten, can literally sustain their life. This of course illustrates the Holy Spirit in us, giving us spiritual life and helping us bear spiritual fruit. And if someone chooses to also believe in Christ and receives the Holy Spirit, they can also begin bearing fruit. The dead tree is taken out of the ground and a new, fruit-bearing tree is planted! (whew, makes me want to shout!)
But that’s not it…in my head, I’m picturing that luscious, green tree taping on weeds and broken branches and just dark pieces of stuff all over the tree. And I can’t help but think WHY is that tree doing that? It is a gorgeous tree that has all this fruit and yet it still wants that dirty stuff all over it. How does that translate? It translates of course to us Christians who continue to desire things of the world and continue to sin when our purpose is to be bearing fruit. We are the temple of God and we do have the Holy Spirit living in us. I just can’t help but think how much fruit we could bear, what kind of people we could be and do if we could just let God do His thing. Quit grasping for stuff that doesn’t belong in us or on us and be who we’re supposed to be. I would like to think I could start bearing enough fruit that it just fell off of me. That it would overflow and people would just be lapping it off the ground. They’d have their baskets in hand, and taking what they could. And it wouldn’t just be one kind of fruit, it’d be all kinds. Apples, oranges, pears, whatever, something for everyone. Anything to make them hungry for what I had. I think God could do it. I think He wants to do it. In fact, I think He’s waiting to do it. I just have to get all the dirty stuff out, quit reaching for it and just be who I’m supposed to be.