Growing the Fruit of the Spirit: Part 2: Cultivation
In Part 1, we discussed crating the right Climate for the Fruit of the Spirit to take root and grow successfully. We talked about how we must avoid the super-storms of pornography, greed, anger, lust and other besetting sins from sending a “killer frost” over our tender Fruit of the Spirit vines and killing them. Today we discuss the long term care of the Fruit of the Spirit, once our Climate issues have been settled. Cultivation: Gardeners among us know that they take a lot of tending and that weeds grow up faster than the plants we are nurturing. These weeds are a distraction and suck the nutrients from the ground that we intend to go into our plants and vegetables. So, too, it is with the gardens of our hearts that are growing the Fruit of the Spirit.
In every heart-garden where the Fruit of the Spirit is thriving, the weeds of complacency, laziness, self-righteousness and over concern for the cares of this world, thrive. We need to be diligent in the cultivation of our hearts-garden to promote the growth. This spiritual heart cultivation takes the form of personal devotions with God every day. Morning for some is best. Others find time in the evening. But, the discipline required is to spend time with God in prayer, Bible reading and study of the things that nurture our souls.
Cultivating our heart-gardens means getting and staying close to God so that our heart-gardens are being watered consistently. By reading and meditating on His Word, we weed the garden of the smaller thistles, which if let untouched will choke out the Fruit of the Spirit in our lives. Prayer turns over the soil of our hearts so that new plants can be sown. Soon the Fruit begins to appear.
And, as all gardeners know, this must be done on a daily basis. Doing our cultivating cannot be a “hit-or-miss” kind of affair. The persistent, steady, walk with God is the only way to insure that the killer frosts stay away and the Fruit of the Spirit in our lives produces a bountiful harvest.