Thursday, June 21, 2012

Gassed By God by Martin Wiles

Green isn’t their ripened color, but every produce department seems to prefer it.

I like yellow bananas, but producers pick and ship them green to retailers. I don’t like raw tomatoes, but even if I did I couldn’t enjoy them knowing what happens to ripen them. They too are picked green and then sprayed with carbon dioxide prior to shipping for rapid ripening.

The process benefits farmers and retailers, but I’ve heard too many people say, “There’s nothing like a vine ripened tomato.” Artificial measures interfere with God’s natural ripening process, resulting in diminished flavor and faster than normal decomposition.

God gasses us with the Spirit when we connect to Christ by faith. The Spirit produces God-like fruit in us, but God doesn’t simply want fruit. He wants much fruit. Fruit of good quality and flavor. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples (John 15:8).

God’s fruit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control, but he doesn’t spray us with chemicals for rapid ripening. Quality fruit takes time, and he wants the best. Not selective love; unconditional love. Not joy only when things go well; joy in all circumstances. Not peace in the absence of turmoil but peace in its midst. Not kindness only to those who return it; kindness even to our enemies. Or self-control just when the road is smooth but dependence on God then and when things are out of control.

God wants an abundance of quality fruit in our life, but we choose whether it happens. What priorities need changing for the vine-ripened effect to take hold in your life?

Prayer: Spirit of God, prepare us for the fruit You want to produce.
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