For some time, I believed that my role in the Christian life was to make sure that I was somehow producing fruit in my life. For sure, when your fellow Christian fruit inspector comes along on their high horse to discern whether you are growing as a Christian, you don’t want to disappoint. Will they see joy, peace, self-control…? I better get to work and produce some fruit, or the “Faithful Christian” card kept in my wallet might get revoked.
Yet, the harder I tried to have peace, the more peace alluded me. The more I tried to create joy and love, the less joyful and loving I found myself to be. And even when I had moments that it seemed like fruit was growing on the vine, it didn’t last very long or go very far.
Why? Because I discovered a profound truth, you can’t produce fruit in your life. And, the moments when you can seem to fabricate them in your life, they come and go because you have to be the one to pull the strings. It’s not fruit you have produced, it’s a phony religious facade.
Only God can produce and sustain fruit in your life, and that, only by your faith. It’s believing that produces fruit, not work, striving, and trying. You already have all the fruits of the Spirit the moment you put your faith and trust in Jesus for salvation. Faith is what actualizes and manifests those fruits in your life.
God produces fruit, we bear fruit. We can only share fruit, we cannot create it.
And even better, God is so gracious to allow us the freedom to bear the fruit He produces in ways that we love, enjoy, and find purpose.
The harder you try to have fruit in your life, the less you will have. The more you trust that Jesus has already supplied every fruit and growth needed in your life, that He has already recreated you having every spiritual blessing, the more God’s fruits will flow through your life. Jesus is your sanctification, not your performance skills.
Faith in who you already are in Christ is what enables you to live up to who you have become. Let God produce the fruit, you live to bear them.
Rest in faith that He who began a good work in you will see it through to its fullest potential. Stop striving, start believing and resting in His performance in your life, not yours.
Fruit or facade? That depends on whose performance you are trusting, yours or His.