We are studying natural parallels of spiritual truths regarding the development of spiritual fruit. Yesterday we learned of the necessity of life, light, water, air, space, a good root system, and rest. Here are some additional analogies of components necessary for spiritual growth:
Soil: Both in the natural and spiritual worlds, in order to produce fruit the ground must be properly prepared. In the parable of the sower in Matthew 13, it was the condition of the soil that affected the growth of the seed. Your heart is like soil in the natural world. If your heart is hard and filled with things of the world that choke out the Word of God, you will not bear spiritual fruit
Death: "Every time you plant a seed, you sow something that does not come to life [germinating, springing up, and growing] unless it dies first" (1 Corinthians 15:36, AMP). Spiritual life depends on death to the things of the world. It requires death to sin, worldly desires, and pleasures. Death to the world results in the development of the fruit of Christ-likeness in your life.
Attached to the vine: In order to bear fruit in the natural world a branch must be attached to the main plant. If the branch is broken off from the main life-giving vine it will not bear fruit. Jesus is the vine and we are the branches. In order to bear spiritual fruit we must maintain our relationship to Jesus Christ, the true vine (John 15:1-5).
Pruning: When a farmer prunes a plant, he cuts off the unproductive branches in order to make the plant produce more fruit. He removes everything which would hinder the growth of the plant. Pruning is also necessary in the spiritual world. Spiritual pruning is correction by God. The Bible also calls it chastisement. When God "prunes" He removes from your life everything which would hinder your spiritual growth (John 15:2). Sometimes you do not reap the benefits of pruning because you blame Satan when God is actually the one bringing circumstances into your life to correct and prune you (Hosea 6:1).
Climate: Climate is important in the development of fruit. In the natural world, many types of fruit are developed in environments that are specially controlled. They are grown in buildings called "hot houses" at specific temperatures. They are protected from the real environment of the outside world. If you take a "hot house" plant and move it outside, it will soon die because it has lived only in a controlled environment. The plant cannot withstand the environment of the real world. Spiritually speaking, we do not want "hot house" Christians who look good in controlled settings but wilt on contact with the real world. Spiritual fruit should be just as evident in your contacts with the world as it is in the controlled settings of your Christian friends and the church.
Take some time to reflect on each of these natural parallels in regards to the development of spiritual fruit in your life.
My FATHER, My God, this year let my life reflect the blessing of the Lord, I shall not be static, I decree PROGRESS, FAVOR, HONOR, AND INFLUENCE are my portion. My life is SALTED, My speech is SALTED, My Home and Business are SALTED in the name of Jesus.