But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:14-21)
Growing weeds is easy. In fact you don’t need to do anything at all and weeds will very happily grow in your garden. Their seeds will be blown in by the wind and any spare patch of soil or any crevice between some stones will become home to them. To keep your garden free of weeds takes hard work. Regular maintenance is required, vigilance, patience and perseverance is needed if you are ever to win the battle against the weeds. During this time of lockdown many of us have been able to spend more time in our gardens than usual and the battle against the weeds has been more successful than ever.
Growing the plants you want in your garden is not so easy, especially if you are growing them from seeds. These plants need careful nurturing so that they grow strong roots. Regular watering, not so much that they drown, not so little that they keel over on you. If they get too hot you need to shade them from the sun, if it gets too cold you need to wrap them up in some fleece to keep them warm. If they begin to grow too tall and can’t support themselves they need to be staked and tied in to a support so they grow taller and stronger. Every day as the young plant grows it needs to be looked after; neglect, even if only for one day can mean the end of your little plant.
As Christians we want to grow in our faith. However to do this takes work, we can’t expect to grow if we do nothing, all that will grow if we do nothing is what we don’t want in our lives, just like the weeds in our gardens. To grow as we would want to grow we need to nurture ourselves, we need regular refreshing from the Spirit of God, and we need to have the support of other Christians for when we feel we can’t stand up on our own. We need to talk to God, regularly, to ask for his help and guidance. We need to listen to sound teaching from the bible.
This time of lockdown has stopped us being able to meet together in our churches, but we are not limited in our ability to meet with God; we can meet with God every day, wherever we are, we can spend time with him. We can also join in with our online service, and other online services that are available. We can grow, our roots will be strong, and when we do grow the fruits of the Spirit will grow in us.
Father God, we ask that you fill us again with your Holy Spirit, that you guide us and strengthen us so that we can grow in our faith to become the people that you wish us to be.
Holy Spirit Living Breath of God (Keith & Kristyn Getty & Stuart Townend)