“Well, you should have seen it when He had it by himself,” was the reply.
Aren’t you glad that God doesn’t neglect us? But neither does he allow us to sit by and wait for Him to do all the “cultivating.” We are laborers together with Him and when we are in the will of God, he takes the wastelands and makes them fertile, providing for all our needs.
Isaiah 58:11 (KJV): “And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.”
In the “House Hunters” program on Home & Garden Television, sometimes a person will request a home with a maintenance-free yard or garden (if he’s English). Any garden club member will ask you, “What’s the point of having a garden if you’re not going to enjoy taking care of it?” What satisfaction and fulfillment can one get from “maintenance-free? In addition to all the other benefits derived from hands-on gardening, the fruit of a garden is the reward and the gardener will tell you “It’s worth it.”
God describes for Isaiah how he feels about his people. “For the LORD shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody” (Isaiah 51:3 KJV).
Our lives are certainly not maintenance-free. In Philippians, we read about “working out our own salvation.” Now this doesn’t mean we draw up plans for our salvation — decide what’s right for us — but we have to “work out with faith” what God works in us.
Since God is the source of our will as His children, it is natural to obey the Holy Spirit. We get cultivated by the Will of God and we also cultivate through obedience to His Will. Redemption through Jesus Christ is complete.
We don’t have to add to it, hone it or reshape it to fit us. We must “work it out” according to the knowledge of our Savior. “That I might know Him ...” said Paul.
Every part of our lives should produce fruit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance ...” (Galatians 5:22, 23). And a child of God doesn’t pick out which fruit he wants produced in his life. Every element of fruit should be apparent in the life of a Christian.
“Fruit” includes all. If fruit is missing — it is all missing. You can’t manifest joy and peace without also having gentleness, long-suffering and so on.
Do you desire love? It’s the fruit of the Spirit. Do you want joy and peace in your life? It’s the fruit of the Spirit. Do you desire to be patient, meek and gentle? It’s the fruit of the Spirit. Is faith missing? It’s the fruit of the Spirit. Do you want balance (temperance) in your life? It’s the fruit of the Spirit.
2 Pet 1:8 KJV: “For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
I’m glad God doesn’t consider me “maintenance-free, aren’t you?