Imagine that you are the lucky winner of a free shopping spree that allows you to pick through the most bountiful, exotic produce aisle you have ever laid your eyes on. You have an abundance of fresh, delectable fruit from which to choose. You are given a large basket, and you fill it up to your heart’s content. I am confident in saying the majority of women would leave with overflowing baskets!
Now, imagine driving home with your overflowing basket. On the way you encounter traffic, and road rage ensues. You experience an array of emotions, from anger to impatience. Finally, arriving home exhausted and hungry, you reach over to grab your flawless basket of fruit and notice it is now rotten and putrid. The long, frustrating ride home destroyed your fruit, and rather than you taking from the basket during your ride to feast on its goodness, you chose to let it decay and go unused. The fruit is destroyed, so there is no other choice than to discard it. All that remains is an empty basket.
I know this example may be an extreme one, but it is a very practical way of how I keep the fruit of the Spirit in perspective. If you are a believer and committed to applying the Word of God to your life, I have no doubt that you possess an overflowing basket of spiritual fruit. The book of Galatians clearly presents what these fruit are:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires (Galatians 5:22-24).
If your heart fluttered at the thought of a free shopping spree, you should be even more elated at the free grace given to us by the work of Jesus on the cross! By grace through the power of the Holy Spirit we are able to grow this type of character.
In order to grow we must be disciplined. For example, if you are stuck in traffic, it will definitely be a challenge for you to exercise joy and patience. But the Lord uses such situations to sanctify you and develop your character. It is impossible to develop these traits without trials and temptation. As you are filling your basket are you developing these traits? How do you keep your basket full? Below are the essential steps on how to do just that.
Keeping Your Baskets Full of the Fruit of the Spirit
1. Study the Word of God
Be persistent in your Bible reading.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”
2. Meditate on What You Are Reading
Psalm 1:2 says, “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.”
3. Apply the Scriptures
You have studied the Word, meditated, and now you apply it. It’s just that simple, yet it is a step that so many forget. You can recite scripture until “the cows come home,” but unless you are applying it, you are deceiving yourself.
James 1:22 says, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”
Now, go fill up your basket, and never have an empty basket again!