We are all beings in this world and there is goodness in every person. Everyone has a purpose on this earth and it is up to you to find your calling. That’s why it’s a must to be fruitful and productive in life. All the answers will not come to you in your head like a light bulb. Sometimes you have to go out and search for them. Don’t rely on your watch for your destiny. You will create a crutch if you rely on timing for everything in your life. There is no such thing as the right time. Some people even question if time really exists. You do know that you can’t live forever. We are all dying, so why are we waiting on moments we may never see? If you want something, get it. If you love someone, tell them. If something doesn’t work out, it simply wasn’t meant to be. It’s just time for you to gain another experience and keep moving forward. Nothing in life is random or a coincidence. God does not lie. The universe does not lie or make mistakes. Don’t dwell on things that are not going to matter tomorrow. Put your watch down and live. Often, you set goals that need to be met before you can make the next move in your life. You have a tendency of staying in a comfort zone until you feel like the time is right. You have to ask yourself: Is the time ever right? What exactly are you waiting on?
Once I find a better job, I will quit this one.
Once I save enough money, I will buy a house.
Once I finish this pack of cigarettes, I will finally quit smoking.
Once this year is over, I will start my fitness plan.
You make up numerous excuses and complain what you can’t do because you feel like it’s not time for the next step. There is no such thing as perfect timing. There will never be a perfect time to leave your job or start a new life in new surroundings. There will never be a perfect time to get married or start a family. All the choices you make will involve risk — and it’s the risk involved that makes choices like these easier to put off until another day. The problem is you think you have time to do everything because you are relying on “perfect timing” to come – something that doesn’t even exist. What you often fail to realize is you’re not just waiting, you’re hindering your advancement.
You can change your mindset of realizing that perfect timing is a beautiful lie that we make up to feel better about choices that we haven’t made yet. You can step out of your stagnant point and do exactly what you want to do. There is a big difference from wanting something to actually acting on something. Action has to take place to accomplish any goal that you set for yourself. In order to accept that timing is part of trusting God’s timing, you have to have an understanding that everything doesn’t happen when you want it to. You often get impatient when you don’t understand the path you are on. It seems like there is more bad than good in your life. You ask why certain things are happening and the real questions are:
How is this going to benefit me?
What good is going to come from this obstacle?
There are many gifts when you take action in your life and you get to reap the benefits. You gain growth. Growth comes with time, from understanding that perfect timing is a lie just to cripple your excuses on why you can’t accomplish your goal.
You gain maturity. Some situations mold you into being a stronger person because you don’t have any other choice but to be strong. You gain insight. Everything will not turn out the way you want it to and that’s okay. Maturity is being able to accept that everything will not always work in your favor. It means you have learned to develop in any situation thrown at you.
Let’s face it. The universe keeps moving no matter how many bad choices you make. The advantage is it that is also moves when you make good choices. You will be happier when you accept you can’t change your past, but you can change your outlook on it. It’s that moment you realize that the earth doesn’t revolve around you and you have the ability to deal with it. It is one of the most selfless traits one can have. You know how to act in certain situations and you teach yourself that everything doesn’t require your reaction. If someone lies to you or hurts you, this is not the time to do things out of spite. Their actions say more about them than you. Don’t change your limitations because you don’t understand why things happen. Sometimes we never get the answer. Pettiness is a temporary good feeling: a feeling that lasts for a few minutes and then you feel silly for retaliating afterwards. Maturity does not come with age. It comes from experiences and how you choose to react to them.
Salvation is the first step in sanctification. Just like regular maturity, spiritual maturity is a process of becoming holy. Once you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, we open doors for our faith to be tested. We often hear the marks of spiritual maturity called the “fruits of the Spirit”. Apostle Paul in his Letter to the Galatians 5: 22-23 call the Fruit of the Spirit:
There is no law against these things. When you are saved, it’s essential to eat these fruits to become healthier and stronger in your spiritual maturity. Reading the Bible is another way for your spiritual maturity to grow. We often confuse God’s voice for our own voice and our desires. Learn to be familiar with his voice through scriptures, prayer, obedience, and sacrifice for him. With spiritual maturity must come sacrifice and obedience for God. He might call you to do something that you don’t feel comfortable doing or you may doubt you even can do it. The only tools you need are God’s Word and prayer. You can’t expect results just because you prayed and asked God for them. Prayer without action is like preparing a meal for yourself and not eating it. You have to be able to mix the ingredients (pray) and eat (action) the food whether you feel like the food (test) is bland or not. Do this spiritual routine over and over and you will see the food you prepare gets a better taste every time you eat it. Grow mature with God. Pray and take action for the food you prepare. Some things in your life will be out of your control and there will be nothing you can do except pray. The test in this is keeping your faith up. Never forget to eat the fruits of the Spirit. You will see a vast improvement in your life.
The fruits of labor is the result of one’s work. The fruits of the spirit are the attributes used to perform the fruits of labor. Through the Holy Spirit, you can experience all fruits of the spirit, no matter how difficult or painful. In order to achieve your fruits of labor, it is essential to practice the fruits of spirit.
Fruit of the Spirit
When you think of “fruit”, you might be thinking of an apple or a banana. In the Bible, grapes and figs come up several times also. The word “fruit” has symbolic meaning and it deals with nourishment. Everything grown from seeds in the earth is considered fruit of the earth. As God’s children, we are the fruit of the womb, or how I like to say, the “salt of the earth”, because we are the ones who add the flavor. A man’s words are the fruit of his mouth. The power of the tongue is very powerful, so it is vital that we learn how to control it when it’s time to bear fruit.
The biblical definition of “fruit” is a product, outcome, and achievement. You do things in order to provide or gain an accomplishment or reward. You go to school to get an education. You study to get good grades. You work to be productive and gain earnings.
God judges us on how we bear our fruit and by our character. Just like a tree, it can grow edible good fruit or fruit that is rotten. People are the same way. Our mission is to be good, to gain the fruit of righteousness. Of course everyone has their own definition of what exactly is goodness supposed to be. Only God has the authority to define what is good and what is evil. You know the Ten Commandments and what God expects from you, but as a human, it is impossible not to sin. The best thing to do is to learn God’s will and be honest about it.
I repeat: be productive! You are passionate and you want something so bad that you can taste it. Are you putting in the work to receive the reward that you want? You can’t expect positive outcomes or gaining if you haven’t even put effort towards it. Make goals and plant your seeds in good soil. Be aware of your soil and surroundings, including people. Everyone around you does not want you to succeed. When in doubt, ask God where does he want you to plant and sow. What is your calling? What does God expect you to do? Many of us refuse to grow where God plants us. Therefore we don’t take root anywhere. Then we wonder how we ended up in the wrong garden or why we are not blossoming. We wonder how we started hanging with the wrong people. We wonder why things are blocking our blessings.
Once you take God’s hand and be obedient, you will see his hand in everything in your life. You will be keener of your surroundings. You will be able to decipher a person’s intentions as you get to know them. You will know what is right and what is wrong. You will learn your lesson after a dose of truth and error. The gift of discernment is from the Holy Spirit. Discernment is perception in the absence of judgment with a view to obtaining spiritual direction and understanding. Basically, it is the ability to decide between truth and error.
Everybody can’t have discernment because everybody is not going to listen to God’s voice inside of them. Everybody doesn’t know God’s voice because they don’t have a personal relationship with him.
We deny our thoughts even we know something is not right. Then we have the nerve to get angry when something happens that we know was going to happen anyway. That’s why we can’t ignore our intuition of right and wrong. If we choose to do so, we can’t question the consequences for our actions.
Your own mind can be your enemy. The worst thing a person can be is a prisoner of their own thoughts. Self- sabotage is knowing what you need to do to improve yourself and not doing it. Self- sabotage is having a craft and not working to perfect it. I used to be the type of person that wanted to wait until things were right in order to do something. I didn’t realize that I was only holding myself back from doing the things that were supposed to make me happy. I remained in a comfort zone due to fear of failure. I searched for my key and I worked on unlocking my sense of thinking.
The mind can be your personal prison. You will lock out thoughts and tell yourself that you can’t do certain things even though this is not the truth. The good thing is that you have the key to change this mindset and escape the prison that you have created. The first step is getting out of the denial stage. You may be unaware you were even thinking like this until you really think about it. If you are a prisoner in your own thoughts, take responsibility to find a way to unlock your thoughts. You are holding the key. All you need to do is use it.
To Be Fruitful is to Aim High
Aiming high will produce the best fruit. Being goal oriented will keep you grounded in the right place. Being lazy will cause poor results and longer to reach your goals. We must never be fruitless, for a fruitless tree will eventually be cut down and rotten. This comes from not being productive to your duties. God emphasizes on spiritual growth and development. In order to be fruitful and mighty, we must become a servant to the Lord. For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another (Galatians 5:13). You can’t bear fruit without God. You can’t be a servant to anyone else for he is a jealous God. He who abides in him will produce more fruit. Anyone who does not abide by him will be cast out as a branch and wither. Focus on God’s path for you and not what the flesh wants. Our flesh gets us in trouble and in tough, sticky situations. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21).
You might have heard the saying, “you have to prune to bloom” before. I used to hear it often when I was growing up, but I didn’t understand the message behind it. Pruning means to bring into shape or form. When you think about the fruit of the spirit and what fruits we bear, you might think of a tree. Jesus Christ is the vine and we are the branches. Our Father plants everything in us, and if we bear fruit, he prunes us to bear more. God’s Spirit is the sap that flows up the trunk of a tree to all its branches so they can yield fruit. Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit. (Jeremiah:17:7-8).
You are the mighty branch that shall not wither and break, for you are meant to produce fruit! Stay blessed and keep encouraging yourself :). Godspeed!
From the upcoming book, “The Power of Spiritual Fruit” by Oprah “Zip” Bradford- February 2016