Scripture Reading: Isaiah 47:1-49:7 / Galatians 5:7-26 / Psalm 109:1-20
I remember playing a lot of games when I was a child. Some of my favorite outdoor games were “Hide and Seek”, “Tag”, and “Red Rover”. There was another game but we usually played it inside and it was called “Upset the Fruit Basket.”
It was played like musical chairs except there wasn’t any music. Chairs were placed in a circle, facing outward with enough space in between for a player to get to the center of the circle. Everyone sat in a chair and a person was chosen to stand in the center. Each player was assigned a fruit with multiple people having the same fruit. The person in the center called out a fruit and when your fruit was called you had to move to another chair. The person in the center would attempt to find a chair too, leaving someone without one.
The best time of the game was when “Upset the Fruit Basket” was called and everyone had to move places. It is quite chaotic as people franticly ran for an empty chair. I thought of this game as Paul describes The Spirit’s work in our lives as “fruit”. He writes, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22,23)
Just as everyone was assigned a “fruit” in my childhood game, The Holy Spirit is the giver and developer of His fruit in our lives. We don’t pick and choose a particular fruit or add one of the nine Fruits of the Spirit by our efforts, will or discipline. They naturally flow from the unobstructed flow of the Spirit’s presence in our lives.
The Spirit’s Fruit will not be produced in our lives if we pursue our sinful passions and desires. When we follow such a path, we find ourselves in a spiritual “Upset the Fruit Basket”. The result is a frantic search for an open chair to cover up our dismal and failing spiritual Fruit. Eventually, the Fruit rots and falls by the wayside.
The Spirit’s Fruit is sadly replaced by the acts and disposition of a sinful nature. No longer is there the Spirit’s presence of joy, peace and patience but worldly emptiness, turmoil and irritability. It doesn’t matter how hard we try to duplicate the Fruit of The Spirit, we will fail because the worldly seed we have sown will only produce worldly fruit.
God desires our lives to be overloaded with the Fruit of The Spirit. Remember, this is a natural progression of a supernatural act of the Spirit’s work in us. Our part, “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” (5:25) When we pursue the presence and activity of the Spirit in our lives, He will reveal Himself by His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…there is no upsetting of His Fruit!
Pastor James Clark has pastored Calvary Assembly since 1985. He is blessed with his wife Yvonne, six children, two son-in-laws, a beautiful granddaughter and hopefully many more grandchildren to follow!