“Find out where to plant the seed and your purpose will be revealed to you.” Jon Gordon The Seed
The primary purpose of flourishing in life is to glorify God and produce lots of lasting ‘fruit’. These big clusters of delicious nourishing goodness are represented by the outgrowth of our life – character, purpose and all we do in love with the right motive. This kind of ‘spiritual fruit’ not only blesses others and us now, but into eternity.
You didn’t choose me, remember; I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit, fruit that won’t spoil (lasting fruit). John 15:16
What is lasting ‘fruit’ in our lives?
The last Strength For The Journey retreat theme was ‘roots and fruit’, so I spent some time reflecting on the Biblical concepts of seeds that become fruit that blesses others, glorifies God and lasts.
- Fruit of repentance
- Fruit of teaching and encouraging other believers
- Fruit of answered prayer
- Fruit of leading others to the Lord
- Fruit of holy living
- Fruit of generous giving
- Fruit of doing good
- Fruit of helping practically
- Fruit of fulfilling your purpose
- Fruit of your lips – giving sincere expressions of praise and worship
- Fruit of the Spirit reflecting Christ-like character and emotions
- Fruit of the Spirit reflected by loving other people – joy, peace, patience, kindness, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control.
I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant Separated, you can’t produce a thing. John 15, The Message
How is fruit produced in our life?
In the Bible, God uses metaphors of plant life and farming to illustrate our soul and spiritual life. People are like trees, life is like farming and a vineyard. Here are a few principles I have discovered:
- Keep the environment of your heart and soul receptive to planting good seeds and cultivating them to grow
- Surrender to the purpose of the seasons in life: a time to prepare, plant, prune, grow and harvest. This also means necessary change, discipline, and waiting – lots of waiting.
- Intentionally practice spiritual disciplines that help you respond to God’s invitation for genuine intimacy with Him, staying connected and cultivating spiritual formation with passion and purpose.
- Through shared connection – ‘abiding’ – God pours His life into ours. The larger the union between you (branch) and God (vine) the more ‘sap’ (spirit life) flows
- Stay close to God, be in His presence daily, being filled with the fullness of His Life. God wants to bless you with His presence, His Spirit and life flow – at all times.
- This is not about ‘striving’ and doing more, but ‘abiding’- ‘being’ more with Him. No tree ‘struggles’ to bear fruit – so neither should we.
- The love of God we receive as we stay closely connected with Him naturally flows out of us in the fruit of love and goodness, for the nourishment, refreshment and benefit of other people.
- Spend time in conversational and listening prayer. Also express gratitude, praise and worship.
- Spend time going deep in the Word of God, reflecting and meditating, so the roots of your soul and spirit can draw deeply from the Life flow of God’s Spirit – naturally growing and producing good fruitfulness.
- Trust and wait patiently for the seeds to grow, the blossoms to open and the fruit to appear.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9
“There is always a delay between when you plant the seed and when you eat the fruit. What we often want is to plant the seed in a prayer and expect the harvest of an answer immediately. But that’s not how it works. Whatever season you find yourself in right now, the planting season or the growing season that requires waiting, know that the harvest will come if you don’t give up. Just look past the current pain to the eternal gain that awaits you.” Rick Warren
Accept the invitation to cultivate a flourishing life, ‘flowing it forward’ in fruitfulness as a flourisher.
Questions: How can you partner with God to be a more intentional fruitful flourisher?