Fruits, seeds, planting and growth are all huge parts of Christianity and understanding various truths within the kingdom. We see several instances of Jesus using seeds and plants, trees and vines in His parables. (Matt 21:19, Matt 13) We see Paul using allegories of watering and planting to describe the growth of a Christian from salvation to maturity. (1 Cor 3:16)
We would be remiss to ignore the importance of understanding fruit. First and foremost, almost everyone that Jesus spoke to understood the very basics of agriculture. They knew the importance of proper care and nourishment of seeds and the process in which they grew. Their primary source of food was grain, fruit and vegetables.
The initial planting of seeds in our lives is the Gospel or Good News of Jesus Christ. The Bible calls it the “power of God unto salvation”. (Rom 1:16) It makes sense to consider this a seed and in the parable of seeds we see why. The seeds of the gospel are delivered by it’s preaching. (Rom 10:14) Some of the seeds grow for a time and are snuffed out by lack of nourishment. Some seeds never grow at all and some grow and flourish. Though many consider the parable of seeds to validate a view of non-election, many understand that the seeds planted in the good soil are indicative to those God has foreordained from before the foundation of the Earth. They that endure to the end. (Matt 24:13)
It is no wonder that Paul considers spiritual gifts and talents calling them “fruits”. He understands that those fruit start in seed form (as does all fruit) and only grow with what is provided necessary for it’s growth. We see that some gifts are imparted by the laying on of hands, (1 Tim 4:14) but that is only the beginning. The seeds must be nourished to grow, and we must “fan into flame” the gifts given to us. (2 Tim 1:6)
God calls us into perfect obedience and in some of these instances, it is well within our control to practice obedience and discipline. Our gifts can wane from strong to weak as can our faith. If we don’t stay in a proper environment for growth we won’t grow. If we choose to ignore the prompting of the Holy Spirit in our lives we will experience a time where it feels like we are stagnant and still.
All too often I hear stories from believers who tell me they used to have an abundance of faith or they had a great understanding of the word of God. I usually ask what their prayer lives, church lives and scripture reading look like. Almost every occasion their response is the same. They haven’t been reading their word, they haven’t been to church and they haven’t been praying. Cultivation takes time to work. A farmer cannot go into a field and plow for 15 minutes and expect to reap a harvest. It takes attention and interaction in a purposeful way for there to ever be an increase in the success of their harvest.
Brothers and sisters, I encourage you, if you are in a place of stagnation in your faith, to reignite the spark that has been put in you. Attack it with a ferocity of discipline and perpetual indignation that your very faith depends on it. After all Matthew 13:5 says, “Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow.” I desire you all to ensure that your soil stays enriched in the proper nourishment of faith.