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Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Orchard

"If a man remains in me and I in him,

he will bear much fruit,

apart from me you can donothing.”

John 15: 5b NIV

Today I had an amazing walk in the garden. Jesus wanted me to see that he had been planting some very special trees in my garden. He said, Paula come walk with me to the orchard. At first I was a little afraid when he mentioned the orchard because I had been doing my best to avoid all of the apple trees at all cost, if you know what I mean!

But the fact was God had some pretty special fruit trees for me to look at inside the orchard. For some reason I had never really noticed the orchard. The orchard was located deep in the garden. Most of the time Jesus and I had worked together on clearing the land, tilling the soil, removing the rocks and planting flowers and shrubs. This trip was special because Jesus was about to show me what he had been doing on his own time. He had been in the garden of my heart, all alone, planting the fruit trees!

When I got there I was totally amazed! There were wonderful fruit trees all symbolic of what God was planting in my life. The individual trees had not been planted in rows but had been purposefully planted close together so when they matured they would all grow together and form one magnificent tree. Some of the fruit trees were sill seedlings. Others had blossoms, others had a small amount of fruit and other trees had more fruit. One thing for sure, each tree was more beautiful than the next. All of the blossoms smelled fragrantly sweet and the fruit that I tasted from these fruit producing trees was delicious! The juicy, succulent fruit I was enjoying was fruit that I was not accustomed to eating.

Jesus then began to tell me the names of all the fruit trees. One tree had very sweet fruit. The name of that fruit was love. Another tree had some rather comical looking fruit named joy, and yet another tree had some graceful fruit hanging from its branches that he called peace. Still there were four more trees bearing blossoms. Those blossoms would be producing the fruit of, patience, kindness, goodness, and faithfulness. I was very sad and disappointed to see two more pitifully small trees that just had a few buds. Those trees would eventually be bearing fruit of gentleness and self-control. I could see that those trees were going to take a very long time to produce fruit.

To my amazement Jesus told me that the fruit growing on these trees could only be produced through the power of his Holy Spirit in my life and apart from him there would be no fruit at all. During my walk in the orchard I determined to try harder to partner with the Holy Spirit so that my orchard would bear much fruit. I desperately wanted all of my trees to produce an abundance of fruit because I was told that all of the harvested fruit would last forever and would bring glory to the one who planted the trees in the orchard. Lastly, Jesus reminded me that he has commanded me to bear fruit. “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last.” John 15:16 NIV


Which of your fruit trees do you think will have the most difficulty producing fruit?

Have you tried producing the fruit of the spirit using only your effort?

Have you experienced frustrating results?

Who produces the fruit of the Spirit?


Dear Heavenly Father,

Lord I pray that my life will produce the fruit of your Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. I pray that I will rely on the power of your Holy Spirit to produce his fruit in my life and that I will not attempt to grow the fruit in my own strength. I also pray that I will not seek the fruit or the harvest of the fruit. Help me Lord to seek only you.

In Your Name I pray. Amen.