Fruit of the Spirit
There is no mystery that the followers of the God of Israel and His Messiah are supposed to produce godly fruit. After all, that is how we are told we will know one another… by their fruit. But there is some controversy as to what that fruit will look like. Regardless of your view, if you follow the God of Israel, we can all agree to this:
Gal. 5:22-26 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, (23) gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (24) Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (25) If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. (26) Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.
Fruit is definitely associated with our deeds or works in Scripture. And what we do (and don’t do) matters greatly to the King of the Universe. But this post isn’t about what commandments we are to keep or how much or how little Torah we are to observe. It is about the fruit of the Spirit.
If we belong to the Messiah, there should be nine obvious qualities that perfume everything we do. If these qualities are NOT present, then we are missing the mark and are in need of repentance. Thus, as people of the “Book”, we should be great “fruit inspectors”. We should well know the difference between good and bad fruit, works, or deeds. But sadly, there is an awful lot of stuff out there that poses as fruit that in reality is nothing more than human flesh.
Ironically, I have noticed that many of those that are returning to the Torah of Messiah struggle with producing real fruit. It’s as if they have forgotten the weightier matters of Torah as they learn to keep Shabbat, festivals, and kashrut (dietary laws).
My personal experience and opinion on this phenomenon is that what occurs is an “over” purge. Like throwing the baby out with the bath water. Seeking to rid your life of error requires you to revert back to an immature state. It’s one in which you must separate and discern the basics all over again — except this time, the arrangement and configuration is different than what you first believed.
The paradigm of living outside of the Torah most your life produces different works or deeds (and beliefs) than one that has been nurtured from birth inside of a Torah lifestyle. Thus, coming into the knowledge of a whole new worldview requires you to search out every nook and cranny of your walk and reassess its relevance and godliness. It’s difficult. This is not something you want to ever experience again. You want to know that you know what you know! And why. And where. And when. And how. Many people that have experienced such a profound paradigm shift have told me, “It’s like being born again—- again!” And I must agree with that statement. The experience is very much like this for non-Jewish people who embrace the fullness of God’s Word AND keep the testimony of Yeshua.
This process requires a period of separation and examination. Things you thought you knew have been turned on their head and others have been revealed to be flat out lies! Thus, there is also a great level of caution and dare I say, doubt, when it comes to receiving new information OR embracing old information. Everything is weighed in the balance and sometimes that scale is unwittingly unjust.
If you happen to meet someone in this process (for some it can take years), their behavior may have been perplexing to you. You see they are keeping “truth”, but the fruit is inedible. I have come to realize that these are all maturity issues. Hopefully, they will move from a place of separation to a place of gathering. For separation that doesn’t lead to gathering of like kind and unity, is nothing more than death. You might know about the Sabbath, feast days, dietary laws, and even the Hebrew language, but if you cannot produce the fruit of the Spirit, then you are a baby. Your fruit isn’t ripe and should not be eaten by ANYBODY. Partaking of your fruit will only produce stomachaches and diarrhea. In other words, your antics make people sick.
The simple truth is that all the Torah observance in the world doesn’t matter and profits you nothing if you do not FIRST walk in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Those that try to force others to accept their idea of obedience or observance are like a rebellious toddler trying to get her way. She thinks she knows what’s going on, but really she knows nothing.
They use their Bibles to PUNCH others in the face. They especially like to beat up on those still in the church or denominational Christianity. Any fruit they may possess is not eaten but used as a weapon of war. My Mom calls them watermelon throwers. A watermelon can be refreshing and healthy if eaten one bite at a time, but if thrown at the head, it can cause considerable damage, even death. Be careful where you think you stand, lest you fall.
When will we stop beating people up with our truth? Fruit punch has very little real fruit juice in it. Most of it is chemicals, colored dyes, and corn syrup. It’s not healthy and gives the Body no sustenance. The same is true for those that try to bully the Body into doing things “their way”. If it’s all you consume, it will “kill” you. (This is why the letter of the Law must be balanced with the Spirit. The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.)
I think most people will find themselves in this category at some point or another. Fruit snacks also contain some real fruit juice but with the addition of dyes and artificial flavorings. Sometimes real fruit gushes out and other times it’s just a bunch of junk.
I freely admit I’ve been nothing more than a fruit snack at certain times in my life. However, I’m better than I used to be and with Abba’s continued mercy and grace, I grow every day. A fruit snack person is very similar to the unripe fruit people in that they lack maturity. They differ in that they also have a weaker foundation in the Word of Truth.
Fruit snacks aren’t as annoying as some of the other fruit people, but written right on their labelling it clearly says, “Not intended to replace fruit in the diet.” We need more vitamins and nutrients than these people can offer us. We might find them cute and entertaining in the short term, but they just can’t go the distance. They will run out of gas because they are not filled with the Ruach (Spirit). When their gas goes, so does any semblance of fruit.
Often, they just won’t let the Spirit of Adonai have full reign of their lives. Unfortunately, this means there is still a lot of junk that needs to be worked out of them. (Flesh) The trials of life are meant to goad us unto maturity. Fruit snacks usually resist this process. May they learn to produce fruit in keeping with repentance and leave all the sugar, fluff, and “fakeness” behind.
I think this is by far the most bizarre of the bunch. I think of a fruit loop as someone that’s way out in left field. These guys believe they have discovered or cornered the truth. (They’ve found the secret “loopholes” everyone else has missed!) As such, they are usually in the corner of the field yelling to everyone else that home base is really in left field. For example, they may claim that Sabbath is actually on a different day of the week than Saturday. Some people may call them LUNAtics, but I think the term fruit loop is more fitting.
Often, they are gung ho on observing some “new” thing (secret revelation). Or, perhaps they believe they have figured out the Creator’s “correct” calendar— and all others are false. They forget that Judah not only holds the scepter and authority on these issues, but they childishly blow off centuries of wisdom, care, and diligence that only the Jewish people have maintained for the rest of us.
Sadly, fruit loops do not contain ANY real fruit. They might look and taste good, but again there is no real sustenance. You can eat and eat them and still starve to death. Fruit loops sometimes engage in fruit punch tactics when dealing with the Body. But instead of throwing a watermelon (real fruit) they want you to eat a sugary substitute (falsehood). Beware!
There is nothing more succulent to our taste buds than fresh, ripe fruit. (Non GMO and organic, of course!) Consider for a moment not only how sweet, juicy, and tasty real fresh fruit is, but what it does for our bodies. Real fruit gives LIFE to our being. It nourishes, sustains, and sates hungry souls.
Now let’s think back to the fruit of the Spirit. Truth (the Word) can only nourish, sustain, and satisfy a hungry soul if it is given in the form of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. If these qualities are not present, the fruit tastes bitter, it has added ingredients, and it cannot produce LIFE.
This is such a simple concept. Why do we have so much trouble “getting” this? Why do we walk over to the dessert table and CHOOSE junk or the likeness of fruit instead of the real thing? I think it is because we have been fed the artificial stuff for so long that we no longer can tell the difference; or worse, we actually prefer it.
By the way, where we seem to lack the most discernment is when examining our OWN fruit. We might be producing fruit punch, fruit snacks, and fruit loops and really believe it is proper. But, it’s very simple. Does my walk, life, and mouth produce love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control? Remember, this isn’t a box of cereal; you don’t get to choose which qualities you will produce. The fruit is singular. It’s ONE fruit with nine beautiful qualities. If something is lacking, it’s not the real thing. (Think GMO)
Answer for yourself:
- Am I loving? Do I grant others mercy and forgiveness when they hurt me?
- Do I have joy? Or do I wallow in pity, regret, and anger?
- Do I have peace? Or am I a discontent murmurer and complainer?
- Am I patient? Or do expect to have everything go “my way”?
- Am I kind (even to those who are unkind to me)?
- Do I act with goodness (to benefit others and not myself)?
- Am I faithful to YHWH and others? Can others count on me or am I unstable?
- Am I gentle and respectful with others? Or am I judgmental and hyper critical?
- Do I have self-control? Or am I ruled by my emotions?
If our walk fails to produce even one of these qualities, then there is need for REPENTANCE. I don’t know about you, but I have some more work to do…
 1 Cor. 10:12
 Mat. 3:8-10 “Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance; (9) and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father’; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham. (10) “The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.