You can’t demand the fruit!

You can’t demand the fruit!

Just a few thoughts as I stood admiring my friend’s tomato plant…

Firstly, I was amazed by the way the tomatoes were growing on the vine and they are just so pleasing on the eye in size order and placement. Even looking at them you know that God is a creative genius.

I realised the tip of the vine had all the flowers and as your eye travels along you can see the flowers have the tiniest tomato growing under them and the tomatoes get bigger the closer they are to the stem (I’ll come back to that).

I love the way on the same plant and even on the individual vine the tomato can be at different stages of its growth.

That is how God designed the tomato plant to grow. The tomatoes aren’t in competition to ripen first or even at the same time, but each will ripen in the right time.

Everything has a right time to bear fruit-even people!

Ecc 3:1-3

There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth:

A right time for birth and another for death,

A right time to plant and another to reap.

We go through different seasons in life and just as it is in nature sometimes we’re ripe and ready to bear fruit and at other times we need a hard prune to allow us to grow stronger and bear even more fruit when the time is right.

Nobody likes the pruning season let’s be honest. But, if we recognise that is the season we’re in and that God is the ultimate gardener after all and has the best plans for our lives, then we can learn so much through the pruning season and value it for what is happening and for all that’s to come.

Have you stopped to think lately “What season am I currently in?”

Knowing your season is crucial and allows you to partner with what God is doing rather than fighting against it! Lean in and stop struggling.

How easily we can look at someone else’s season and just see the fruit in their life and if we’re being honest this can cause us to have feelings we’d rather not discuss; such as jealousy, intimidation or possibly feeling like we’ve been overlooked. We don’t usually consider the cost of the fruit that’s on display and the commitment, sacrifice and obedience that has produced the harvest in front is of us, the stuff that all happened in the secret place with God. We just see the fruit and we want it and we want it now (please).

So, what do we do when these ugly feelings like comparison rears it ugly head? Are we pushing those feelings down or are we taking them to the Father and telling Him about them? (He knows what we’re thinking anyway, even if we think we’re doing a good job of pushing them down, batting them away, sweeping them under the proverbial carpet, which by the way will trip you over at some point if you don’t deal with them! Just saying!

I heard a great podcast by Melissa Helser of The Cageless Birds talking about leadership keys which was super helpful by the way and I will attach it here for you. But something she said really stood out to me…

“When we are building teams we can so often plant a seed and then the next time we’re together we demand it bears fruit”

We can’t demand a seed to bear fruit!! But how often do we try and do that? We also can’t expect it to bear fruit immediately that we plant it just because we want the fruit NOW!

Seeds just don’t work like that do they. They take time to be developed in the dark, under the soil before they even begin to start producing the tiniest of shoots. They take the nutrients from the soil around them, and as the seed has life within it they can’t help but grow with the right conditions.

But, you see fruit takes time and I don’t know about you but I hate waiting. Being a futuristic thinker is how God wired me and means I find being patient super tough 🤣

Scripture encourages us to be patient though as we wait the return of our King, Jesus…

James 5:7-8

Meanwhile, friends, wait patiently for the Master’s Arrival. You see farmers do this all the time, waiting for their valuable crops to mature, patiently letting the rain do its slow but sure work. Be patient like that. Stay steady and strong. The Master could arrive at any time.

I know that in my life God puts me in situations where I have to wait and grow in patience and I have learnt to value those times and know that He does it for my good and not as a punishment.

Just like the seed growing underground, we are developed in the dark, the secret place with the Father where He can work on our character and develop the things He has planted deep within us that need to be nurtured and explored with Him.

Anyway, back to the tomato plant and the last thing that I noticed was that the fruit that ripens and grows the quickest were the ones closest to the stalk and that’s because it’s getting first dibs on all the nutrients within it.

So it is with God! The ones that stay closest to the vine (Father God) bear much fruit and through intimacy the relationship is stronger and healthier leading to more fruitfulness.

John 15: 5-8 TPT

5 “I am the sprouting vine and you’re my branches. As you live in union with me as your source, fruitfulness will stream from within you—but when you live separated from me you are powerless.

Yikes that’s a sobering thought that the one who lives separate from God lives a powerless life. To live the life we are called to as sons and daughters of the living God we need to be full of His wonder working power through the Holy Spirit living within us. We are called to live a fruitful life and this requires us to walk in intimacy with the Father and to recognise the season we are in and allow the Father to prune us when we need it and to multiply the fruitfulness within us to those around us, in whichever sphere of influence He has placed us in, including our families.

My last thought as I looked at the tiniest of the tomatoes was that we all have to start somewhere and we should always look for the signs of fruit, as small as they are and then celebrate them. The important thing is that there is fruit whatever the size.

Zech 4:10

“Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the LORD that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone in the hand of Zerubbabel?”

So a few things to think about…

Do you know what season you’re in?

Are you demanding fruit from a seed that has only just gone into the ground in any areas of your life? What will you do whilst you’re waiting for the fruit to become evident?

Or maybe you’re starting to see fruit in this season so my questions would be…

How are you celebrating the fruit?

How can you multiply the fruit?

Who could you sow into in this season?

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