Galatians 5:22-23 New International Version (NIV)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
The evidence of the Holy Spirit living in us are the fruits listed above. If we picture ourselves as a tree, we can use the following as an analogy: a healthy tree, someone filled with the gift of the Holy Spirit and bearing the evidence. Or an unhealthy tree, surviving to live. These two trees bear two different presencesí on this earth.
A healthy tree brings forth large juicy delicious fruit and shares its spirit (life) with others. As we eat the fruit, we can feel the love the tree has put forth in bearing it. We become full with its spirit and share with others this delicious fruit, showing our love. The fruit from this tree gives us strength, joy and peace. This tree (through Jesus) provides shade and shelter for others. The tree is healthy and we know that it is faithful, forbearing and will stand for a long time, its branches laden with fruit and its leaves softly swaying in the breeze conveys to us its gentleness and brings us peace and that knowledge it will stand for a long time.
A sick tree bears no fruit, it struggles to live and is weak with limbs breaking and sagging. Its strength goes to keeping only itself alive. Its branches sag and break, its beauty drained. It can do nothing for others, it can bear no fruit, (Spiritual food for those who need or want it). The tree is not beautiful to look at nor does it give shade, shelter, rest, joy, or peace to another. It cannot give forbearance or faithfulness because it may not be here tomorrow. It cannot show its gentleness or give us peace, with its swaying green leaves in the soft breezes. The sick tree bears no goodness or delicious fruits, to satisfy.
A sick tree can only take, suck off of others, to keep itself alive, it does not thrive. It does not submit to the pruning of its limbs to help it grow into a beautiful fruit bearing tree and to make it more glorious to look at. Its light and beauty from the Care Giver (God and His Holy Spirit) is not allowed by this tree to show through. The tree does not want to submit to the weeds surrounding it to be pulled by the caregiver. The tree does not understand that the tilling, weed pulling and pruning also help keep pestilence away from it and keep it strong. Pulling the weeds also helps the tree's ability to suck in life giving water (the Holy Spirit teachings) If allowed to stay the weeds would starve the tree of as much water as it needed and lead further to its death.
WE ARE THAT TREE - BUT WHICH TREE DO WE CHOOSE TO BE?
One tree is a victim to its fate. The other has chosen to accept the nurturing of the orchard care giver. Both trees have made a choice. It is our choice, once we are saved and taken Godís Son into our hearts, we all have the Holy Spirit within us. The Holy Spirit is the orchard care-giver. The one who nurturers us, tills the soil around us, pulls the weeds, which may hurt. Prunes our branches, which may also hurt some. Helps us move the rocks that we may stumble on, from the ground to clear our pathways to growth, and allow our roots to spread. He also feeds us with the food of the Spirit, His word. Helping us to digest and understand His word so it may keep us strong in Him and free of pestilence which could ultimately kill us.