WE BELIEVE the Holy Spirit lives in us as believers and brings love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control into our lives. He works in and through us with His charismatic gifts. (Gal. 5:22-23; 1Cor. 12:7-11)
Having become a Christian in the mid 1970’s and being the fruit of the Jesus movement in northern California it was seen by those around me that I had something different than I had before. It was the Holy Spirit in me and His love for me and the people I would come in contact with. It is staggering to think about how many people I led to relationships with Jesus because this fruit was evident. Each day I would talk to Him, trust Him completely, rejoice in His presence, soak in His love, my worship was a spectacle to those around me, it was clear I loved God and knew that he loved me.
As time went on the cares of this world began to rob me of this fruit of the Spirit. People told me that my exuberance would fade and I believed them.
One day in 1995 I realized just how thirsty I was and how much I missed this fruit being evident in my daily life. I called out to Him and he led me to Toronto, Canada TACF where His Spirit was being poured out on everyone. In a meeting I was completely born again, again.
When I returned home I found that my fruit had come home with me, that fruit was Him and the knowledge of His love for me. What I had been missing He always wanted me to have, I had just forgot to nurture it.
I own an orange grove and at one time this grove was a much larger grove which was split into parcels and I own a small section, my neighbor owns the rest. Now my neighbor takes really good care of his grove and I do not do anything to mine except water it. His oranges are so sweet and known by everyone to be the best around. He doesn’t need to advertise at all, he sells out as soon as he puts the first bag in his driveway. Mine are hard to give away.
He prunes, feeds, waters, and culls his oranges. I don’t. This is the same grove, different masters. Same fruit, different care. Same soil, we share water so it’s the same. Yet the different outcome can be seen from a good distance. His are bigger, a brighter orange color, much sweeter and produce more abundance. The difference is the effort put into it.
Paul the Apostle said, “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
Jesus said, I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
I believe it is clear from nature, (my orange grove) and it is clear from Jesus’ teachings, that the fruit is the evidence and any man who abides in Jesus should be able to be recognized by the love they show, the peace they live in, the self control they have and all of the rest. Jesus said it best when He said, “So then, you will know them by their fruits.” Matthew 7:20
Steve and his wife Vicki, pastor the The Father's House Church in Oroville, California and have started a School of Ministry campus in their church this year. They are also the new Regional Coordinators for our Western Canada and West Coast USA region.