Category Archives: Bible Stories

More on Growing Fruit

Making Room for Fruit to Grow 

The Bible names nine fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5: 22 & 23. They are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. In my early years as a Christian, I had few of these character traits in my life. I was a deeply troubled young lady. As I learned the Bible, I learned about God’s character and found out that He has all of them. 

When I got to the Book of Galatians and read about the fruit of the Spirit, I tried really, really hard to grow in love and patience especially. I tried for years. The harder I tried the more difficult it seemed. I had this verse on a plaque over my stove so that I would be reminded daily to try harder.  

One day I had one of those “God moments”. I thought I heard His voice in my head having a conversation with me telling me that the fruit of the Spirit was not the fruit of Muriel but of the Spirit. From that day on I began to ask Him to grow more fruit in me and He did. 

 Stumped 

One day it seemed that I had stalled. It seemed to me that although there was evidence that I was more patient and perhaps more self-controlled, even kinder and gentler towards my family, I had not increased in the production of this fruit for some time.  

I went to my quiet place late one evening when everyone was in bed to seriously think about why this was. I was looking for sin in my life and asking the Lord to examine my heart. I took care of some business repenting and confessing sins that I was aware of. I asked for help correcting some of my attitudes and forgave everyone I could think of that may have hurt or offended me. I thought it was all good between God and me and I think at the time I was as thorough as I could be. 

Breakthrough 

Yet even though I tried very hard to keep a short list with Him, I still did not see an improvement or increase in the growth of these fruit. It was around that time that I was introduced to the work and teaching of Neil Anderson. He wrote several books: The Bondage Breaker and Walking Through the Darkness among others. I met him in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada where he taught us how to be free from bondage that restricted our growth spiritually. I took every course he had. That began a new phase in my journey. I realized that there was more to the spiritual life than just forgiving others and then repenting and confessing my own sin. 

Learning and practicing what Dr. Anderson taught me got the growth of the fruit of the Spirit growing again. Cutting soul ties and renouncing the practices of my ancestors really helped me to see that life was not just about me and I was able to move out of old habits more easily. 

After learning that, I also found out about Transformational Prayer Ministry by Dr. Ed Smith. That was a real eye opener for me. The idea that the enemy plants lies into our lives that can hinder us from ever enjoying the new life Jesus paid for us to have with His blood on the cross was totally radical to me. The idea that the Lord would be willing to nullify the lies we believe with His truth was revelatory.  

Since learning about these methods of being freed from the plans and schemes of the enemy, not only have I grown more fruit in my life, I’ve also grown in my relationship to God as my Father, and Jesus as my closest companion. My life has gotten richer with the Holy Spirit being my helper  and I’ve navigated some of my most difficult seasons with the Lord in ways I couldn’t have imagined. The learning curve was steep sometimes, but it’s all worth it. 

My Prayer for You 

I wish you the best on your journey. May you discover the keys of growing more love, joy and peace in your life. May you enjoy an increase of patience, kindness and goodness. May those around you notice how faithful, gentle and self-controlled you have become. As the Bible says, “There is no law against these things.” 

 

 

A Biblical Account of Transforming Truth

New Information Can Bring Healing

Here is one of the Bible accounts that I think illustrate the principle of how God can heal with new information. The story is found in the Bible in the Book of Daniel, Chapter 3. It’s a familiar story for those who grew up going to Sunday School: the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. I would encourage you to read it again in your own favourite translation.

In this story a king named Nebuchadnezzar ruled over Babylon. He was, an arrogant cruel tyrant who held all of his subjects’ lives in the palm of his hand. In this particular story, he set up a giant golden image to be worshipped. To make sure he was obeyed, he announced that anyone who didn’t fall down and worship the image would be thrown into a fiery furnace.

King Nebuchadnezzar heard that three of his leaders, namely Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, refused to worship the golden image. The king was in a furious rage and ordered the furnace heated seven times more than usual before he had the three men thrown into the fire. Would you agree that Nebuchadnezzar was emotionally upset? That sounds like an enormous understatement.

Our Beliefs Impact Our Emotions

Why do you suppose he reacted so violently? May I suggest that his fury and rage were based on his beliefs:

He was absolutely always right

He had the right to expect and demand complete and unquestioning obedience because he was the king and like a god

Perhaps he was also very much afraid of allowing any other opinion or practice lest he appear weak before men which could cost him his own life

If you skip the middle of the story and jump straight to Chapter 3 verse 30, you might scratch your head and wonder, “What on earth made him change from vengeful rage to promoting them in the province of Babylon? What would calm a fury and lead to an endorsement?”

The answer is found in verses 24-27. Nebuchadnezzar was astonished when he saw four men walking in the midst of the fire unharmed and the form of the fourth one is like the Son of God or the son of the gods. When he called the three Hebrew men out of the fire, they were not singed nor did they even smell like smoke.

Truth Can Set Us Free and Change Our Attitudes

Nebuchadnezzar had a complete emotional transformation that day. Interestingly enough there is no evidence that anyone else saw the fourth person in the furnace. Not even Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego mentioned seeing him or talking to him. It may have been for the king’s eyes only. But none the less, the truth set him free from whatever he believed enough to completely change his attitude towards the Hebrew servants and their God.

I believe that God can grant you freedom the same way by showing you things that you could never see without His help. Because God is not limited to time, He can appear anytime and act in ways you could not have imagined on your own. In the next post, I will share with you how He showed up in one of my own most difficult circumstances.