How do we grow the fruit of the Spirit in our life?

Question / Comment -  How do we grow the fruit of the Spirit in our life?

One of your answers to a question was that we received the Holy Spirit when accepting Jesus as our savior, which I believe, but, I do not have the fruits of the Spirit. I've prayed for this but nothing happens. Why?


JPN Reply:


thanks for the question - It is an important one. I'm not sure how long you have been a Christian but spiritual fruit doesn't come instantly and, like a growing fruit tree in the natural, it requires the right soil, sun, water and environment to grow. For instance in my backyard I have some trees that are many years old and are established, and they give good fruit every year. I have another young avocado tree that I planted a few years ago and haven't seen anything yet. Why? Because younger trees spend their first few years getting their roots deep and firmly established, so that they can produce fruit later. 

It is the same spiritually. The Holy Spirit comes into our life at salvation and attitudes and desires start to change. Some have a radical salvation and are changed quickly. Others take more time. But both need to get their roots down deep into good soil to be able to grow lasting fruit. Jesus spoke about fruitfulness, and hindrances to fruitfulness, in His famous parable saying:

Mat 13:3-9 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: "A farmer went out to sow his seed. (4) As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. (5) Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. (6) But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. (7) Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. (8) Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop--a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. (9) He who has ears, let him hear."

So different things stopped the plant from being fruitful:

  • Firstly no soil (interpreted by Jesus as not having understanding of the truth in Matt 13:19) - So we should always be asking the Lord to grant us understanding as we read His word.
  • Then shallow soil and shallow roots (interpreted as not lasting due to trouble or persecution in Matt 13:21) - So we should know that being a Christian isn't easy and should pray for His courage and strength to stand.
  • Then thorns growing up and choking the plant (interpreted as the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth in Matt 13:22) - So we should be mindful of that that draws us away from the Lord and avoid that which chokes our spiritual life.

And then finally you have the one that produces a great crop. It is in good deep rich soil and can handle the wind and troubles that come its way. When the Bible speaks about the fruit of the Spirit it says:

Gal 5:16-23 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. (17) For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. (18) But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law...  (22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, (23) gentleness and self- control. Against such things there is no law.

Part of 'living by the Spirit' is feeding your spiritual life. Again to use another example from my backyard, when I purchased my house I started a new garden in a new area and I quickly found that the soil wasn't great. It was quite sandy and didn't have a rich dark color. It had never been fed. Needless to say, my first few efforts at growing veges weren't great. Certainly weren't going to win any awards that's for sure! In fact, I was embarrassed to even show people what I was "growing"! : ) So, I started feeding the soil and garden. I would put rich composite on it. I would bury my household vegetable scraps in it. Over time this encouraged the worms to come, feed, and do their business... and the soil became much richer and darker. And I can now grow some pretty good veges. It is  still a work in progress, but it's much better! 

It is the same in the spiritual life. You need to 'feed' your spirit. You get your roots down deep by getting into His Word, the Bible, and in prayer, and simply spending time with the Lord. You bring Him into your day. Speak to Him and thank Him as you go about your day. Rely upon Him knowing that in yourself you do not have what it takes to produce the fruit of the Spirit but that He does and He is in you. Thank Him for salvation. Thank Him for being with you in all things. Keep asking that He will teach you and that you want to learn more about Him. Jesus said this:

Joh 15:4-5 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. (5) I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

Notice that no branch can produce fruit by itself. We need Him. We abide in Him and through His life in our life, the fruit comes. That is how the Christian life has been designed - as one of dependance upon the Lord. We abide as we rely on Him and bring Him into our day as mentioned above. I have written more on abiding in Jesus and fruit bearing here.

Other resources

Here are some other studies/Q&A that speak on this topic and may help: 

So don't be disheartened or discouraged. Good things take time! But thank the Lord that He is in your life and is able to be in you, and produce in you, what you cannot. Don't focus on 'bearing fruit' itself, because only the Holy Spirit can produce the fruit of the Spirit. A tree doesn't 'strain' to produce fruit. It is normal given the right conditions. So focus on enjoying the Lord, His grace and presence, and as you do you will 'feed' your spiritual life, putting good things in (like we do our gardens!) through time in prayer and meditating on His word and fellowshipping with other Christians.

Hope this helps. May God Bless!


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