I’m sure most of us enjoy a really good dessert – especially when the presentation makes it so inviting… The garnishing whether a strawberry or a cherry and/or a bit of grated chocolate adds to the temptation of ravishing the dessert, however does that really contribute towards the taste of the actual dessert? Do the flavours of the dessert depend on the garnishing? Would the ‘garnish’ have any place to be there if the dessert wasn’t there in the first place?
Well often, we do the same with our spiritual life. We carry a Bible around with us or wear a cross in our jewellery or speak ‘Christianese’ all the time. Some will greet others with an often meaningless empty “Praise the Lord” phrase. A ‘garnish’ to SHOW we are Christians…Many Christians have their ‘desserts’ and go to God as ‘garnish’…They want God to bless their plans and grant them their own desires…
A life of a believer is the other way around. It’s about “delighting in the LORD” and in doing so, it’s about our will being aligned with His will and then our desires are nothing but His perfect will and hence He will grant the desires (the desires in accordance to His pleasing will) of our hearts (Psalm 37:4)..
God is the foundation for the life of a believer.. His Word (Written and Inspired word) gives the base for life… A child of God is not just one who believes but who is also “led by the Spirit of God”. The garnish then will have true appeal as the garnish isn’t placed on top but comes from within..
“Those who look to Him will be radiant” (Psalm 34:5).
The fruit of the Spirit is the outward result of a increasing surrender to God.. and that fruit is not artificial let alone simply placed on top. Unlike the garnish that can easily be separated from the dessert, the Fruit of the Spirit becomes a part of our lives increasingly replacing the act of the sinful nature, of the flesh. The Fruit of the Spirit cannot be ‘put on’… it has to ‘grow’ from the branch. Jesus is the vine and we are the branches… As we abide in Him, the fruit grows.. All the aspects of the fruit can come only by ABIDING in Him, living in Him, being attached to Him… just as a branch is in the vine. It is foolishness to think we can have self control and patience and the rest simply by doing it ourselves, in our power! No – that’s not possible. As we delight in Him, we grow in Him and the fruit becomes evident… and our hearts become aligned with His heart and thus our desires then become what He wants for us, the best we could ever have.
Yes, we may stumble and fall time to time but that ‘fall’ isn’t permanent in the life of a believer.
“For a righteous man may fall seven times And rise again,
But the wicked shall fall by calamity” – Proverbs 24:16
The garnish that is simply placed for show by our Christianese jargon and put on appearances will not be a witness to others. We can pretend for a time and a season but eventually the light will shine on us.. Jesus Christ makes it clear what our witness of being a disciple should be all about:
“By this all will know that you are My disciples,
if you have love for one another.” – John 13:35 NKJV