Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down. (Luke 13:7-9)

Imagine you were to go over to a friend's house and as you walk through the yard you see an apple tree. Thinking that a nice juicy apple might be real nice, you reach up to pluck an apple from the tree. You tug and tug, but the apple won't come loose. Looking closer you notice that the apple is tied to the tree. On closer inspection you realize all the leaves are plastic and glued on. As it turns out, the tree is dead.

So you call out to your friend, "Hey! What is this?" You friend explains that he really likes having an apple tree in his back yard, but it died. He got some leaves and apples and attached them to the tree so that he could have an apple tree. Right about then is when you decide you friend is either making a stupid joke or that he needs to spend a long time in a quiet little room somewhere.

The way you get apples is to have good apple trees. If you plant a sapling in good soil, nourish it with fertilizer, water and sunshine, prune it when needed, you get apples. It's insane to try and stick fruit on a dead tree and call it good. A good tree will produce good fruit. So, you have to worry about the tree, not the fruit. If the tree won't bear fruit, the thing to do is rip out the tree and plant a new one.

Unfortunately, most of what passes for Christianity is like sticking fruit on a dead tree. Do this, don't do that, etc., so that you look like a live Christian. Or, at least you look like what someone has decided a live Christian should look like. On top of that, everyone is running around acting like a fruit inspector. So people dress themselves up with fake fruit in order to get approval.

It's every bit as insane to try to get spiritual fruit from a carnal heart as it is to get apples from a dead tree. The only way to produce spiritual fruit is to get the spiritual tree in shape. Get the heart filled with the Lord's spirit, fertilize it with the word of God, then walk by faith that the spirit in you will bear fruit. Anything else is "fruity" if you know what I mean.


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