Take Time to Ripen

Prayer & Devotional on bearing fruit through Christ

When you enter the land and plant any kind of fruit tree, regard its fruit as forbidden. For three years you are to consider it forbidden; it must not be eaten. In the fourth year all its fruit will be holy, an offering of praise to the Lord. But in the fifth year you may eat its fruit. In this way your harvest will be increased. I am the Lord your God.Leviticus 19:23-25

We live in a microwave world. People want instant gratification. Kids right out of college want the corner office with a view and the big paycheck. I see newbie writers convinced their work will be a bestseller… that is, until they join a critique group or submit it to an editor. Any seasoned author knows writing the first draft is only one-fifth of the work. It takes time and effort to develop it into a product ready for the market.

I think some Christians are too anxious to bear their fruit before it is ready. They don’t want to go through the hard work God has in store to prune, weed, and grow them. So they offer a pre-ripe, sour fruit to the world and then wonder why people scrunch their noses and back away.

Now, that is not to say God cannot use them. Of course He can. He uses all of us right where we are in our spiritual journey. But His timing is purposeful. If our spiritual skin has not thickened, we may get easily bruised and our fruit may be less attractive. The full sweetness may have not developed.

I know I have jumped the gun before He had fully prepared me for a mission. Perhaps you have as well. It may not take five years, but we all should wait until the time is ripe instead of rushing ahead of His schedule. That way, He will have fully prepared us to give Him glory, and the harvest of new souls won for Christ will be increased.

Father God, Creator of all. Help us to yield to Your timing before we bear fruit. Guide us by Your Spirit to maturity even though it may take longer and we may have to work harder. Keep us patient in the process and let us not become discouraged as we wait to see what wondrous things You will do through us. In Christ’s name. Amen.

By Julie Cosgrove
Used by permission