So there you have them, the eight fruits of the Spirit. We've now looked at each separately, however remember that these different fruits grow from the same tree or vine...each follower of Christ, but only as they stay connected.
Before Paul writes about the fruit he tells us we must "walk by the Spirit". (Galatians 5:16) This is a reminder of Jesus teaching that we already looked in John 15 where Jesus says,
"Abide in me, and I in you. As a branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me." (John 15:4)
So once we choose to be "grafted" to the True Vine we must continue to abide in Him if we are to bear the fruit. As John 15:5 ends "apart from me you can do nothing." Which means the converse must also be true. With Christ you CAN bear fruit, and you will.
It is not a time of your choosing, though. Jesus may have you bear some fruit today or maybe tomorrow or next week or all three. And you don't get to decide that today you will show gentleness and tomorrow self-control. Nope. In 2 Timothy as Paul, knowing his death was coming soon, gave Timothy final instructions. He told Timothy, "preach the word; be ready in season and out of season". "In season"- when I'm ready and prepared, in church, teaching a Sunday school class, in a Bible study, "Out of season"- when I'm at the ballgame, grocery store, having a bad day, getting the news from the doctor, or dealing with isolation. God calls us to bear fruit at all times. There is no wrong season because the nourishing water we need is always flowing.
In Ezekiel 47, God shows Ezekiel a picture of the fruit-bearing trees. God shows him water flowing from the Temple, and as it flowed out it became a river and along the banks of the river there were trees and
"Their leaves will not wither, nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary." --Ezekiel 47:12
This is a beautiful picture of where our nourishment comes from. To the Jews the Temple was where God made His home, His sanctuary. The water that "flows from the sanctuary" is the living water that comes from God.
By the way this vision from Ezekiel mirrors the vision of John in Revelation 22,
"Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month." --Rev. 22:1-2
There it is. One of the final words from God in the Bible. The picture of heaven and the river of life flowing from the very throne of God to the tree of life which yields its fruit each month.
Jesus tells us this living water that flows from the throne is the water that fills us and becomes a "spring of water welling up to eternal life". (John 4:14) It is the water that allows us to bear fruit in all seasons.
Continue to abide and drink from the living water, that you may continue to bear fruit in ALL seasons.