“A man had a fig tree which had been planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and did not find any. 7 And he said to the vineyard-keeper, ‘Behold, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree without finding any. Cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground?’ 8 And he answered and said to him, ‘Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer; 9 and if it bears fruit next year, fine; but if not, cut it down.’” Luke 13:6-9
All parables are earthly stories with heavenly meanings. Here are the working parts of this parable:
- The Owner of the vineyard is God.
- The fig tree is you.
- Roots are all of your physical and spiritual senses which allow you to understand truth and growth.
- Fertilizer is refuse, compost, and manure. It is anything (good or bad) that comes into our life that stimulates real spiritual growth.
Just think, God loves you so much…He plants your life in the middle of manure to assure growth. How do you smell today?
According to this parable, the Father is always searching for real fruit in our lives. The first type of fruit He desires to see in us is repentance. In short, repentance is the belief, confession, and outward evidence that you have turned from sin. The angels rejoice when we repent. There is no need for anyone to stay in sin. Real repentance is a fruit we all should be consistently bearing.
If the Father doesn’t discover fruit in our lives, He takes this corresponding action:
- He tills around our roots and exposes them to water, air, and nutrients. This may shock our system as it does most plants, but it is just what we need.
- Next, the manure is piled on! Nutrient rich and easily digested truth should bring growth to our lives. Since our destiny is to produce fruit, this is just what we need.
Understand, God always approaches us privately about our sin and the need for repentance. When this does not work, His confrontations become more public. If you stink today from God’s dung treatment, it is not because the Lord wanted it this way. He would rather you live fertilizer free.
Decide now to be quick in your obedience to the Lord. Your spiritual growth and well-being depends upon it. Smell well, my friend!