In my last post, I talked about the warning signs telling you that your flesh needs more change from the spirit. But did you know that there are signs to look for showing you that your spiritual walk is maturing?
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
This is one of the most popular passages with many Christians. Unfortunately, many believers have no clue what this section is actually saying.
What is fruit? Fruit are those yummy balls of sweet goodness that hang from various kinds of trees. How do they get there? Does the tree have to sweat and fret and work hard to push them out? Does a tree try and fail and get frustrated and try again to do better?
Of course not! Fruit production is a natural result of being an apple tree. They are produced simply because the tree is healthy, and has access to everything it needs (air, minerals, water, and sunlight).
This is something that many Christians miss. They think that producing the fruit of the spirit only comes by hard work and a lot of will-power. That’s not what God intended. The fruit mentioned here will not be produced by reading the Bible or going to church. They will not even come by willpower or guilt. These things are the fruit of the SPIRIT.
All the fruit of the spirit are the natural product of a life lived in the realm of the spirit. As our spiritual relationship with the Lord grows, then so will the fruit. They will not be produced from our strength.
As a matter of fact, if you understand what these different fruits are, then you’ll know that you can’t fake them. You can’t be producing them on a habitual basis without the power of the Holy Spirit working in you.
I think that one of our problems is that we read this list of fruit and assign them the definitions given by our present society. Actually, what God calls love is not what the world calls love. It’s the same with all the rest.
If we look at how the Lord describes these characteristics, we’d see that they can only be done consistently by walking in the spirit. This is one of the reasons why prayer in the spirit is so important.
Over the years I’ve seen this work. In my own life and the lives of others, who regularly spend time in the spirit, this change takes place.
The key word is time. It usually takes place gradually as we spend time with the Holy Spirit. I wish that it would be instantaneous, like a New Year’s resolution. But the fact is, I’d rather have it take place slowly and permanently instead of quickly and only a temporary change.
I think that it’s important to know what the Holy Spirit is trying to accomplish in us. So I feel led, over the next nine posts, to go over each of the fruit separately. In this way, we’ll know what to look for in evaluating our growth toward maturity.
Question: Why is it impossible for our flesh to discipline itself?
© Nick Zaccardi 2017
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