Against Such There Is No Law...
The Fruit of the Spirit
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith meekness, temperance against such there is no law." (Galatians 5:22-23).
Whew! I am so glad that this verse is in the Bible and that it is a promise to me. When I think about how ugly my attitude can be, how self-righteous my speech can be and how selfish my actions can be, I rejoice that God me help in the form of the fruit of the Spirit. AMEN!!!
There is a whole teaching on the fruit of the Spirit; beginning with the knowledge that there are not nine fruits of the Spirit. There is only one fruit of the Spirit. There are nine attributes of that one fruit. Be that as it may, right now I just want to relish in the goodness of God and thank Him because He planted the seed of that fruit in me. THANK YOU, LORD!
We fuss at ourselves so much about our short-comings that we often wind up consumed with what we are not instead of rejoicing in what we are. We are stuck on the negative or our fallen nature and not on the victory of our redemption.
Then there are those of us who are so religious that we adamantly declare our righteousness as a means of covering up our guilt and confusion. We are judgmental and ridicously "perfect". We can't even see that this is the attitude of self-condemnation and it makes us fodder for the firey darts of the enemy.
"In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And [that] they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will." 2 Timothy 2:25-26
We are quick to say, "The devil made me that!" or "It was the devil in my flesh!" We rarely take responsibility for the actions of our flesh. True, the devil is the cause of 95% of life's trouble and the sole reason we must be born-again. But, the other 5% is us. It is our flesh.
"Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like:..." Galations 5:19-21a
There is no getting around these works. Once we acknowledge that fact, we will be better able to manage our lives. If you are in denial that these works are and can operate in you than you might as well stop reading now, save yourself and go to another article.
Yes, you, me and everybody who is breathing...
ALL humanity has an issue with one or more of these works...if nothing else, stife is the work that we all can identify with. We deal with strife on a daily basis. Strife with others and strife with ourselves. (When you are angry with yourself for not doing something you should have done or for doing something you should not have done, that is strife.)
The wonderful thing is that Jesus has already taken care of everything! We can rest in Him. Trust Him to "fix us" and to lead us into what we are to do to get "fixed". We only know in part and the part that we do know cannot always be applied to every situation.
Study about (or just read) the healing ministry of Jesus. We find that Jesus didn't do the same things the same way all of the time. He laid hands on some, spoke to others and mixed mud for others. Jesus was led by the Spirit.
We need to allow the Spirit of God to lead us, especially when it comes to trying to get ourselves "right". Sometimes, we are just too dogmatic and know-it-all-ish. We are too hard on ourselves because we are angry at our imperfections. (That is for another hub).
Let it go....Get your mind off of your faults for one day. Fast from thinking about your imperfections...just take that time and love on Jesus. You will experience "sweet relief"
Moving Right Along...
Forget the past, leave your failures, mistakes and disappointments in the past. Let's keep on walking by faith and not by sight. Step out in the next adventure in God!
The past is best left in the past.
Now, let's get back to rejoicing.....
The fruit of the Spirit is the fruit planted by the Holy Spirit in our human spirit on the day we were born-again. There are a number of reasons to rejoice about that fruit.
- The fruit of the Spirit is just that, fruit. Like any fruit, it grows, it doesn't start out mature. That means it gets better over time. [Rejoice!]
- The fruit of the Spirit is consistent. It all grows simultaneously..... you don't have more of one attribute than you do of another. Think about it like this, the skin you are in grew at the same time as you did. You never had more body part than you had skin to cover it. So, it is with the fruit of the Spirit. [Rejoice!]
- The fruit of the Spirit grows in spite of us. Nothing can stop it from growing...nothing, nothing absolutely nothing!! It may not feel like it to you and it may not seem like it to others, but it is always growing. [Rejoice!]
- The fruit of the Spirit is a promise. One day, while you are still alive, you will see it operating more fully in your life, and you will find yourself living in it. It may not be now, but the promise is sure and will surely come to pass. [Rejoice!]
- The fruit of the Spirit will change your heart....Rejoice, rejoice and again I say rejoice! You may not like yourself right now, but hang on in there...the fruit will come to your rescue. After a while you will see a change in yourself, a change for the better. [Rejoice!]
- The fruit of the Spirit develops us. Each attribute holds the promise of maturing you in Christ. Hold on and run this race with patience. Keep doing good until the fullness of time in your life has come. [Rejoice!]
- The fruit of the Spirit cannot be plucked up. No matter your condition in the past, now or in the future, the fruit of the Spirit remains. Even if you mess up really, really badly, the fruit will remain. Your lifestyle may make it seem as though it is covered up, or hidden, but that doesn't matter because the fruit will remain. [Rejoice!]
- The fruit of the Spirit grows under any condition. You have heard stories of people who where saved when they were little and went into rebellion for years and years. Then one day the completely turned their lives over to God. Well, that turn around was a result of that growing fruit in their spirits; it finally matured. And, when it did, they saw their need for the Lord and turned their lives around. [Rejoice!]
- The fruit of the Spirit grows independently. We were riding down the road and right there in the turning lane, in the middle of the street, along-side the concrete median was a healthy, thriving tomato plant with a nice sized tomato on it. Somehow a seed fell into enough dirt to take root and prodce. It was phenonmenal and unexpected. So it is with the fruit of the Spirit. The very persons you think are void of the fruit, those you think there was no seed planted are the ones in whom it IS growing. If you have asked Jesus into your heart, the fruit is there no matter what else you may be doing. Time will tell. [Rejoice!]
- The fruit of the Spirit in you will bless others. Sometimes I think that the process of growth is the express plan of the Lord. I think he wants us to be examples of His ability to transform lives through His holy Word. If you have been a believer for any length of time you understand that were are ever changing, ever growing. We may not always look very good, but He has His hand on us for the good.
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." Jeremiah 29:11
We've Got Something Others Don't Have
But they can get it. All they need to do is receive Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior and they will have what we have!
"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in thine heart that God has raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved, for with the heart man believeth into righteousness and with the mouth confession isd made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed." Romans 10:9-11
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:8-10
When you are caught up in yourself, your problems, your issues, you, you, you. Whine, whine whine...all you need is some cheese to go with that whine. (that's a joke- wine & cheese..get-it?).
Anyway, It is comforting to know that sooner or later, whenever we are open to receive, the Holy Spirit will calm us and the attributes of the fruit of the Spirit will display themselves through us, delivering us from ourselves.
THANK YOU JESUS!
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