“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (Gal. 5:22-23; NASB)
Living a fruitful life is something every born-again Christian strives for. I remember when I first started taking what I read in the Bible seriously. It was pretty overwhelming. There were all of the situations in the Old Testament that I knew were supposed to hold some sort of meaning other than just history. Then the Gospels and the rest of the New Testament to give me instructions about living as a born-again Christian. As if that’s not enough, there’s the end times, that I assumed was only a Revelation thing, only to find out later that it’s scattered throughout scripture. I wasn’t too optimistic about being able to get it. In fact, I wasn’t even sure what “it” was. Then I learned something that changed everything.
I learned that one of the things the Holy Spirit does is give us clarity of scripture. Jesus told the disciples that the Spirit guides us into all truth:
“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.” (John 16:13; NASB)
I had been reading the Bible for information, not realizing that if I were to pray and ask for the Holy Spirit to join me, He would give me incredible insight into a deeper meaning of His Word. Actually, it’s not that the Holy Spirit wasn’t with me prior to that. It was that I wasn’t listening for His input. When I started inviting the Spirit into my Bible reading, and listening for His direction, I was once again overwhelmed. Only this time it was in an incredibly wonderful way.
All of those things in this week’s passage are manifested through us by the Holy Spirit in us. In addition, the Spirit gives us understanding that cannot be gotten in the natural world. The Bible tells us that “a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God.” (1Cor. 2:14) When God speaks to us through His Spirit we receive wisdom and clarity that are simply impossible to come by without Him. The Bible also tells us that “we have the mind of Christ.” (1Cor. 2:16) Think about it: we have the mind of Christ with us wherever we go!
It may seem impossible to live a fruitful or righteous life in God’s eyes. On our own we cannot. God gives us the Holy Spirit to enable us to live Christian lives in this evil world. But it is by our faith in Him that we are considered righteous (see Gen. 15:6). It’s not about our flowery prayers, our good behavior, our incredible accomplishments, or anything else we do. It is faith coupled with God’s grace that saves us from eternal death. The great part is that the “fruit of the Spirit” will come to anyone who faithfully lives with their eyes and ears open to how the Spirit leads them; and then obeys His voice.
Have a great week and God bless.