You all know of Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control. Applying these things to your life means that you are trusting in the Spirit before anyone or anything else.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23
Briefly, I’m going to go through each fruit of the Spirit. Starting, naturally, with the first.
Love is probably widely believed to be the easiest, but really to love how God wants us to is much harder than it seems. Outside of loving God, love is also treating others the way you want to be treated:
‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.'” Leviticus 19:18
That verse is really powerful as its talking about neighbor as your self loving which I find very difficult. Jesus also talks about loving your enemies, which is really crushing at times. Most important, though, is loving God. The verse below is repeated throughout the old and new testament, for good reason:
Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” Deuteronomy 6:5
Joy is being happy with everything that happens, and it can often be more difficult than anything else.
On the following day he sent the people away. They blessed the king and then went home, joyful and glad in heart for all the good things the Lord had done for his servant David and his people Israel.” 1 Kings 8:66
This verse explains that the people of Israel were happy with what good things God had done for their nation. And for us this means that you must always be joyful–even if something horrible happens.
Peace (also called forbearance) can be a lot of things, from being content to being a moderator between family or friends. Peace can be compared to love, because love is often required. With it, you can be the bridge between a friend and his enemy, or even two friends. Peace is incredibly important to our faith, because if you’re violent then nobody will listen to your testimony.
Patience, this could possibly be called the easiest fruit to grow in your heart. Patience can be waiting and not complaining or…
…in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left…” 2 Corinthians 6:5-7
… a weapon. Yup, I said it. A weapon. In fact, all the fruits of the Spirit are weapons (I’ll talk about this further in another post).
Kindness is mentioned in that last verse, saying it too was a weapon, but it focuses on reaching out to people.
Goodness is incredibly crucial; it is our purity, righteousness, and obedience to God. Having goodness means that we strive to walk with God in everything.
Faithfulness could possibly be the most important fruit of all.
And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.”” Exodus 34:6
This verse talks about how God is eternally faithful to us and how because of his faithfulness, we need to return it. Faithfulness basically means devotion, which means that God is devoted to us.
Gentleness, I always think of whales when I hear the word gentleness because they’re so gentle (except maybe Killer Whales). Gentleness basically means hugs and pillows, but that doesn’t mean you go around giving hugs and pillows.
Last but definitely not least is self-control. This is important because, without it, we won’t have the will to strive for any of the other fruits of the Spirit.
It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age…” Titus 2:12
Paul tells us specifically that the only way to live a successful life is to be self-controlled.
The fruits of the Spirit may appear to only be contained in a few verses of Galatians, but, in reality, are important and powerful qualities found in places all over the bible, and to be applied all over our lives. Over the next nine weeks, I’ll be getting into detail for each fruit in a new series called “Fruity Spirit”.
Do you know what trust really means? The knowledge that you can depend on someone. Trust is a brutal thing because of its difficulty. You have to earn trust, as you probably know, and you probably also know that that’s not easy. You can’t go up to a stranger, tell them a secret, and be satisfied that your secret is safe. Restoring trust is even harder, though. You have to learn the nature of someone before you can trust them. And then, knowing who they are, you can decide to trust them.
Elijah took that to a whole new level. He trusted God no matter what, in 1 Kings 18: 36-39 Elijah confronted the prophets of Baal one man to four hundred fifty. He trusted in God so much that, through God’s power, he showed every one of those four hundred and fifty prophets up. Elijah knew God’s nature; he also knew God would come through and show his glory to Baal’s followers.
At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.”
Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.
When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The Lord—he is God! The Lord—he is God!”” 1 Kings 18:36-39
Due to God’s awesome mercy, he will forgive us for not quite trusting Him the first time, and will reward us when we do trust him–completely.