Everyone loves fruit baskets! Especially the ones that have chocolate covered fruit! In fact, just throw away the fruit and send the chocolate. I love chocolate…
I think I got a little off track there. Let’s get back to fruit.
I hope you will not be disappointed if we spend the month of April talking about the subject of fruit: specifically the fruit of the Spirit.
We could all use a little more of that fruit in our diets…not to mention our lives.
Focus (Galatians 5:22-23)
But the fruit of the Spirit…
I believe that this one phrase is the key to the entire idea of the fruit of the Spirit. The key is this: the fruit belongs to the Spirit and flows from the Spirit. It is not ours, naturally or spiritually.
The fruit of the Spirit stands in stark contrast to the works of the flesh. They are radically, diametrically opposed to one another.
And that is a good thing!
The reason I say that is because it takes all of the guess-work out of it. There is no fighting for the credit.
Do you see adultery? How about fornication? Strife? Envyings? Yep…that’s all me. That is to say..it is the flesh. Paul puts it quite succinctly in another passage.
Romans 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in myflesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
Have you ever seen anything so hopeless? That is exactly the point. It is hopeless to think that you and I can produce these fruits from within ourselves. They can only come from the Holy Spirit, which interestingly enough, also resides within you.
Notice again that Paul is careful to stipulate the by in me he means in his flesh. This is because there is another presence within Paul. That is the Spirit of Christ!
The Holy Spirit of God in us can produce the fruit in our lives that we are utterly incapable of producing in our flesh.
It will be easy, then to tell the difference. See the works of the flesh? Yep…that’s me.
See the fruit of the Spirit? Yep…that’s God.
It’s even called the fruit of the Spirit, rather than the fruit of the Christian, to avoid any chance we might take the credit for it. I want us to remember this point as we go forward in our study of the individual items in this fruit basket. They are the fruit of the Spirit. They are not our fruit. Only God can produce them in us; and He can and will if we allow Him to. That is our choice. That will be our prayer today.
Heavenly Father, as I look at the list of attributes your Word calls the fruit of the Spirit, I am reminded how utterly incapable I am of living up to those attributes. My flesh runs the exact opposite way. These fruit are yours. Please, Father, help me to let the Holy Spirit produce His fruit in my life. Let it be that when others see my life, they see a basket full of this wonderful fruit. Let me never try to take the credit for the work you do in my life. I am willing, Father, let me walk in your Spirit. In Jesus name, amen.