Posts Tagged ‘Fruit of the Spirit’

Day Sixty-Three

The Work of His Presence

“But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (and even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence).”               Gal 5:22-23

          His Presence within ….  If we are a believer in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior – we have the assurance of His word that the Holy Spirit abides and dwells within us and that He will remain with us forever.  So why then do we so often lack the qualities depicted above that are the fruit of His Presence in us?  More accurately – why do I lack those qualities in the face of life’s challenges?  I have been given all things for life and godliness – so where is the glitch?

I am alternately overjoyed, challenged, guilty, and yet confident by this issue and the questions it provokes.  Overjoyed: because I know the Lord’s word never falls to the ground – there is a promise for me that these things will be displayed through me.  Challenged:  because those are some mighty shoes to fill to walk in the Spirit through the tempests of life.  Guilty: because I have so often fallen short of the standard of this behavior, but I am alternately assured: because I know the Lord is still working in me.  I don’t have to strain to fill these shoes (any more than an apple tree has to strain to produce fruit), but there is a place where my lack — my agony over my meagerness will cause me to cry out to the One Who makes me what I ought to be – as I yield to Him all that I am.  This is the place where the Lord’s timing and provision, and my humility and need, all meet together.  But before I cry out to Him – I must first see my need in all its blazing reality, bumps and blemishes, and be moved to humility by it.  The truth is – in myself I lack, and yet in Christ I become whole!

It’s not like throwing a light switch on.  It’s more like renovating the whole electrical schematics of a house.  I am a work in progress.  But be assured, the Lord Whose Name I carry will not be mocked.  He knows the genuineness of my heart before Him, and He will deal with me if I am only displaying outward compliance to His nature without an inward truth.

This is why we can have such confidence!  The Lord is both the Architect and the Builder.  He knows what He is calling us to, and where we are not yet demonstrating.  Success in walking out the fruit of His nature is less about my proficient study – then my humble reliance and waiting on Him.  It is more about the depth of my relationship with Him, then my scholarly acquisitions. The latter supports the former – but it can never replace it.

So maybe you have witnessed a believer in a less than Christ-like stance when the road of life got bumpy.  Should you use that as a reason to doubt the power of God, the commitment of that particular believer, or that Christianity is even real today? Should someone’s behavioral train wreck cause us to cry liar or fraud? Not even.  Would you declare a house under renovation a failure?  No … for it is not yet finished.  And your confidence is not in the house – it is in the Builder of the house. (Now if years go by and no change in their behavior – another story!) God, however, will succeed in the final outcome.  We can trust He is working, and changing, and renovating us all – for the Glory of His Name and His word which He has elevated high above His Name.  It will be done, and we will see through His saints being perfected – the goodness of the Lord!  Booyah to the Lord!


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