But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Gal 5:22-23)
I want the Fruit of the Spirit, don’t you? I want to have all the love, joy, and peace that I can. But come to find out —I had it backwards!
A tree produces fruit to benefit others, not for itself. Oh my! My focus unknowingly was on myself. This fruit is not for me, the bearer, but for God and others.
“This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” (Jn 15:8)
It is more obvious that the last 6 aspects of this fruit list are for others. However, even there we must be careful.
Do I want to be patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled so that I can feel good about myself and that others will think highly of me? Or do I want the fruit of the Spirit truly for God’s glory and the benefit of others?
It always boils down to motives; to what’s in our hearts. I certainly got pricked with these questions. But knowing the real truth will set you and me free. How else could we change our thinking? We need the Holy Spirit to point out our misunderstandings. I want a rich bountiful harvest, don’t you?
Here’s where we need to change our thinking:
1. Have the Right Goal
- Joy should not be the goal. That’s putting our desire for joy before God (i.e. an idol). But seeking God first will lead to that joy.
…You will fill me with joy in your presence…. (Ps 16:11)
- The goal should not be to have peace in our lives, but to be at peace with God. Then the peace of God will follow as a result of being right with our holy Creator (Rom 5:1, Phil 4:7, 9).
- Love should be the goal—not to receive love, but rather give love to God and others (the 2 greatest commandments).
2. Have the Right Source
We don’t produce this fruit—He does. Its origin is divine.
Spiritual fruit develops by abiding and having faith in Christ.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing….” (Jn 15:5)
“It is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these…. (John 14:10-12)
Fruit is the evidence of what’s inside. Therefore, bearing spiritual fruit is to show others the evidence of God working in us, proving that He exists and cares. God wants to be known and uses willing vessels like you and me to display His glory.
Once we have the correct perspective, we will experience what we want in the way of love, joy, and peace. It’s a byproduct of believing, obeying, and living in Christ Jesus.
I probably have stretched your mind. Good! The Holy Spirit will help you understand these spiritual mind-blowers. Let God teach you and transform your way of thinking so you can produce bountiful fruit that will last.
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last.” (Jn 15:16)
Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica. All rights reserved worldwide.