Last time we were together, we talked about being “spirit filled”. So many folks have a hard time with that term because it conjures up visions of “wacky” behavior and weird worship. Yet, few would argue that the Bible commands us to “walk in the Spirit”. Could it be that our ideas of what a “spirit led life” looks like need to be examined?
First of all, the Holy Spirit was sent to the world to bring glory to Jesus. Since that is His ministry, He will do nothing that glorifies anything else. I agree – much is done in the Name of the Spirit of God that simply glorifies the flesh. But, this does not change biblical realities. We cannot throw the baby out with the bath water. A mentor of mine once said, “If you are going to have a fire, you must expect a little wildfire”. If you spend all your energy avoiding wildfire, you will stamp out all fire. If worship and actions are Spirit led, you will find an evidence accompanying them called “the fruit of the Spirit”.
Last time, we looked at three evidences of the presence of “Spirit filled living”. Those three are love, joy, and peace. Today, we will look at the remainder of the fruits of the Spirit.
This refers to the quality that takes everything in stride and is not easily offended. When worship or behaviors are fleshly motivated, offense is easily encountered. When the motivation is questioned, the individual gets offended. John Chrysostom, bishop of Constantinople once said, “Patience is a spirit which could take revenge but chooses not to”. Patience waits on God, suffering long with others.
This is an action that is “well fit for the occasion”. It is the “God response at the God time”. It is opposite of the response spoken of in Galatians as, “biting and devouring one another”.
This is the manifestation of “going the second mile”. Goodness is manifest under the pressure to do something selfish.
This refers to one’s acceptance of a point as fact and ordering life according to that point even in contrary circumstances. Remaining loyal and steadfast no matter what.
Gentleness is the possession of a submissive and teachable spirit before God.
This is the power over one’s desires and emotions. They don’t control you, you control them.
The fruits of the Spirit cannot be faked. Where you find these, the Holy Spirit is in control. Yes, Jesus did some seemingly “strange” things – spitting on people to heal them, etc. so we can’t exclude everything we don’t understand or label everything “different” as not being from God. But, be assured: where Jesus is in control, you find the fruits of the Spirit. And these fruits are evidence of “spirit filled living”.