July 8, 2011

Your Spiritual Fruit

What exactly does the term "spiritual fruit" mean? Think about a tree that bears fruit. I love sweet Valencia oranges from California (of course!) and during the fall you can see the trees that line the freeways full of bright, beautiful, succulent oranges. Full of life and health and ready to give all they have to whoever gets to them first. Do these oranges represent a Christian living a spirit filled life? I think so. These oranges stand out in a sea of green leaves as if to say "choose me!", they stand out from the rest because of what they are, a beautiful creation of God with a purpose. These oranges have one purpose and they know it from the start. If only it was so easy for humans to figure it out.
I have to be honest and say I don't really know what my purpose is, yet. I think a person's purpose may change throughout their life. Right now, my purpose may be to simply raise up my boys and take care of our home. Next month or next year it may change. God will let me know if he needs me to change it up. As long as I am walking by the Spirit and learning and growing in Christ then I know God can use me for His greater purpose.
Let's look at the Bible... This is Galations 5:16-25.
16But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 
What does this mean? That I am not here for moi? That I am not here to eat bon-bons and do as I please? I (we) are here to do God's will. Whatever HE wants us to do, how simple or how great. Don't forget it.
18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 
Now, let me stop there for a minute and tell you why I included that part. Walking by the Spirit is the important part and those verses explain how we can do that. If we do that and ignore the needs of the flesh (or human needs) then we can walk in the Spirit and be fruitful. Which desires of the flesh do you battle with? I know I have a few that, if I let them, can consume me. That is evil at work. And letting those desires consume us means we are letting Satan win. Continue.
22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Did you notice that these are not called the fruits but fruit of the Spirit? All of the fruits work together to form the way we are to live our lives; with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness AND self-control. One big happy package. Is this easy for you? Sure isn't easy for me. I am really good at loving and being faithful but self-control and patience, ahem, not so much. 
24And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
If we are living by the Spirit then all those ugly, fleshly things have been crucified with Jesus. They can be in our past, we don't ever have to look back because Jesus took those sins from us and took the blame. What he sacrificed for us is beyond compare. We could surely try to give up the desires of the flesh. He also understands that we are human and we are sinners. All we are required to do is ask for forgiveness. Repent. 
25If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.
And finally, if we live by the Spirit then we need to walk by the Spirit. Talk the talk and walk the walk. The inside should match the outside. Live a Christian life, if you still don't understand what that means then read Radical by David Platt. It will challenge you like nothing ever has! I am currently reading it and we will be doing the Radical Experiment as a church this fall. I am ready to be RADICAL! 
Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that having the Holy Spirit, Father, Jesus, God, the Holy Trinity, Yahweh, Jehovah or whatever name you choose to call Him by should change your life and your walk and your talk. Christians should stand out, stand up and share their faith, share the love of Jesus, share salvation with everyone! We should be fruitful and share those fruits.

Radical | A book by David Platt

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