If you are anything like me, you may work really hard to pick out the perfect outfit everyday; but especially before an outing or a big occasion. However, our spiritual clothing is far more important than the visible physical clothes we have on. Our inner lives and hearts are critical because the thoughts and intents of our hearts eventually flow out especially under pressure (Luke 6:45).
Apostle Peter admonished that our beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes but rather, it should be from within (1 Peter 3:3).
On the same note, The New Testament repeatedly teaches that we should put off the works of darkness and the flesh and put on Christ. This means that just as we physically dress ourselves up with nice looking clothes on the outside, we should more importantly, consciously dress our inner hearts with the attributes of Christ.
For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. Galatians 3:27
Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh. Romans 13:14
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires to be made new in the attitude of your minds and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24
Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Colossians 3:9-10
The Fruit of the Spirit
The fruit of the Spirit is the outward expression of God’s nature within us. It is the fruit borne by those who are led by the Spirit of God. The indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit produces these virtues in the lives of those who are yielded to God. They are mutually dependent attributes of Christian living and do not operate in isolation. They are signs of growth and maturity in a Christian, the product of a Spirit controlled life in which the flesh has been put-off and the Spirit put-on.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Galatians 5: 22-25
So how can we get the fruit?
- Get born-again. The fruit of the Spirit are not personality traits. They are for those who have chosen to follow Christ and who are borne of the Spirit of God.
- Spend time with God and with his word. You cannot become more and more like God if you do not know who God is, and what God desires.
- Desire to be Christ-like and ask God for help.
- Get ready for a test/ trial. Trials are fertile ground for exercising the fruit. In the absence of pressure most of us appear very kind and loving. However, trials present opportunities for us to make a conscious decision to obey and honor God by walking in the fruit of the Spirit.
What can keep us from developing the fruit?
- Ignoring the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
- No time spent in the presence of God.
- Allowing stress and the cares of this world to overcome us.
- You will be cut-off if you do not bear fruit (John 15:2).
- The eternal destiny of those around will be affected by your fruitfulness or lack of it.
- We cannot be fruitless ambassadors for Christ. The bible teaches that we will be known by our fruit. (Matthew 7:20). An apple tree grows apples and a Christian figuratively grows the fruit of the Spirit. Do not bother advertising your Christianity if you have no fruit.
- Our walk with God blossoms through our obedience.
WHAT WOULD YOU RATHER HAVE?
A beautiful fruitful heart and life made possible by daily walking with the Holy Spirit
An ugly fruitless, cranky, disobedient existence in the flesh?
MAKE YOUR CHOICE TODAY!!!!
Except where indicated, Scriptures are taken from the NIV.