Paul describes nine aspects and results of the Spirit of God dwelling within a man. It is commonly known as the fruit of the Spirit. It is literally the outflow of the life of God in the soul of man. Let your soul yield to life-giving river of Life, which is the Spirit!
1. Love: This is the more excellent way that Paul speaks of at the end of 1 Corinthians 12! Love is not some coddling of the flesh, or making someone feel good about themselves. Love is giving what’s best. Jesus is what’s best. Nothing compares to Him, and He’s the true need of every soul!! So, in my day to day routine love looks like simply living a life that is always giving the Lord Jesus. In my thoughts, words, deeds, actions, relations, conversations, I am to give Jesus. Whether it is a sincere word of kindness and truth, tenderly encouraging, or travailing for someone’s soul. Love is giving what is best: the Lord Jesus!
2. Joy: “In Thy presence is fullness of joy, and at Thy right hand are pleasures forevermore,” so says the Psalmist. Thus, the call to joy, is a call to ever live in the presence of the Almighty. To dwell in His secret place, where no shadow of turning exists. I am called to joy, like birds are called to sing, or fish are called to swim. Joy, when the Spirit invades and pervades my life, becomes the mark of my existence. In the midst of sorrow, pain, and loss I can find a richness in my Savior. This is not a cheesy, hokey goofiness that we’re talking about. This is abiding delight in the presence of my Savior, who now indwells me. O ‘twere not in joy to charm me, were that joy unmixed with Thee.
3. Peace: Frustrations, trials, tempests, problems, sin, temptation, arguments, wars, atrocities all mark the current state of the world. Thus, to live in peace means to live in such a way that nothing moves me from the Rock of Christ Jesus. I can stand firm in the knowledge that there is solid bedrock beneath me. Practically, then, I can face any circumstance, whether it goes “my way” or not, with a firm understanding that nothing can wrest me from the Hand of God! There is no threat of war upon the Kingdom of God, therefore, I can rest in the knowledge that His kingdom now abides within me!
4. Long-suffering: I have been called to take up a cross and bear it daily. This means that I should live in such a way that is markedly different from the pattern of this world. This inevitably means that my life will be marked by the burden and trial of being the laughingstock and offscouring of the earth. My Savior endured through every mocking and scoffing. Thus, in my relationships, I need to suffer and endure. This is also a call to life-long submission to whatever ills God may send my way. Go then earthly fame and treasure, come disaster scorn and pain, in Thy service pain is pleasure, with Thy favor loss is gain!
5. Gentleness: Oh to be known as a man of gentleness. We have somehow lost the concept of being a gentleman!! In my manner of life I should be so full of honor, dignity, respect and meekness that I am courteous, kind, compassionate, chivalrous, and giving. I should go without, so that others might have. I should take the lowest place, so others can go before! With every word, show a tender care. With every action, show a loving compassion.
6. Goodness: Only God is good. Thus, I desperately need God, in order to obtain and perform this fruit! It is impossible to be good without God indwelling. Everything I do of myself is marked by selfishness. Everything I do of Him, is marked by goodness. I must allow God’s life-giving goodness to permeate my actions. Goodness is the overflow of God’s life in a soul. This causes me to do what’s right, upstanding, honoring to the Lord, and healing to the hurting!
7. Faith: This is rock-solid confidence in the ability of God, to perform what He promises. Further, it is allowing Him to make me a bastion of strength for others; to let Him make me strong on behalf of others! Can people depend on me? Am I full of faith? For according to the Word, whatever is not done of faith is sin. Only faith will last! It is the true substance of a soul. Thus, when I trust fully in God, then (and only then) may I be faithful to God and man. May I not betray the confidence man may have in me. If I make a promise, I will fulfill it. I can only be a promise keeper if I am grounded upon the solid rock of Christ Jesus. A true man of faith becomes a dependable source of confidence to those God has placed under His care. Soon shall close my earthly mission, soon shall close my pilgrim days. Hope shall change to glad fruition, faith to sight and prayer to praise!!
8. Meekness: Jesus says of Himself, “I am meek and lowly.” Then He says, “Take my burden upon you.” Meaning, be like Him. Philippians 2 says, “Have this mind in you which is yours in Christ Jesus.” Then it proceeds to tells us of Christ’s mind of humility! Thus, this is a call to be like Jesus, and alls one for that! There is no shame in being like the Exalted Savior. He is exceedingly good. It will involve swallowing my pride, giving up my selfish desires, yielding to others, taking a posture of service, and happily availing myself to others! Yet, this is the promise, I will be found like unto my Savior, and this is my soul’s desire! Let the world despise and leave me, they have left my Savior too. Human hearts and looks deceive me. Thou art not like them untrue!
9. Temperance: I will let my moderation be known to all. I won’t gorge myself on fanciful fare. Nor will I squeeze every last drop of recognition from my accomplishments and work. I will simply allow the Spirit of God to temper and control me. I have a vicious wolf caged up inside of me, and I must allow God to keep it in a submissive posture or else it will wreak a havoc of sin and selfishness! I don’t need more than my daily bread. I don’t need the fanciest car or latest invention. I simply need the temperance and attitude of the Spirit of God to literally exert His life within my soul! O while Thou dost smile upon me, God of wisdom, love and might, foes may hate and friends disown me, show Thy face and all is bright!