But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. - Galatians 5:16
We can forget that we were born into a dramatically broken world that does not function the way God intended it to operate. We can minimize the amount of sin that exists in each of us. When we do that, we drop our guard. We can forget to protect ourselves from the temptations in our world, but our loving Father in Heaven promises to protect us from evil. He has placed a warrior spirit inside each of us who will battle for us even when we don't have the sense to battle for ourselves.
But how do we strengthen this Warrior? How do we grow the Spirit so that we can walk by it?
The fruit of the Spirit is the supernatural outcome of being filled with the Spirit and is the living proof that the Spirit of God dwells in us. We know He is alive in us when we see this fruit in our lives happen in such a way that surprises even us - when we have joy in a difficult trial, when we have peace in a heart-breaking decision, when we love the difficult person in our lives, when we show kindness in the chaos.
By contrast, when the Spirit is absent from our life, we struggle to demonstrate the fruit. We’re cranky, or filled with anxiety, we’re hyper critical or judgmental, we’re self-focused or harsh. When we struggle to demonstrate the fruit, it should be a huge red flag to us that we have quenched or grieved the Spirit. Pay attention to your actions - it can demonstrate the activity of the Spirit in your life.
We know that we are filled with the Spirit as soon as we accept Jesus as our Savior - this fruit is in you in the same capacity as it it exists in Jesus. Think about that - the same love, peace, kindness that is in Jesus is in you.
But we also know that we can stifle the Spirit...and when He is quiet, it is evident in our actions. It is on those days we struggle to show love or patience, we feel no joy, we are not kind or gentle, and our faith is small. When we find ourselves in one of those days, we must get alone with Him and get the scriptures open. There is something in our hearts that He needs to reveal to us.
Perhaps we are quenching the Spirit by not following through on something He is calling us to do - we know the spiritual disciples of daily study of scripture, prayer, attending church and small group, but maybe we are not making Him a priority. If we choose other things over Him in our busy days, we will struggle to feel the Spirit and it will be evident in our lack of joy and peace.
Or perhaps we are grieving the spirit with unconfessed sin. We need to fall before Him daily and ask Him to reveal our sinfulness to us. We are such a prideful people, my friends, that we don’t see the sin in our lives half the time. We are blind to so much of it. But if you ask, He will reveal it to you. Confess your sin and repent - confess the way you quench the Spirit, confess the way you grieve the Spirit, and as you do, the fruit will be so evident in your life it will blow your away.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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