Tag Archives: fruit of the flesh

Producing Good Fruit

How long has it been since you looked at the Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5? To me, they’re a measuring stick of where I am in my growth. I have to ask myself, “Is my life producing these fruits?” Paul told us that a life controlled by God’s Spirit would produce those fruits. If I’m not producing them, then I’m not being controlled by God. In that same chapter, he also described the fruits of the flesh. These describe what a life that is not controlled by the Spirit looks like. It’s important to look in the mirror often to see what your spiritual life looks like.

Each morning as I get ready for the day, I stop and look in the mirror to fix my hair and to make sure I look presentable before going out in public. The same thing should happen for us as believers. We should look at ourselves in the mirror of God’s Word to see what we look like. If we don’t like what we see, we need to make adjustments just like we would to our physical appearance. If you had bags under your eyes you could either cover them with make up (this doesn’t solve the problem) or get more rest.

Too many times when we look in our spiritual mirror and see something that doesn’t look right in our lives, we try to cover it up. We want to appear to others as having it together when really the problem is one of the heart. David tried to cover up his sin with Bathsheba. He didn’t want others to know he had committed adultery, so he brought her husband home from the war. When he wouldn’t sleep with his wife, David sent him back to be killed so he could marry her and make it look like they got pregnant on their wedding night. He went to a lot of trouble trying to cover up the physical actions of a spiritual problem.

David had quit being led by the Spirit and was being led by his fleshly desires. He reaped the fruit of that choice. Since he wouldn’t look I hope a spiritual mirror, the prophet of God came and held it up. When he did, David recognized the spiritual problem. Instead of continuing to try to cover it, he dealt with the spiritual problem. In Psalm 51:10 he prayed, “Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. (NLT)” He realized he needed s change of heart to change his ways.

We are not so different from David. We have fruit we are not proud of and we try to cover it up. You may not have a prophet come knock on your door to call you out like he did, but the problem still has to be dealt with. If you look at the fruit in your life and know you need to change, don’t try to cover the problem up. Deal with it at the source. Pray like David did that God would give you a clean heart, that He would put a right spirit in you and that you would live a life that is led by His Spirit. When you do that, you will produce love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.  

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The Snooze Button

If you’re like me, you love the snooze button on your alarm. Somehow I feel like I’m pulling a fast one on my body and I am really getting extra sleep. I have mine set to a maximum of five snoozes. On that one, there is no option to hit snooze anymore. It’s just a red “X” on my screen. I have to get up. I have to get out of bed and get ready for work. There other days where it goes off and I don’t remember hitting snooze or hearing the alarm and I wake up late.

Sometimes we treat the Holy Spirit like a snooze alarm. He comes to warn us of approaching sin or danger and we push Him away. He comes right back telling us to run or change our course, but we don’t listen or we tell Him, “I’ll be all right. Just a few more minutes wont hurt.” Eventually, we quit hearing Him because we’ve become immune to the sound of His voice warning us.

There is a war going on inside each of us. The Holy Spirit is wanting us to live one way and our flesh another. We get to choose who we hit the snooze on. Paul put it this way in Galatians 5:16, “But I say, walk and live habitually in the Holy Spirit (responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit); then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh.” He asks us in verse 18, “Why don’t you choose to be led by the Spirit?”

The Holy Spirit is in our lives to point us to living the way God desires for us to live. His desire is to produce the kind of fruit in our lives that comes from living God’s way. Those fruit are listed in verses 22 and 23: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Why would we ever want to push the snooze button when it comes to developing these? These are the qualities God desires to bring out in each one of us.

Paul also makes it clear what fruits come when we snooze the Holy Spirit and choose our flesh. In verses 19-21, some of the fruits he lists are: an accumulation of mental and emotional garbage, paranoid loneliness, all consuming yet never satisfied wants, a brutal temper, divided homes and divided lives and the habit of die personalizing everyone into a rival. These are the things that living according to the flesh produces. There is a clear difference between the two.

Understand that fruit is the end product. When the choices are presented, you don’t see the fruit that will bear from your decision. If you were presented with the end product, it would be easy to choose the Holy Spirit every time. That’s why Paul spelled it out this way. He knew we would see the choices before us and not think of what the end result would be. He knew our internal, fleshly desire is to snooze the Holy Spirit. When we look at the fruit that each choice bears, it should make our choice easier. Who are you going to snooze today?

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