I’m not saying that the fruits, the things mentioned in God’s Word, are wrong. Rather, our methodology for obtaining these things could be a bit skewed. I’ll use myself as a prime example here. Anyone who knows me knows that I struggle with patience. I want everything yesterday. I hate waiting for most things and am simply ready to get going. When I read God’s Word I clearly see His calling to be patient. Texts like “Wait for the Lord. . .” Psalm 27:14. Or even the passage mentioned above often poke me, letting me know that something’s got to give in my life.
So, I strive. I try really hard to be patient. I want God to work in my life. I want to be filled with the fruit of the spirit. I may even pray, “Lord, help me to be patient.” I struggle through the battle ever a defeated foe.
There is something not right here. Another way of saying “fruit of the spirit” is saying the evidence that the Holy Spirit, God, is living and working in my life. It’s kind of like with cats. When I was growing up I was always told that a healthy cat has a wet nose. I can picture myself walking up to P.J. (my childhood pet) and feeling her nose. Upon discovering that it is dry, I quickly go to the sink to get my hands all wet. Then, I rub the water all over her nose. There – now her nose is wet. She must be a healthy cat.
Therefore, if I recognize that I am a bit too impatient, or that I’m lacking in joy or peace rather than trying to muster up these characteristics, I need to be sent to my knees. A lack of patience is a sign that something else is wrong. It is a symptom of a larger problem. I need to take time in Gods Word, in prayer and in deep communion with Him. Only He can fix my dry nose and make it wet for good. Only allowing the Holy Spirit to truly dwell in my life will produce the kind of fruit that comes only from close connection with Him.
God’s still working on me. There is a long way to go, but I pray that each day I may live in Him more and that I will allow Him to fill me more deeply with His Holy Spirit.
“Being confidant of this, that He who began a good work in me will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ” Philippians 1:6