Are You Whole?
Do you know the word of God and still feel like you’re somehow missing something very important? Do scriptures like the Galatians 5:22-26 bring frustration instead of peace and joy? Does it remind you of what your missing in real time faith? Can we be whole or are we destined to enjoy only fleeting moments of the fruit of the Spirit. Is God really that Cruel? Does He point at what is just out of His children’s reach?
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
What does it look like in everyday life to experience the “fruit of the Spirit”?
The law says, don’t do this, instead do that, but knowledge about what love, joy and peace are, is a far cry from experiencing them. In what capacity do we enjoy love, joy and peace? Only in relationships. Relationships with God and each other.
Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Knowing what the fruit of the Spirit is, isn’t the same as experiencing it. The greatest way to experience the fruit of the Spirit is to be intentional in practicing them in our relationships, especially with those closest to us.
You can’t force someone to love you! We don’t experience love because we are commanded to love. We experience love when we are first loved. When you are loved by God, knowing and experiencing His love, then loving others is actually possible and natural.
So being mature in our faith isn’t about knowing God’s word, it’s about being transformed by it so that we live out the fruit of the Spirit in real time with those God put in our lives to love well.
Another way to say it is, does my spouse, my children, my coworkers and my friends experience the fruit of the Spirit through me? If they do, that’s spiritual maturity! It’s not about, what we know about scripture, it’s about how the word of God transforms our lives so that those around are blessed by us living out God’s word in relationships that express the fruit of the Spirit.