The Fruit of the Spirit!

The fruit of the Spirit is
love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness and self-control.
(Galatians 5:22-23 in the Holy Bible)

I am very excited about the coming weeks as I write about “The Fruit of the Spirit’.
This will cover ten weeks starting with this column. Each week I will deal with a different fruit of the Spirit.

I thought it necessary to begin with just a simple word about Who the Spirit is we are talking about. Often people think of the Holy Spirit in some vague impersonal way. At another time in the future I may do a teaching about Who the Holy Spirit is. Now I shall just give the simplest explanation.

God manifests Himself to us as God who is Father, God who is Jesus and God who is Holy Spirit. God is One God, Holy and inseparable . This is Holy Ground we walk on when we speak of the Divine Trinity. This would be too great a teaching just now in this short column.

When Jesus said that when He went to the Father (after the resurrection) He would not leave us alone but send the Holy Spirit to be with us and lead us in all Truth. It is the Holy Spirit that convicts us of sin, righteous and judgment.

I encourage you to read John the 14th, 15th, and 16th chapters and study what Jesus teaches about the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit then actually comes to indwell the new believer at the moment of conversion. The Holy Spirit then seals our soul. God is with us in the Presence of the Holy Spirit. Jesus is with us in the Presence of the Holy Spirit. Therefore we can proclaim, “God is living in me!’ My body is the dwelling place of God presence.

“For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”

Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?

For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.’
(2 Corinthians 6:16; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 in the Holy Bible)

The indwelling Holy Spirit never leaves you after you are born into the Kingdom of God and your name is written in the Book of Life. You may grieve the Holy Spirit and you may quench the Holy Spirit but He will never leave you. Oh, how sensitive the Holy Spirit is. However the Holy Spirit abides in the children of God to perfect, and sanctify us. He leads us and works in us to make us a true reflection of Jesus. This is a walk of a lifetime as the Holy Spirit works in us. This is glorious.

Now there are many ideas about the ‘filling of the Holy Spirit’ and being ‘baptized with the Holy Spirit’, and other terms. Again it is too extensive to get into in this column. But just let it be said that the Holy Spirit in us should produce fruit and Galatians 5:22 and 23 tells us what these fruits are. The Spirit-filled follower of Jesus should produce all these fruits.

I don’t care if you say you are so full of the Holy Spirit that white doves sit on your shoulders. But if you do not have ‘The fruit of the Holy Spirit’ evident in your life you are not filled with the Holy Spirit. Those are just sick birds. Ha!

What I mean is this. The evidence that I am filled with the Holy Spirit is that my life produces the ‘Fruit of the Spirit’ love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Now don’t get this confused with Salvation in Jesus Christ. We can have the Holy Spirit in us but He is not in control of us. We are quenching the Spirit. We may be grieving the Holy Spirit. He is in us but not on the throne of my life.

I remember when I was a student in Mississippi College. It was back in the 50’s. In my walk with Jesus I seemed to be on a spiritual ‘Roller Coaster’. I was up one day and down the other. My walk and fellowship with God was not consistent. I got so sick of the up and down fellowship that in a desperate effort I locked myself in my dorm room and said ‘I am not leaving till I know what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit’. Then I prayed to be filled with the Holy Spirit. It was a weekend and all afternoon and into the night I read and wrote down on paper every scripture in the New Testament about the Holy Spirit.

It was in the early morning hours that I lay on the floor and cried out to God. “Lord I believe! I know that the Holy Spirit is in me but Oh, Holy Spirit I have not been letting You control me in every way. Now Lord Jesus cleanse me afresh with Your Blood and I ask in faith that You ‘Fill me with the Holy Spirit NOW for the Glory of God!’

Laying on that floor the Glory of God covered me and Wave after Wave of the Holy Spirit swept over me. I was crying for hours and this continued for hours.

I remember crying out to God in thanks and praise. I then said, “God I will be your garbage can. Anything that no one wants to do, I volunteer. Should there be anything no one wants to do, I volunteer ‘ I know He took me up on my word. Ha!

The Holy Spirit had been in me and worked in me since I was a child and was saved. I left that dorm room different. I was now filled with the Holy Spirit but I faced “Walking in the Spirit’. This was a learning experience. The same old things kept coming up. Not as much but I still had to battle it within me. How can I truly walk in the Spirit and produce the fruit of the Spirit?

I made a profound decision. I went to my typewriter and typed out on paper:

The fruit of the Spirit is
love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness and self-control.
Galatians 5:22-23

I put this Bible verse beside my bed on the wall. I put it on my bathroom mirror. I taped it to each of my college books and notebooks. I taped it to my car dashboard. Everywhere I went I was now faced with the fruits of the Holy Spirit.

It went something like this. I would be driving down the highway in my car and a car would pull out in front of me and almost cause a crash. My normal reaction was to get angry and honk or wave at that person. But no, this is not a fruit of the Holy Spirit. I would see the verse with ‘Gentleness and Self-control’ and at that very moment I would say something like, “Right now Holy Spirit take out the anger and Fill me with Gentleness and Self-control!’ Something happened! Anger was gone and I was focused on Jesus and the fruit of that relationship. This happened over and over in many ways. It took me at least a year before I did not need the scripture card everywhere. Now in my heart and mind that passage was implanted.

I still use that passage of scripture to check myself and judge myself. When I see in me anything that does not reflect these fruits I know I am failing and seek to repent and change. This is a moment-by-moment walk in the Spirit. Don’t wait till you go to bed to pray. Do it on the spot. At the very moment you realize you have a need, pray then.

Each of these fruits is a message in itself. Each of these fruits is also like a red flag saying ‘Stop’ when I see that one of these fruits is missing in my life. It is also like a green light saying ‘Go’ when I see that fruit in me I praise God and give Him the Glory.

See for me I do not look at what God is doing with me. I seek to see who I am in Christ. I may be preaching to great crowds but am I kind? I may carry the cross in many lands and see mighty response but is my heart full of love? I may see even great miracles but do I have self-control in my private life? On and on I could go. See how this is a check to me.

What about you?

I pray that the ‘Fruit of the Holy Spirit’ is the natural result of God at work in me. I seek to keep a constant eye on these ‘highway markers’ showing me the way to live and warning me not to deviate from the Walk in the Holy Spirit.

I trust this has been helpful to you and it sure has refreshed and blessed me just writing this. Oh, I love you Jesus. Oh, I love you Father. Oh, I love you Holy Spirit and welcome you dear God to produce in me the “Fruits of the Holy Spirit’.

God bless you all,

Pilgrim followers of Jesus,
Arthur and Denise Blessitt
Luke 18:1