James 1:2-4

Don’t run from tests and hardships, brothers and sisters. As difficult as they are, you will ultimately find joy in them; if you embrace them, your faith will blossom under pressure and teach you true patience as you endure. And true patience brought on by endurance will equip you to complete the long journeyand cross the finish line—mature, complete, and wanting nothing. James 1:2-4D

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Fruit of the Spirit

Have you ever wondered if you are walking in God's will in your life, if you are on the right path on your spiritual journey?

If you are anything like me I sometimes wonder if I'm lost, did I take a wrong turn, am I where God wants me?  Is my life making a difference?

Sometimes God seems quiet and the road ahead seems long and hard.  Some days my prayers are questions and full of lament for the way my life has turned out.  In the quiet of my heart, I hear a response in God's ever so gentle way, "ssh my beloved, everything is okay, just trust me, press on, do not fear, I am here." Comforting yes, but before long I find myself seeking to know if I'm in His will again.  Which isn't a bad thing I suppose, at least my heart is in the right place.

Today I received a profound nudge in a sermon I heard at church. The preacher was speaking about walking in step with the Holy Spirit and how to tell if you are working with Him, instead of against Him.  Sometimes we can operate in our own strength, which is pride and really self-righteousness and religion, or we can also sit passively waiting for God to move. I heard God say to me through this message, my daughter, "you can tell that you are walking in step with my Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit will produce the fruit of the Spirit in your life. Bang!  Hit me like a rock.  The fruit of the Spirit which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness (guidance), faithfulness and self-control Galatians 5:22-23 will manifest in my life if I am walking in step with Him.

The Holy Spirit is like this quiet gentle nudging in our life and sometimes we as humans are not quiet long enough or still enough to even hear it let alone trust it.

John 3:8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

If there is a situation in your life and the fruit is not evident, perhaps it's time to seek the Lord for a correction in your life. If there is good fruit, then you know you are right on track in your life, the Holy Spirit is with you.  Ask yourself if there is some rotten fruit in your life.  The opposite of love, for example, could show up in your life in a number of ways, perhaps it as strong as hatred towards someone or as subtle as hidden resentment or unforgiveness.  If there's rotten fruit in your life, seek God in prayer and ask Him to show you how you can pick that fruit so new healthy fruit can blossom in its place.

In the book Seasons of God, Richard Blackaby describes winter in the natural world as a time of rest, when ground that seems dead just needs to be tended to and in the spring will birth forth new life.  The same is true of our lives, what seems like dead branches likely needs pruned off.   If you allow God to prune away in those winter seasons before long new healthy fruit emerges from our lives.  Jesus gave us that beautiful image of the Father as the vinedresser in John 15, perhaps take the time to read it today.  You may feel you are in a  season of winter in your life and you long for new growth and new life. Perhaps you need to seek the vinedresser and let Him do some pruning in your life.

May you trust in God's sovereignty today!  God Bless!  Laura ~ www.narrowgatetraveller.com

Isaiah 43:18-19 - “Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert.