The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. —GALATIANS 5:22-23
All those who desire to live godly lives have prayed for these fruits. We want more love, so we pray for God to increase our love. We want more patience, so we pray for patience. We all know the routine. We’ve all sought the gifts of the Spirit with a shopping-list mentality.
But there is a better way. Instead of seeking more of the fruits, we must seek more of the Spirit. When we think we need more love, we really need more of Jesus in us. Or, perhaps more accurately, we need Jesus to have more of us. The same goes for our joy, our peace, our patience, and so on. These are not nine individual characteristics that we can isolate and work on individually. They are integral parts of the mind of Christ. The more we abide in His Spirit, the more we will have them. When we lack certain fruits, we lack fellowship with the Spirit who gives them. The means to be more fruitful is to ask for closer fellowship with the Source. When we have that, the love, joy, peace, etc., will come.
This is God’s design for His people. His plan is not simply to improve us and make us better people. His plan is to inhabit us. The fruit of the Spirit is not about us and our deficiencies. It is about God and His presence in this world. If you find yourself lacking, the problem is not an isolated characteristics; it is fellowship with the personal, living God. He aims to live His life in you.
Believe it or not, you–along with other believers–are the means to display God’s character in this world. If we don’t display Him, He won’t be seen. That’s an awesome responsibility. It’s also an awesome privilege. Do you lack His fruitfulness? Then you lack Him–not necessarily His salvation, but His Lordship and His fellowship. Don’t just ask for love, joy, or anything else. Ask for Him.
by Chris Tiegreen