By Carol Becwar
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Gal 5:22-23).
Even after being a believer in Jesus Christ for many years, I'm not always certain my faith is having any effect on the world around me. I search scripture, attend Bible studies, and pray for wisdom. I worship on Sunday, try to apply the message on Monday, and by Friday I often look back and wonder what went wrong. I've forgotten the bullet points from Sunday's message and gotten swept into life's big challenges that fill my mind with worry. My sleep-deprived brain tells me I need to reorganize, to “make a new plan”.
But what good is faith if it stops at merely believing, or dotting the i's and crossing the t's of religion? Stuart Briscoe wrote, “It is one thing to believe that Christ died for the sins of the world – no doubt this belief affects behavior. But it is entirely different to believe that Christ died for me and then rose again to live within me through the Holy Spirit. To believe this is to be introduced to vast possibilities of unique behavior”(The Fruit of the Spirit, Cultivating Christian Character).
Being connected with God, being rooted in Him, affords me – and you – the constant company of the Holy Spirit, who points us to every opportunity for living out our belief in the Gospel. If we are attentive to the Spirit's encouragement, we can live lives that reflect our faith and magnify our awesome God. We can produce fruit – the fruit of the God's Spirit.
Spiritual fruit is produced by God working through us. With the Holy Spirit working beside us, we broadcast the Gospel and enhance loving relationships with others. On top of that, as we embody the fruit of the Spirit, we are also illustrating God's character. Imagine how this impacts the kingdom.