In this series we’ve talked quite a bit about the power and gifts of the Holy Spirit, how the Spirit speaks and moves in ways beyond our own strength. To some of us, that’s a little intimidating right? Thinking about the power of the Holy Spirit can be a little too charismatic or Pentecostal for us.
This section is one most people are a little more comfortable with. Here, we’re going to talk about the fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 tells us “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” No matter what denomination people are, they generally recognise the need for those in both their own life and the church.
This brings us to a bit of a dilemma faced in many churches. We can emphasise one part of God above the other, often the part we are more comfortable with. I have been in churches that regularly talk about the gifts of the Spirit and the power of the Spirit, emphasising our need for that to transform our lives and towns. I have been in more churches who have never mentioned the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but often talk about the fruit of the Spirit and the work God does in creating that in our lives.
Both are completely right, but if we only talk about one of these two things, we miss what God has for us. You see, God is so much greater than we know and far more than we can handle. To know, love, trust and follow God is to accept that He is Lord and His ways are far above ours.
When you read the Bible, are there parts you don’t really find easy? It may be certain teachings, or it could be some of the more intense miracles or spiritual encounters. Either way, we don’t get to ignore those parts of God. However much we may want to think we have God worked out, He cannot be tamed and will not be tamed by who we want Him to be.
To be a child of God is to become more and more like Him. As part of that, let’s not be pick and mix Christians. Let’s not grab what we’re used to and comfortable with, but determine to know and receive as much of God as possible. As we do that, we will walk in the fullness of all He has for us, both individually and as a church.