In the book of Galatians, you find Paul addressing a group of people. He was trying to tell them to embrace all that Jesus did for them, and not go back to their old way of life, and thinking. The Bible makes it clear in Galatians 5, that most of the atrocities that happen in life (if not all) stem from people not walking in the Spirit of God.
The Holy Spirit empowers us to live our lives in ways that are pleasing to God. Apart from God, we can’t live a righteous life on our own; it is tough to do. That would be like going back to the days when the people lived under the law. But now, God has freely given us His Spirit, to be able to live in such a way that not only pleases Him, but is also good for us, and the world we live in.
“Walk in the Spirit, and you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.”
The Bible makes it clear that life outside the Spirit of God is full of every kind of sin and destruction. Things like murder, envy, jealousy, hatred, malice, sexual immorality, idolatry, sorcery, selfish ambitions, and the likes, are a result of not walking with God. But when we invite the Spirit of God into our lives, we begin to exhibit characteristics, which are fulfilling to not just our lives, but to others. These characteristics are what the bible refers to as the fruit of the spirit.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such, there is no law.”
—Galatians 5:23 (NKJV)
1) The fruit of the spirit is love—when we love ourselves, then extend that love to others, life becomes so much sweeter and smoother. If you love someone, you wouldn't want to harm or hurt them intentionally. The Bible says that all of the commandments can be summed up into one—love your neighbor, as you love yourself. When we love God, and people, we are doing what is expected of us.
2) The fruit of the spirit is joy—when you do life with God, joy ensues. There are a lot of things in this life that are designed to steal our joy because the enemy knows that when we are not joyful, we can harm ourselves and others as well. Life can be tough; there things that you go through in life, that it is only by the grace of God that you are still left standing.
That is why it is His joy and not ours that keeps us going. The bible says that the joy of the Lord is our strength. So if you are lacking joy, just ask God to strengthen you, and He will provide you with joy that people wouldn't even understand. Are you joyful?
The fruit of the spirit is peace—A life without peace, is a life I don’t think is worth living. You shouldn’t let anything steal your peace. Peace keeps us calm, peace lets you know that everything would be okay, even if it doesn't look like it. It is better for you to have peace than to have money, it is better for you to have peace than to have a spouse who gives you grief every day, it is better for you to have peace than to keep working a job, where you just have no peace.
Peace is a good indicator that everything is going to be fine for you. The lack of peace indicates chaos, or a disaster waiting to happen. "I will keep in perfect peace, those whose thoughts are stayed on me.” Isaiah 26:3. Do you have peace?
The fruit of the spirit is longsuffering—to suffer long, means to endure. In life, we will face many hardships and disappointments, rather than flee at first sight of trouble or break down; God is calling us to endure. He knows that we can't survive on our own, which is why He has given us His spirit, to help us navigate this life with. Are you faced with hardships coming at you from different angles?
Trust God—“surely there is an end, and your expectations will not be cut off.” Proverbs 23:18. The disciples of Jesus once faced difficulties coming to them from everywhere, they put it this way —“We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die.
But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead. And He did rescue us from mortal danger, and He will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in Him, and He will continue to rescue us.” 2 Corinthians 1:8-10
Gosh! Just writing this scripture out, reminded me of an incident I had last year, these disciples not only captured everything I went through, but also the resolve I came to—which was to learn to rely solely on God and His plans. Can you endure?
The fruit of the spirit is kindness—We live in a dog eat dog society these days, that is why God is calling us not only to love others but to be kind to them as well. You have to show kindness wherever you go. The life that you have been called to live is not just for you. You have to care for others, for those on the streets who can't fend for themselves. You have to be kind to those who are not kind to you. Lead by example, and hopefully, others would follow. Are you kindhearted?
The fruit of the spirit is goodness—what does it mean to be good? To be good means going against popular demand, and doing what God requires of you. Even if the whole world is going left, you go right. You stand for what is right and are not afraid to speak the truth in love, even when it’s not popular. Are you a good person?
The fruit of the spirit is faithfulness—can God trust you with anything? Sometimes we cry about how things aren't working out in our lives, or how we haven't gotten that big break. But are you faithful to the things that are working? Are you devoted to your boss, spouse or kids? Are you trustworthy? Maybe, just maybe when you are faithful with the little things, then He would make you ruler over much. Are you trustworthy?
The fruit of the spirit is gentleness—everything in this life doesn’t have to be gra-gra (feisty), everything doesn’t call for a fight or self-defense. How about turning the other cheek sometimes? It’s funny how my brother is the feisty one, while I am the calm one.
But when things go all the way left in my life, and I call my brother flipping out, and expecting him to get upset as well, he acts in the complete opposite, telling me—don’t let anyone steal your joy, you are a Christian, turn the other cheek. In those moments, I feel like the Holy Spirit is speaking to me, through him. Then I calm down and think about everything with a clear head. It's good to be gentle; it will take you a long way. Are you gentle?
The fruit of the spirit is self-control—I believe God saved the best for last. Without restraint, we will all be living a reckless life. The flesh wants to do many things, but if we can control our flesh, that distinguishes us from those who steal, kill, commit adultery, fornicate, tell lies, and so on.
The only difference is us telling ourselves no because we are all humans, sometimes we think nasty thoughts, and it is the spirit of God that helps stir us in the right direction. Self-control will help you be faithful, stay committed to your obligations, stay loyal to a spouse, save yourself for marriage, tell the truth when everyone else is lying, and I can go on and on. Self-control or self-discipline will help you go the distance. Can you control yourself?
God has given the believer His spirit to be able to do life with because He knows we can't do it on our own. So the next time we want to flip out (but the way people drive in Lagos won’t let me be great), commit sin, steal, cheat…let us pause and ask God to empower us by His spirit, to do the things that are honorable to Him.
Hope you guys enjoyed this article and can apply it to your lives, we really need a peaceful society. Imagine a world for a second, where everyone is walking in the spirit, what a world that would be (Heaven I guess). Thank you all for reading, remember to comment, like, share and subscribe to never miss an update.