But the Fruit of the Spirit is…
…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self control.
6 AM: Summer 1985
I was out running. The baby had been up until midnight. When I went to bed, my husband wasn’t asleep. When he went to sleep the baby woke up. So this morning I was justifiably irritable. We had been studying the Armor of God in Ephesians, and the pastor had said Satan is one of those unprincipled fighters who knows what it takes to get you. The “day of evil” [Ephesians 5:13 NIV] is the day your defenses are down. And the Spirit of God said to me, “Is that all it takes to defeat you?” I was convicted to the core about making excuses for my bad behavior and determined to believe God could produce love, joy, peace etc. in me much more powerfully than I’d experienced it in the past. My tiredness was no excuse for ungodliness.
Really, that’s what the fruit of the Spirit is; godliness. The Spirit is living in you. His character should be growing in you. Except not when I’m tired? Except not when I’m having my period? Except not when I’m pregnant? Not when I’m planning a wedding? Not when I can’t get pregnant and am so unhappy? That’s like saying my life jacket works pretty well except when I fall in the water!
Who are you? Are you a child of God? Are you blessed with the very Spirit of God within you? Or are you just a body with hormones and emotions. We allow men the same excuses…. boys will be boys. That silliness can be a stronghold if we don’t allow the Spirit to change us, men and women alike.
Who are you? I was a very angry woman for many years. I don’t even mean I had a temper; I was just angry. Knowing I shouldn’t behave the way I did I would squash it down and squash it down but it would just finally squirt out. [What eloquent writing!] And I allowed myself to live that way. I had good excuses. I was from a dysfunctional family. I was abused. I couldn’t have a baby. Then I had wild and disobedient children. I had headaches. My body hurt. I was doing the best I could. But when something upset me, out anger squirted. There was nothing eloquent about it.
I was reading C. S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity. “If there are rats in a cellar you are most likely to see them if you go in very suddenly. But the suddenness does not create the rats; it only prevents them from hiding. In the same way the suddenness of the provocation does not make me an ill-tempered man; it only shows me what an ill-tempered man I am. The rats are always there in the cellar, but if you go in shouting and noisily they will have taken cover before you flip on the switch.” [pg 192] The headache, the time of the month or the circumstance only reveal who we truly are. I was so convicted by that illustration that I confessed to the rats in my basement and began to change.
Who are we? We are the home of the Spirit of God! What a better way to live–to have Love squirting out of you! To react with Patience and Self-Control when the kids are wild and crazy. To handle hardship with peace and self-control. This is Godliness; God in us. Peter says, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him…. For this reason add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge, and to knowledge, self-control; etc. But if anyone does not have them [these characteristics, this fruit of the Spirit]he is near sighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.”
As a believer we have the living God in us. See? Remember? Allow Him to squirt out of you, regardless the time of the month, the state of your body, or the time of your life.
You might say, “You don’t know how I’m struggling right now!” I can only say I’m sorry. I am so very sorry. I know how hard some days are. I know this hardest of all days Satan will attack with vehemence.
This is also the day the Spirit of God can be revealed through you.
@Roxana Currie 2014
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