A Choice to Let God
- Date: January 25, 2004
- Teacher: Pastor Star R. Scott
- Scripture: "And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts." (Galatians 5:24)
- From Spiritual Life - Spiritual Fruit
The fruit of the Spirit is the proof that God's Spirit is living in us. The fruit of the Spirit cannot manifest without the abiding presence of the Spirit of God. We must abide in the Vine and His words must abide in us. Fruit, as it's being produced, will always be pruned so that we could bring forth more fruit (John 15:2).
Look at your life and ask, "Is this who I am? Is this what's dominating my life?" Just because you accidentally produced one act of the fruit of the Spirit doesn't mean you're walking in the spirit. You are what you are in abundance. What your life is habitually is who you are. This is how people find you--full of joy, at peace, patient, gentle, good, faithful, meek, temperate, under control. "Against such," Paul says, "there is no law" (Gal. 5:23). Who are you? How do you find yourself in this life in the Spirit?
There are two different camps when looking at the fruit of the Spirit. One says the fruit of the Spirit is love and all of these other aspects are the byproducts and expressions of love. The other camp says they are separate and distinct fruit. Gentleness is separate from joy, and joy separate from peace. Don't war over something like that because it doesn't really matter. I believe that each of these are distinct expressions of the Spirit of God dwelling in us, but let's remember that the Scripture says, "God is love" (1 John 4:8). The source of the fruit of the Spirit is the Person of love--God. The source, the cause, of joy is God; and God is love.
The key to all of this is found in Galatians 5:24: "And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh." We're talking about selflessness, dying to self, letting God live through us. The spirit of John the Baptist was, "I must decrease, and He must increase." This is what Father is calling us to. Love is something that is dynamic; it always has an action with it. God so loved that He gave (John 3:16). Love never abides alone; and it requires of us to give, having received. We need to dig deep into that foundation of love. It becomes the source, the cause, of everything that manifests in our lives.
Love is not an emotion; love is a Person. The expression of love is a choice to let God live through me. Loving you is not giving you more of myself. Loving you is removing self more and letting God minister to you through me. I have nothing to offer you without His presence. But He's chosen to make us conduits through which He could involve Himself in every one of our lives. You might say, "Well, why doesn't He just deal with me directly?" He does. His visitation is there for each and every one of us, but God has chosen to bring about community edification through us loving one another. Love is not isolating upon a couple of special friends and pouring all of your time and energy into them. We will gravitate toward certain people, but love is being available to minister to whomever God wants you to minister to--when and how for His glory, not your own gratification.