Using The Fruit Of The Spirit Is About Supernatural Empowerment
Perhaps upon reading the title of this post you are wondering, “How does one use fruit?” The obvious answer is to use it for pies, preserves and for helping to have a balanced diet. I’m reminded of the saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” My boys, when they were boys, usually added, “if thrown with proper accuracy and velocity.” My apologies to all physicians reading this. Obviously the fruit of the Spirit isn’t literal fruit.
The Fruit of The Spirit is Figurative Fruit
Using the word fruit to describe what the Spirit produces only makes sense if Paul isn’t talking about literal fruit in Galatians 5:22-23. He does at times use the word fruit to refer to actual fruit 1 Corinthians 9:7, 2 Timothy 2:6. However, other times the word fruit is used in a figurative sense. Figurative fruit includes new converts Romans 1:13, a godly life Romans 6:22, an ungodly life Romans 7:5 and the gift of money Romans 15:28. The way Paul is using the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5 is figurative.
The word fruit is singular. Yesterday I suggested the nine different aspects of the fruit are good desires. The desires that make up the fruit of the Spirit are alternative desires to the evil desires of the flesh Galatians 5:19-21. Some have called what the flesh produces vices and what the Spirit produces virtues. I like that.
Observations About the Fruit of the Spirit
- It isn’t our fruit. It’s of the Spirit. That means it belongs to or comes from the Spirit.
- We don’t produce it. Having the fruit of the Spirit is not about effort on our part.
- It is as available to us as the works of the flesh are available to us.
- Using the fruit of the Spirit begins by consciously choosing it.
Our minds process many desires through the day. Many are morally neutral desires, neither good nor bad, such as the desire to eat. When you feel the desire to eat you usually act upon it.
Many of the desires that come into our minds are evil Galatians 5:19-21. Here’s what using the fruit of the Spirit looks like when you have an evil desire.
Let’s say you have a feeling of anxiety over a family matter or a situation at work. Anxiety is a desire from the flesh that can quickly lead to doubt or fear and sin. But it doesn’t have to.
- Identify the issue. In this case it’s trust. You don’t believe the problem you’re facing is going to turn out for the best.
- Think of which aspect of the fruit of the Spirit you need. In this instance you need faithfulness.
- Choose to say “No” to anxiety and choose to trust God. Pray “Father, I need to trust You on this. I know You are in control. With Your help I’m going to trust You.”
- As you do this the Spirit comes alongside and gives you faithfulness. As He does the evil desire of anxiety is replaced by the fruit of the Spirit faithfulness.
It’s simple, but it isn’t easy. Give it a try today and tell me what you think!