When I reflect on the fruits of the Spirit spoken of in Galatians 5:22, my mind travels back in time to when I first met the man who is now my hubby. I was very cautious. I had been deceived a time or two by not-so-Christian "Christian" men. Was this one the real deal? How could I really know? What standard of measure would reveal whether he could truly be trusted? Was he totally committed to Christ? Had he surrendered to the Holy Spirit in his life?
Then I remembered this verse that speaks of the fruit of a life lived for Christ. As I turned to this passage, I was able to see that his walk was in unison with his talk. He was so patient and kind. My heart was at peace when I was with him. When I observed him around his coworkers and friends, it was obvious that he was a good man, with incredible self-control. He was gentle, loving, and faithful to his word, to God, to the church. He was the man of my dreams!
Just as verse 22 describes a life lived in unison with the Holy Spirit, verses 19-21 describe the man/woman who lives a life of deceit and sin, a person who cannot be trusted...
"When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God."
How much easier our lives would be if we used these checklists to help us discern who we can trust and who we cannot. This is not a standard for us to judge and condemn others. It's a checklist that we must use to critique ourselves and our relationships. God's word is our guide. The Holy Spirit gives us discernment and wisdom for our own good. He also convicts us when we are "following the desires of our sinful nature".
And a side-note to our single gal-pals: please do not be hasty in choosing a mate. Make sure he truly stacks up to the full measure of a man of God.
How about you?
- Are you worthy of trust?
- Can God count on you?
- Can others depend on you to do the right thing, to set a higher standard?
- Read these verses again.
- Honestly, openly allow the Holy Spirit to convict your heart of any remaining sin patterns.
- Confess it. Ask forgiveness. Seek the Holy Spirit's power to overcome it.
I'm praying for you today, my friend. I long for you to know the love of God and His desires for you. I pray you will flow in the Holy Spirit and your heart and life will be cleansed anew! May the Lord bless you with healthy relationships and a happy home.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart...(Proverbs 3:5)"
What are you struggling with in your walk with God? in your personal relationships?
What is your greatest desire?
I would love to hear your heart. Feel free to leave a comment.
Or you can privately respond by sending me a message through the Woven Women FB page.