As I was writing part 2 I found myself having writers block which honestly doesn’t happen often. I felt I knew what I should write but it just wasn’t coming out so I walked away from it for a bit. During that time I prayed for the words and over the next few days God provided. I ‘randomly’ opened my Bible and found a verse and ‘stumbled’ upon a video of a sermon online and the two fit together perfectly within the words God had already given me. I pray part 2 speaks to your heart.
What is the desire of God’s Spirit and how do we know if we are controlled by it? 1 Corinthians 13:2 “if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.” The desire of God’s spirit is love because God is love (1 John 4:8). Love is how we know if we have God’s Spirit (1 John 4:12). Love is how we know if we are right with God (Luke 10:25-27). But how do we know if we really do love? 1 John 5:2-3 “This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands.”
Does this mean that if we love God we will not sin? Of course not. God has made us all prone to disobedience so He can have mercy on us all (Romans 11:32). What it does mean is that those who love Him will always be reaching for the stars, the unattainable perfection that is Jesus Christ. Like a young child that tries to be just like his dad and fails, we are His children and we must try to be like Him. We can’t be just like Him because we won’t be like Him until He comes back for us (1 John 3:2). Until then, those that are His children will try to emulate Him with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength. If we allow God’s spirit to control us, our life will exhibit fruit (John 15:4-5). So the question we must ask ourselves is does my life produce this fruit?
Do you know how old Sarah was when she and Abraham conceived Isaac? Sarah was a very young 90 years old when she had her first promised child from God. While having a child at 90 years old when you had been barren your whole life is utterly amazing, there is something else amazing about her age. I believe the number 90 wasn’t random but was used to further glorify God through His infinite wisdom and amazing plan. Is it coincidence that God designed a woman’s full term pregnancy, the fruit of the womb, to be 9 months? Is it random luck that God had Paul mention 9 fruits of the spirit in the book of Galatians, and then had the book of Galatians placed as the 9th book of the New Testament? Sarah produced fruit from her womb at the beginning of her 9th decade on earth. Years later in this same family tree the one bearing pure and perfect fruit, Jesus Christ, was born.
In Matthew 13 Jesus tells the Parable of the Sower. In His illustration, there are four different kinds of people that hear the truth about God. Some hear the message and don’t understand it, some receive the message with joy but fall away when trouble comes, others receive the message but the worries of the world choke out their faith, while others hear the message, understand it, and cling to it. Even though 3 of the 4 groups accepted the message, only the last group produced fruit.
Jesus said in John 15:5”I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” This same message is also seen in Ezekiel 47:12 “Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them.” Why do they produce fruit? Because God’s living water flows to them. Without God’s living water, they would not produce. And again in Psalm 1:2-3 “but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.”
But what about the tree that doesn’t have a water source from God? The morning after Jesus drove out those buying and selling in the temple, Jesus was looking for something to eat. Matthew 21:19 “Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered.” The tree was created to produce fruit. When it did not, Jesus destroyed it. We were created to bear fruit. If God’s living water flows to us, we will produce. If we don’t produce good fruit, we don’t have a relationship with God, and we will wither.
Matthew 7:19-20 “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.” Do people recognize you are a Christian by your good fruit or do you look like the rest of the world? Producing good fruit isn’t about trying to be good enough or trying to be nice. If you have a relationship with God, if you are a child of God, His love will flow from you like it flows to you, freely.
In part 3 of this blog we will look at what this fruit looks like to a believer being controlled by His spirit.