What things do we desire? A new car, a larger home, more money, and moving up according to the world’s standards seems to be something that crosses everyone’s mind at some point in life, but is this truly what we desire, or, do we feel these things will satisfy us enough so we can become the person we really want to be? We must be careful concerning our feelings and the motive behind selfish desire. Paul wrote to the Galatians about walking in the Spirit rather than fulfilling the desires of the flesh.
Paul wanted to refute the Judaizers and encourage Christians of the freedom they had through Christ, rather than a legalistic path that would lead to salvation. Someone who honors, obeys, and loves God with all their heart will produce loving, Christlike characteristics by their faith. Paul describes the works of the flesh and the damage this sinful nature can produce, but he also goes on to explain the by-products of a life led by the Spirit.
Galations 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.”
This fruit is free. All of these virtues are by-products of living for God. This fruit is provided for us by the Spirit, and as we display this fruit, we are less likely to give in to those things produced by the sinful nature or “old man” that we were before our new birth in Christ. When your life produces love, joy, and peace, then hate, discord and jealousy have no place in our actions.
This fruit that has been provided to us completely free of charge and we can produce this fruit that is free for others! The best way to help others who may struggle with anger, selfish ambition, immorality, or bitterness, is to offer them patience, goodness, and gentleness! Everything that God has given us is to be shared with others — never hidden or buried. Christ has provided all that we need to live a life that bears fruit of His Spirit in us!
Be encouraged today that you posses all that you need to abundantly bless others! While gifts of monetary value can have their place, the ability to exercise self-control and show love, kindness, and peace is worth more than any physical item you may wrap in paper. Salvation is free, the fruit of the Spirit is free, and the fruit we bear is free for others. The fruit you bear can sustain and nourish someone else in time of need. This world is full of hungry people in search of something that can satisfy their soul—feed them!
I pray, “Father, help me walk according to Your ways so that the sinful nature does not rise up. Let me be mindful that neglecting You will lead me to neglect others and produce an attitude unfit for helping them. I desire to bear the fruit of the Spirit so I may live a life pleasing to You, and that I may also share this free gift with all those around me. In Jesus name I ask, amen.”
Rev. Cathleen N. Cathcart is pastor of New Life Worship Center in Spartanburg.