By Guest Writer Amanda from Better is Little:
But the fruit of the Spirit is 1love, 2joy, 3peace, 4longsuffering, 5gentleness, 6goodness, 7faith, 8meekness, 9temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
Wouldn’t it be nice if we really did live on the proverbial Cloud 9?
I picture Cloud 9 as a place where there are no problems. Where we can relax in our ignorance of evil. Where storm clouds never darken the skies. A lot like the place where a tub full of Calgon would take you. Not that I’ve been there. But a girl can dream.
Did you know that we as Christians can live on Cloud 9? Of course it won’t be a place free from storms, we will be faced with evil, temptations will be around every corner, and there will be problems, sickness, and even death. But if we live and walk in the Spirit continually, we will be as peaceful and grounded as if we were living on Cloud 9. There simply is no better way to walk through life.
It is easy to think, I’m a Christian, I read the Bible, I go to church. Doesn’t that make me automatically have the Fruit of the Spirit?! Well, if you join Weight Watchers and become a paid member, attend every meeting, and subscribe to the magazine, will you suddenly begin to lose weight? I wish it were that easy, Amen!? Living a fruit-filled life is very similar. Yes, we become a new creature when we become a Christian, but we have to purpose to draw close to the Lord, while we practice the Fruits, then it will eventually become our nature to think, act, and be Spirit-filled.
And being Spirit filled is the closest we’ll ever get to living on Cloud 9 here on earth.
So, what are these Fruit of the Spirit? I’m pretty sure we are all very familiar with them. I don’t think any of us have a problem with not knowing what they are, but choosing to do those things that actually develop them and then making ourselves actually practice them.
Sometimes we just want to be mad, we want to be critical, we want to have a sour mood, we want to be offended, we want to do what we want, feel what we want, eat what we want, etc. The Devil wants nothing more for you to just do what you want. But we have to want what the Lord has for us to live a victorious Christian life. We have to want to be the person that will help another Christian to walk close to the Lord. We have to want to be that Christian that will bring a lost soul to Him.
Really, it’s not a foreign concept. I will again use the analogy of weight loss. I have a few friends and acquaintances that have lost 40+ pounds recently. They exercise daily, study on the right foods, the right exercises etc. Their whole day is dedicated to thinking about and working towards their weight loss goals. Imagine if we put that much effort into drawing close to the Lord, studying His Word, praying and in turn developing, growing, and practicing the Fruit of the Spirit!? Can you imagine how our churches would flourish? How our homes would be a place of love, encouragement, and peace? Our marriages would be heavenly! We would all think we were living on Cloud 9!
And sweet Sister, that is exactly what we have to do. Don’t think about it as an option. As Christians we are called and commanded to love and serve one another. That is our calling. However, we can’t do it without the Spirit. We have to have the Spirit living in us, let Him control our thoughts and our actions.
If the Spirit is at work in your life, the fruits will be evident.
The fruit of the Spirit is in just one word – love. Joy is love exalted; peace is love in repose; long-suffering is love-enduring; gentleness is love in society; goodness is love in action; faith is love on the battlefield; meekness is love in school, and temperance is love in training. And so you can say that the fruit is all expressed by one word – love. –D.L.Moody
Amanda is a minister’s wife and a second-generation homeschooling mom of six children. She has blogged at Better Is Little for 4 years, where she blogs about the joys of living a life with less. She believes that one of the keys to an abundant life in Christ is striving to keep life simple – in the kitchen, the school room, the ministry, and all areas of life. Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith.