As I have been contemplating the Fruit of the Spirit this month I kept hearing one word, Presence.
I’m sure you’ve already picked up on this, but Presence is not a fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5, but I immediately knew why God took me there. This is what He is teaching me. The fruit of the Spirit exist in my life not through my efforts, but because I spend time in his presence which allows Holy Spirit to release these fruits in my life.
They are literally directly related!
Galatians 5:25 says, “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”
It’s just that easy, and just that hard!
If I need more Patience, I need to sit patiently in his Presence.
If I need more Joy, I receive it from sitting with him and experiencing His Joy.
If I need to extend more kindness, it will happen as I receive His Kindness that leads to repentance.
If I need to be gentle, I am changed as I sit with our Gentle Shepherd.
I have lived with the idea that I need to try to make the fruit happen in my life. By my own effort, I should be loving, have self control and be faithful. I fail miserably! I cannot do this on my own. As a wife, a friend, a s sister, a mom, a daughter – I cannot extend love, joy, peace, patience, etc. on my own.
Just this last week, I was angry and frustrated with someone. In the past, I would have reacted in that moment and my attitude and words would not have been Spirit-filled at all! I worked so hard at keeping my mouth shut! Instead of lashing out in the moment, I took it to God. I asked for His perspective, His wisdom, His love to be peppered in our conversation. I sat with Him and soaked until I could feel the anger lifting. Once that happened, there was space for the Holy Spirit to move though me and have a conversation filled with self-control, patience and love. But please notice, the only thing I did was to stop my words. I didn’t conjure up patience and love, being in His Presence allowed me to approach and spread with patience and love.
2 Corinthians 3:17-18
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
I will continue to sit in His Presence and gaze on His face so that nothing hinders the fruit the Holy Spirit wants to release through me!
Ladies ~ Today, spend some time in His Presence and then pay attention to the fruits in your life. Notice your words peppered with kindness, your attitude spurred on by love, your actions covered in gentleness and your perspective filled with joy!
Jen is a pastor at Grace Chapel. She is married to Gary (26 years). Mom to Emma (and Josh), Meg and Kate. She loves people, reading, traveling and finding new adventures. She loves Jesus and walking with people to find the freedom God intended for us!