As believers, we’re called to first: love God with all of our heart, and secondly: love our neighbors as ourselves. The only way to do these things is by walking in the Spirit and completely depending on God instead of ourselves to produce righteousness. When we allow the Holy Spirit to work through us, He produces the fruits of the Spirit in us so that we live the life we were called to in Christ. In this week's devotional, we will be taking a deeper look into Galatians 5 with some supporting scripture in order to further understand what the fruits of the Spirit are, know the importance of them, and know how to properly walk in the Spirit as believers.
What are the fruits of the Spirit?
The fruit of the Spirit are the results of the Holy Spirit working through the life of a believer. The fruits are: love, joy, peace (Phil.4:6-8), patience (Romans 12:12), kindness (Galatians 6:9-10), goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. As humans limited by the flesh, we’re unable to produce these fruits in our lives on our own because we are born of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit can only come from God. However, when we’re born again by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13). With His power working in and through us, we become able to walk in righteousness by walking in the fruit of the Spirit.
Whats the importance of walking in the Spirit?
As believers, we’re called to live in righteousness by loving God and one another wholeheartedly. The only way we can love and properly fulfill our call as Christians is by allowing God to work through us by power of the Holy Spirit (Phil. 2:13). There’s no possible way to self-will or work our way to producing the fruits of the Spirit on our own. That’s why verses 16-18 of Galatians 5 describe how the desires of the flesh are opposed to the desires of the Spirit, because the flesh “keeps you from doing the things you want to do.” There may have been times you have wanted to do something the right way, but ended up falling short despite your intention. This is why Jesus said “the Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” As humans, we’re unable to live righteously by our own efforts. Galatians 5:19-21 speaks to the results of when we live by dependence on ourselves instead of God: “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Note how the scripture contrasts the works of the flesh with the fruit of the Spirit. When we try to work from the flesh, it only results in sin and falling short.
How to walk in the Spirit
The Word promises that if we walk by the Spirit, we won’t gratify the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:16, Romans 13:14). But how can we ensure that we’re walking in the Spirit instead of the flesh? Verse 24 of Galatians 5 says that those who belong to Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. In Matt. 16:24, Jesus affirms this saying, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” So the first step is to realize that our fleshly desires are contrary to God’s desires, and therefore we must learn to surrender our self-interest to God’s perfect and holy will (Isaiah 55:8-9).
Another important detail to pay attention to is how the Word says it's the “fruit” instead of “fruits” of the Spirit. That’s because these characteristics come by having a personal and intimate relationship with God and surrendering to the Holy Spirit. When we do so, we don't have to strive to produce the fruits of the Spirit, because they come naturally as the result or ”fruit” of the surrender, seeking, and intimacy of Jesus by the working of the Holy Spirit. The more time we spend with the Holy Spirit in prayer, reading God’s Word, and seeking to become more like Jesus, the more we become like Him as He works His fruit through us in love.
Take away tips
Work on denying yourself and surrendering to the Holy Spirit daily
Spend quality time seeking God in prayer and reading the Word
Focus on developing an intimate relationship with Jesus rather than striving to produce the fruits of the Spirit on your own
Thank you for reading our devotional on the fruit of the Spirit! If you have any questions regarding anything mentioned in this devotional, please contact us through the website. We also want to pray for you! If you have any prayer requests for yourself or others, you can go to the prayer requests section of our website and submit your request. Thank you once again, we hope and pray you have a blessed week!