Monday, May 10, 2010
You gotta love it when God does this.
As I was finishing typing the previous post about how God is developing His Fruit in my life, our internet connection went down again! We have been having a ton of problems lately and we even had a tech out this morning to work on it.
Needless to say I initially began to get upset and almost grew impatient and almost had an "outburst of anger" (see Galatians 5:19-21 NLT).
But then I laughed to myself, told God I got it, and asked Him to help me handle this "crisis" in a way that would be honoring to Him. At that moment, I allowed the Holy Spirit to control me and not my sinful nature.
Again, I am not bragging on myself. I just want to let you know how this stuff works in real life. It happens all the time. It really is a matter of who or what you allow to be in control and what you allow your mind to dwell on. I daresay that had I not been typing my blog post when this happened, I would probably not have passed the test. But because I was already focusing on the work of God in my life, I was able to handle it pretty well.
Another So What?
One of the best ways to keep the Holy Spirit in control is to keep God on your mind. You will find that you tend to behave the way you think.
Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory. Colossians 3:1-4 NLT
For the past several weeks I have been teaching about the Fruit of the Spirit as found in the Bible in Galatians 5:22. This has been a very fun and personally challenging series for me because it has made me more aware of how important it is to not only make teaching the Bible very practical, but also very personal.
A few weeks ago in the Neighborhood Group I attend, we were talking about how people have different "Aha" type experiences in their walk with God. Those moments when something just clicks and starts to really make sense. One of the members of our group said that they really like the way I teach on Sunday morning because I use "real life examples." (I'm not bragging on myself, just hang with me.) when I asked them to explain what that meant, he said that he liked the fact that I talk about my personal struggles in my teaching and give examples of ow I succeed and fail at times. Those kind of things really help him relate and "get" the message.
I love good examples of teaching points. I love to talk about ways that I mess up. I think it is very important for people to understand that just because someone is standing on the stage doesn't mean that they have it all together.
Yes I really do honk at people while I'm driving. I really do get frustrated with people and their shopping carts in Wal-Mart. I really do get mad when people are inconsiderate. And I even find myself doing some of the same things that I get mad about.
But I'm working on it.
It takes time for a fruit tree to produce fruit. Depending on how the tree was grown it can take as long at 14 years before it ever produces anything ore than leaves. The same is true for us. Giving the Holy Spirit control of our life and allowing Him to develop this Fruit in our life takes time. Some of it comes easier and faster than others. Some days certain fruit is "in stock" in our life and some days it is not. Sometimes we wonder if the order was even placed.
The key to producing Fruit in your life spiritually is giving the Holy Spirit control. The Bible says that the producer of our Fruit is obvious. Our sinful nature produces the fruit we put out on the shelf or the Holy Spirit produces the fruit we display. Giving the Holy Spirit control and crucifying our sinful nature is a daily, sometimes hourly, (or dare I say minutely") event. But God promises that when we are "guided by the Spirit" we will produce His brand of fruit.
This morning, the Holy Spirit was not in control. I have asked for forgiveness and now I am under His control again. I hope it lasts the rest of the day and in the morning I will try again.
I smell fresh fruit. Do you?
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Galatians 5:22-23a NLT