“But the fruit of the Spirit is love,
joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
Self-control is the spirit that has been transformed and no longer concentrates on self with its desires, love of pleasure and self-pity, focussing instead on the love and will and pleasure of God. Like a top athlete the aim is to bring everything under control for a specific and desired goal. It is a life-long journey and process, with many ups and downs, successes and failures. We learn a great deal about ourselves and our weaknesses, and about God and His grace and love, in the process. It only happens through the Holy Spirit working within us and with our co-operation.
• “What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ–the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.” (Philippians 3:8)
• “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
(1 Corinthians 9:24-27)
In Christ we are a new creation, moving steadily towards our revealed completion as the sons and daughters of our Almighty Father. We are not alone but are guided, gifted and empowered by the Holy Spirit who is within us. He gives to us the specific gifts needed for our path and ministry in this life, He brings about within us the changes that make us increasingly into the likeness of Christ, and He brings into reality the ‘much fruit’ that is a part of our calling. Our part in it is to believe and to follow His lead and directions – continually aiming to have our focus on our Lord and not on ourselves.
“because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” (Romans 8:14)
You know the fruit that the Holy Spirit wants to bring out of your life – ask Him for them specifically.
Holy Spirit, please help me to desire the fruit with which You want to adorn my life, in its individual segments and in its entirety. Please help me to begin living the fruit. Amen.