Aug. 2, 2016

The Fruit of the Spirit

Several days ago I had a long, detailed dream. The Lord was sharing many truths with me through the dream. The dream is too long to share here and most of it wouldn't be of much benefit to you readers because most of it was specific for my life. However, there was a portion of the dream that I believe will be a comforting reminder for some. I use the word 'reminder' because it isn't new information but a reminder of what the Fruit of the Spirit is designed to accomplish.

In the dream I was in my aunt's kitchen. There had been a large celebratory gathering of family and friends. There was a large square at one end of the kitchen. The middle of it was open and about 20 people could be inside of it working at the 4 sides. All the 4 sides were like counter space where food could be prepared and above the counter was a ledge where the finished meals or courses could be placed. Nearly all the way around the inside of the square, between the counter and the ledge was mounds and mounds of fruit salad. The fruit was so colorful and pretty and attractive. There was so much of it. The party was just about over and I couldn't understand why there was still so much of the fruit salad left over.

When I woke up from the dream I was still wondering about the abundance of the fruit salad. The fruit salad represents the Fruit of the Spirit. The Lord helped me to understand that no matter how much of the Fruit of the Spirit is given, it never runs out. Love never ceases, joy doesn't quit, peace that comes from God endures longer than any trial or adversity. In the dream even though several dozens of people had eaten to their fill, there was still such an abundance of the fruit salad. I didn't see any other food left over like that.

If we are filled with the Spirit of God all of the attributes of the Fruit of the Spirit are in us and should be operating in abundance. The Fruit of the Spirit in you never runs out, never gets weary, never wants to quit. The body gets fatigued and the mind grows faint. But the spirit is healthy, invigorated and alive with the passions of God. Whatever our Father is passionate about, His Spirit within us is also energized regarding those same interests.

This is what the Amplified Bible has to say in Galatians 5:22-23.

But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

Gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge].

For this article we will discuss the fruit in three parts of three. The first three are love, joy and peace. These three are within you and enable you to live and demonstrate the other six. Love is the primary (I Corinthians 13:13). All of the other eight are encompassed in the first one: LOVE. None of the others can be manifested without Love. These first three influence a person's entire being and life. They must be paramount in your spirit and be the flagship (the leading influence and identifier) of your life. The Fruit of the Spirit is a living entity and therefore has the ability to grow, mature and develop just like natural fruit. But because this is spiritual fruit it never decays or rots. It is always at peak perfection if permitted to be so. This fruit is attractive and pleasing. It is colorful and varied, not bland or boring. It is so inviting it causes a person to want more.

Patience, kindness and goodness are the next three. The first three have to do with your own inner state of being. These next three pertain to your attitude and ministry toward others. These are attributes that we have the opportunity to exercise toward others as well as ourselves. Most people who aren't patient, kind or good to themselves won't be to others either.

These three don't discriminate. We don't get to withhold them from some and lavish them on others. Patience means maintaining an even temper, not thinking less of a person who doesn't meet your expectations or your timing. Patience doesn't hold onto offences. It sets people free by not holding them hostage for wrongs - - either real or imagined.

The Fruit of the Spirit operating freely in our lives keeps us fluid in God so He can work in us and through us. Kindness is doing the best for a person with no motivation other than wanting to help someone see hope and live happy. Goodness is benevolence. Goodness is giving for the right reasons. It is doing right. It is being honest and without any trace of guile or deceit or craftiness or trickery. When patience, kindness and goodness are exercised they produce calm, assurance, encouragement and hope for more good things.

We will explore the last three next time. Thanks for visiting!