Galatians 5:25 ESV
If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.
There was a time in my life, 15 years after I became a believer, that I found myself rediscovering what the Fruit of the Spirit really means. Up until that point, I had thought that in order for the Spirit to be evident in my life, I had to produce these fruits mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
If I could muster up these good characteristics in every relationship in my life, then it would somehow unlock the Spirit in my life – bringing me into God’s presence.
So when that ideology backfired, which was daily, I would project a version of myself to God and others that I had it all together. This identity crisis only further hindered God’s presence in my life, and my capacity to keep in step with the Spirit.
It was as if I had to create the “abundant life” Jesus mentioned in John 10:10, and then the Spirit would come.
Breakthrough came when I realized that it’s because of what God has done through his Son Jesus that I can rest assured in God’s presence. I don’t have to be something I’m not, or conjure up some homebrewed spirituality, to be present with God. (Check out 1 John 3:19-24!)
Nothing means more to God than our relationship with Him. And when we are at rest in our relationship with Him, we’ll start to see the abundant life, the fruit of the Spirit, in our relationships with others.
That’s when it clicked for me – if I want to keep in step with the Spirit, it’s not some objective that I unlock – it’s when I lay my pride down and rest in His presence. That’s the place from which my whole life pivots.
I began to see more “fruitfulness” in my life when I started applying these three simple steps.
First, I had to activate my faith. Nothing activates my faith more than praising God. Try it, just say “hallelujah!” Say it at work, when you’re driving, when you’re between jobs or when you’re cleaning up your house.
Second, I have to let go of the junk. Hebrews 12:1! There are things I need to let go of, and they might not even be “sin” – they could just be unnecessary weights that are hindering my ability to keep in step with the Spirit.
And lastly, I need to be filled with the Spirit. Life in the Spirit is great – that’s salvation. But if I want to keep in step with the Spirit and see God’s power move mightily everywhere I go, then I’m going to need to not just have the Spirit fully in me, I’m going to need to be fully in the Spirit!
I believe there’s an amazing, abundant life in store for you, and getting there isn’t something you need to be anxious about. Do you believe in the name of Jesus, but find yourself getting anxious about this? John tells us in 1 John 3:19-24 (you really should go read that) – God is greater than our hearts. Even if you’re stuck in a place of self-criticism, God is greater than that, and you can rest assured in His presence. Instead of getting anxious about it, try activating your faith. Feeling stuck? Try getting around people who have activated their faith! We’ll get you there. We’re all in this together. Fruitful, abundant life, here we come!