Signs of the Spirit
March 24, 2020
So, I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses. When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Galatians 5:16-23 NLT
All through the New Testament we see a theme. Jesus’ promise to send the Holy Spirit was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost, recorded in the Acts of the apostles, written by Luke. Except for the Revelation of John, the letters in the New Testament are all about explaining and helping Jesus- followers to understand life in the Spirit.
One of the themes within that theme is the transformational change that occurs in believers as they walk in the Spirit. Paul tells us that we are all born with a sinful nature, bent to do just the opposite of what God created us to do and be. When the Holy Spirit comes into our lives, we begin to have desires that are directed by the Spirit. The Spirit’s presence is so real and clear that Paul goes so far as to say the Spirit in you supersedes the law of Moses. Can you imagine the shock this was to these new believers who had been raised as Jews? He is saying that the Spirit in us is far higher, better, and more supernatural than trying to obey the law. In fact, he says that without the Spirit we are not even able to carry out our good intentions.
But when we surrender to the Spirit of God, He bears fruit in our lives. That concept is mindboggling. Think about it a minute. When I was young, we had a grapevine in the back of our house. We had plenty of chores, but they never included giving a pep talk to the vine to grow. My dad never went out and urged the grapes to grow. They just did. It was their natural (and supernatural) response to being on the vine. They appeared! It’s what fruit trees and bushes do. They bear fruit. That’s what will happen in our lives as we stay close and connected to the Vine, Jesus Christ. The Spirit will live in us, and the fruit will begin to appear.
- Read Paul’s list of the changes you can expect to experience as you live and dwell in Jesus. Which fruit are you seeing in your own life right now? Where do you need to grow? Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you even more and to handle those areas of your life. Your part is to live in Jesus minute-by-minute.