It is only through the Spirit that we are able to produce life-giving fruit.
I live a diverse and busy life. I work as an intern for a ministry; I’m involved with my church; I write novels on the side; I have a healthy social life, and I disciple several young men.
And I can honestly say that when I do all these things while being aligned with God as opposed to just relying on my own devices, I find that I can get through my busy week with grace instead of frustration.
So how do we do life with God and not with just ourselves? Well, it comes through obedience and surrendering ourselves to the Holy Spirit’s counsel, allowing him to lead and direct our lives according to the will of our Heavenly Father.
It is only through the Spirit that we are able to produce fruit such as love, patience, kindness, peace, etc., – the substances of grace – for without him, we can only produce selfishness, impulsivity, brashness, fear, etc.
Trust me, I’ve experienced it many times. When I’m not walking in the Spirit and trying to only rely on myself, I get really cranky and irritated when I’m tasked to do work or when I’m asked to do something for someone else. But when I am walking in the Spirit and listening to his counsel, I find that I am much more loving and grateful to complete work and provide help for others.
It’s kind of like a switch or a setting by which we decide to live life. We can decide to place the setting on God where we are humble and obedient servants, empowered to produce life-giving fruit through the power of the Spirit, or we can decide to place the setting on ourselves where we only serve self, not being able to produce any good fruit.
Imagine what your day-to-day life would be like if you lived more for God and not yourself, where your mind, heart, and soul abide in his teaching and direction. I can guarantee your life would be filled with grace and gratitude as opposed to frustration and fear.
So, abide in Jesus, listen to the Spirit, and the source of all that is good – the vine – and he will enable us, who are the branches, to produce long-lasting fruit for his kingdom.
My Lord, thank you for the vine who is Jesus, and thank you for the helper who is the Holy Spirit. I ask that you please soften my heart so I can surrender myself and abide in Jesus and listen to the Spirit’s direction. Please use the Spirit to produce life-giving fruit in me for the world to be blessed with and to advance God’s kingdom. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Throughout the Day: Ask the Spirit to reveal where you are not surrendered and abiding in Jesus in your life. Then give those areas of selfishness to the Lord and remember who he is according to his promises– the one who offers you life when you live for Him and not yourself.
Photo Credit: Neil Thomas on Unsplash