My church has something that we like to call DBR or Daily Bible Reading. It’s a way for the church to read the Word together and share comments and insights via a web page. It’s a great way to be encouraged and instructed as you take part in your daily bread.
Recently, as we read through Galatians 5 a friend prayed that she would check her actions and words by whether they were “fruit-worthy.” I thought it was a great turn of phrase. After all, while we are grateful that the Spirit is faithful to bring about these things in the life of those who follow Jesus, it’s important that we are walking in the Spirit for Him to do so in us. Checking our hearts as to whether our thoughts, actions and words are in keeping with the things He desires, is a great way to ensure that our feet are following closely after Him.
Yet, this doesn’t mean that it will be easy. John 12:23-25 tells us something that we learned in science class. In nature, it’s only in death that fruit is produced. The seeds are scattered when the fruit rots and falls to the ground spreading the seeds for further production. In the same way, fruits are produced in our own life through death – death to ourselves and our own desires. This means we not only have to check our hearts and motives as to whether they are fruit-worthy, we have to put to death anything that isn’t. In order to produce the fruits of the Spirit, we have to put to death the “fruits” of the flesh. Galatians 2:20 makes this clear – if Christ is living in us, then “we” are no longer alive. We live then, not by faith in ourselves, but in the Son of God – the ultimate example of One who died to self in order to do the will of His Father.
As His followers, we must follow His example – dying to our desires in order to do what our Father wants. It’s only as we do so that we will replicate the fruits of His Spirit. Its only in doing so that we will live a “fruit-worthy” life.
Now it’s your turn…
Why is it so hard to die to self ? How does knowing that the Spirit is at work within us encourage the Christian?