Life all boils down to the realization that we are on this earth to represent the Father who adopted us and gave us an inheritance that we could never earn and will never deserve. It’s through love that we serve Him, through knowledge of His word that we understand how, and through perseverance we see the lasting effects of following His light. We can look at all of the qualities (fruits) of the Holy Spirit as a reflection of our Father and His treatment of His children. We do unto others as God does to us. That’s the action of The Holy Spirit moving in our hearts and guiding our life. Many resort to legalism (the following of rules) to serve God. The laws created an outward order, the Spirit creates order from within the components. Rules and laws cannot bring about a changed heart, in fact they only magnify the problems. The need for the Spirit is clear in the inability to meet the holy standard of God. It takes the Spirit of God to be planted in the hearts of believers in order to grow, produce fruit, and reflect the sovereign God.
Self-controls is the proper direction of your energy. Emotion is a human trait, responsible for overtaking logical and controlled thought. Being a follower of Jesus means: (2 Corinthians 10:5-6) We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every (personal) disobedience, when your obedience is complete. Self-control involves aligning yourself with the will of God as a reflection of your savior. Your heart must be made clean in the Holy Spirit and your thoughts made obedient to Christ. Only then can you bring your actions and words into the light so that you might be recognizable as a child of God to those around you. If you act in a manor contrary to God, what distinguishes you from the lost souls of this earth who need to be guided toward the light of God? Being a follower of Jesus includes sanctification which is a transition toward holiness. Holiness is being set apart from the darkness as you reflect the light of your savior. This is only possible as you develop the self-control to work against your fallen human nature and the temptations of the deceiver.
Gentleness is an inward quality. The outward manifestation of gentleness is kindness. Gentleness is defined to the world in terms like: tame, timid, and weak. This is what gentleness looks like to a world that is selfish and exceedingly prideful. Gentleness isn’t weak at all, it is quite the opposite. Gentleness is the awareness of true strength. In a follower of Christ, it is the awareness that all of the power of this universe belongs to your Father who supports you with His power as you act as His representative to this world. People with true power don’t have to show it, just like people confident in their knowledge don’t feel the need for many words. Gentleness is the harnessing of your abilities and focusing them in a world that doesn’t understand that kind of power. Because you know that the things this world holds dear are fading and temporary and that your true home is with God in heaven, you can approach every situation with humility and harnessed strength, being gentle to a dark, lost and frightened people.(1 Corinthians 4:20-21) For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power. What do you wish? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love in a spirit of gentleness? (James 3:13) Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.
Faithfulness is when you are able to put God before everything else in your life. Pleasing God should stand before self-gratification. This speaks to putting things in God’s hands and not trying to take control of your life from Him. You must trust that God knows the best path and that His outcome is not only better than yours but far exceeds even what you can imagine. We should be loyal to God in our commitment to Him. The Old Testament is full of examples of how God has been loyal to His chosen since creation. (Romans 5:2) Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
(Exodus 33:19) And He said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The Lord.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. According to this passage we can understand goodness through God’s grace and mercy. In human terms we can work toward forgiveness in our pursuit of goodness. Refusing to forgive and allow God to be your vindicator bleeds dry your peace and joy. Leave your weights in the hands of God and be His example of good. (Mark 10:18) And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. The words of Jesus tell us that true goodness is only available in God. As fallen beings we can only hope to achieve degrees of goodness, always falling short of God. By this we learn that we must rely on God’s Spirit to exemplify goodness. The conviction of the Holy Spirit will lead us to seek the things that are good in the eyes of God and not the world.
Kindness can be defined as a showing of compassion, and compassion defined as the concern for the sufferings and misfortunes of others. We must realize that everyone is fighting a battle. Everyone is struggling. Compassions is the realization that the way you see life is part of a spectrum of viewpoints that all fall short of God’s perfect viewpoint. Think of viewpoints in terms of the light spectrum. Some viewpoints can make an issue un-noticeable (radio waves) which requires someone’s interpretation (radio receiver) for understanding. On the other end of the spectrum are the views that make a situation “life or death” (gamma rays). With compassion through the Holy Spirit we can center ourselves in God’s visible light spectrum and “see” what we need to learn, grow, and help others in the best and worst of situations. Without the Holy Spirit to anchor us, we can fly all over the spectrum, unable to deal with life’s curves.
Patience speaks to much more than the ability to wait. The focus has to be put on how you wait; that is, the actions that accompany the time spent without your desire being fulfilled. We must realize that God’s time and timing transcend our comprehension. To God: (2 Peter 3:8) But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. Patience also speaks to the willingness to stick with your convictions in the face of great defiance from the world. It’s the ability to show your light as the darkness of the world creeps in. We must remember that the darker the environment the brighter our light is! (Luke 8:15) As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.
As a side thought: What if the deceiver is smart enough to slow his attack on the earth? Slowing the attacks that bring about the apocalypse, not allowing the anti-Christ to come, and continuing to try and overshadow the good of God with the darkness of the world all allow more doubt to creep into this world which is why we must rely on the patience and faith through the Holy Spirit to thrive as the king of this world waits to devour those who abandon the shelter of Jesus.
As we walk hand in hand with the Holy Spirit we can find an inner peace that is independent of the turmoil of our fallen environment. We can find peace as we seek to see the world from the eyes of God. This is the definition of wisdom. God holds this world in His hands and His sovereignty puts all things in motion for His greater purpose. We may not always recognize His purpose but we must also realize that the Lord reveals to His children what He wants us to know. We are not meant to comprehend all things, our fragile minds could not bear the burden. He created us to live in peace always available in His light. (John 14:27) Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. (Isaiah 26:3) You keep in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because He trusts in you.
Happiness is conditional, joy is not. Joy comes from the realization that you are a child of God. You are able to be thankful in the good times and the bad. The good times are a gift for your enjoyment and the hard times are gifts for our sanctification. Joy is being content as you walk in the spirit and reject the temptations and deeds of the flesh. It is the satisfaction of having God and at the same time pursuing Him into the richness and righteousness of the Holy Spirit. (James 5:13) Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Joy is found when are eyes are always on God.