As I prayed about what artwork to share for March, the Lord reminded me of a piece I did a few years back in church. The artwork has fruit, representing the fruit of the Spirit, and a glowing white in between to represent the Holy Spirit flowing between the fruit.  When I saw the picture this past week in my mind and in my spirit, it was like a gentle voice.  I just knew that was the one to share. The next day, I was even more excited when the Lord confirmed everything through the Bible verse of the day in my Bible app on my phone:

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23).

Before listing the fruits of the Spirit, Paul says in verse 16-18, “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.  For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature.  They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.”

Many of us can relate to this scripture.  If we are honest, we know the struggle is real between the Spirit within us and the sinful nature.  It’s almost like a tug-of-war.  There seems to be a constant battle to where we are even confused at times, not knowing what we want.  However, Paul encourages us as Christians to be led by the Spirit, not the sinful nature.  It’s easier actually to give in to the “acts of the sinful nature” (verse 19-21).  We tend to give up, forgetting what lies ahead.  It’s important to not forget.  We must remember our prize is Christ and we should press on and press in to Him, not sin.  How do we fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith?

“‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty” (Zechariah 4:6).

Jesus Christ set us free (Galations 5:1) and the Holy Spirit helps us live out that freedom by guiding us into all truth (John 16:13).  Ultimately though it’s up to us whether we live by the Spirit or the sinful nature.

When I think about it, I’d rather have fruit in my life than to be fruitless.  I want to be a branch that bears much fruit as Jesus talked about in John 15.  When we are led by the Spirit, we produce the fruit listed in Galations 5:22-23.  Or better yet, the Holy Spirit produces the fruit, His fruit within us, as we stay connected to Jesus, the True Vine.

Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5

“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.  Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit” (Galations 5:24-25).

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