THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT IS PEACE

Galatians 5:22 – The fruit of the Spirit is peace.

In Romans 14:17, Paul puts peace before joy, but here in Galatians he lists joy before peace.  In Romans 14:17, righteousness is mentioned preceding peace.  Peace comes as a result of becoming righteous in Christ Jesus.  Joy flows from that peace. In Paul’s letter to the Galatians, he is speaking of the attributes of the Holy Spirit.  The Spirit brings His joy out of His love. When that joy is experienced, supernatural peace becomes the result.

The world is constantly trying to find peace, whether individually or among the nations.  The efforts are futile, if they are not predicated upon God’s righteousness.  Only God’s righteousness can produce lasting peace.  The Scriptures declare that “the peace of God that surpasses all comprehension shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).  Peace is not static but dynamic in nature.  The peace of God guards our hearts from the intrusion of the subtle deceptions of the enemy and allows us freedom to live freely in Christ.

A number of questions are worth considering:  Do you enjoy the peace of your salvation?  Do you have peace in your life that the righteousness of Christ is sufficient to cause you to be accepted in the beloved?  Do you experience the peace of God guarding your heart? If you have that supernatural peace, rejoice in the Lord and give Him thanks because many people do not have what you have.  Make sure you share God’s love with those you meet who do not enjoy the peace you enjoy.  Give them opportunity to receive and experience the peace you have received.

If you do not have the peace of which the Scriptures speak, that can change today.  Invite the Holy Spirit to show you what you must do to receive the peace of God’s kingdom.  Wait upon Him for His counsel. Give up whatever He shows you and receive what He desires to give you.

Father, I thank You for Your peace that is available to me in the Holy Spirit.  Teach me how to daily enter into Your peace that surpasses all comprehension and guards my heart and mind through Christ Jesus.  Help me to be able to lead others to that peace.

THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT IS JOY

Galatians 5:22 – The fruit of the Spirit is joy.

Joy follows love. When we have experienced the love of God and His love begins to take root in our inner man, the natural outflow is joy. “The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). His joy is promised to all those who serve Him as Lord.  “Enter into the joy of your Master” (Matthew 25:23). Paul wrote to the church at Thessalonica, reminding them, “You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 1:6). After David had sinned greatly and sought the Lord with a heart of repentance, his one request was “Restore to me the joy of Thy salvation, and sustain me with a willing spirit” (Psalm 51:12). When God’s salvation and rule over the whole earth is finally established, His rule becomes the “joy of the whole earth” (Psalm 48:2). The Psalmist is exalting the Lord and declaring His ultimate purpose.

It is joy that attracts others to the believer who has truly embraced God’s love. The work of the Holy Spirit becomes manifest in a believer’s life when righteousness and peace are established. Joy comes from these two works of the Spirit (Romans 14:17). Joy is not external, but flows from the innermost being of a person. It is part of what Jesus is saying when He declared, “If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water’” (John 7:37-38). Although the word joy is not used here, it is there by implication as one reads the references from which Jesus drew His teaching. The literal translation reads “let him keep coming to Me, and let him keep drinking.” It does not take much to lose one’s joy, so we must keep coming to Jesus through the Holy Spirit and keep drinking of this spiritual water that only He can supply.

The joy of the Lord is a supernatural joy and not the happiness that the world promises. Earthly happiness fades ever so easily, but the Lord supplies a continual reservoir of His joy. If you need to repent for anything, do it now. Ask for the righteousness of Christ to rule in you, receive His peace and let the joy that is in the Holy Spirit flow from your life.

Today, why not take a deep drink of the Holy Spirit? Allow Him to establish you in His righteousness and then let the peace of Christ rule in your heart. The result will be to be strengthened in the joy of the Lord! Ask the Holy Spirit for His joy.

WALK BY THE SPIRIT

Galatians 5:16 – I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.

Walking by the Spirit is our great challenge! Our human tendency is to trust in our humanness. Our human nature is made up of our natural senses and our human reasoning, which some call common sense. Paul teaches us that “a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him” (1 Corinthians 2:14). The natural creation is always battling with the spiritual creation. Daily, we must ask the Holy Spirit for His help. The Lord Jesus called the Holy Spirit “the Helper.” Jesus said, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever” (John 14:16). God answered His Son’s request when the Holy Spirit was given on the day of Pentecost.

A mistake that many believers make is to assume that all the promises of God are automatic. They are not! He has given us His promises, but He wants us to seek Him for their manifestation in our lives. This truth is no different concerning the Helper. We must ask for His help. Do not assume that the Holy Spirit’s help will automatically be there. He desires us to develop a relationship with Him.

Daily, and many times throughout the day, ask the Holy Spirit for His help. We do not have to be limited to our natural senses, but can receive supernatural help by simply learning to ask the Helper. He has helped me many times by solving problems that were beyond my scope of understanding. Nurture a consistent discipline of asking for the Spirit’s help day or night. In your devotions, do not neglect asking His help. Give Him first place in all of your life’s activities (Matthew 6:33).

Father, I thank You for sending the Helper. I ask forgiveness for how often I have trusted in my own reasoning and for how I have failed to invite the Holy Spirit’ help in my life. I commit myself to depend more and more on Your-ever present help in my times of need.

SPIRIT LED SONS OF GOD

Romans 8:14 – All who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God.

Sonship with God is only possible through the Holy Spirit. Children are born to their parents, but a true son is one that obeys his father by following his instructions. The same is true in the kingdom of God. Many have been given power to become children of God (John 1:12), but sonship is a matter of maturity. A father trains his child with the hope and desire for that child to grow up and become a responsible individual. As a father of six boys and one daughter, my great joy was to watch them grow and become mature, able to handle the affairs of life with the values instilled by their mother and me.

Our Heavenly Father is bringing forth sons and daughters with the character of His only begotten Son. The work of the Holy Spirit in the earth is to create a new creation out of the old. He is producing a spiritual race that has the spiritual DNA of God’s only begotten Son. The Holy Spirit is ready to help you as Paul states, “know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19). You cannot gain this understanding through human reasoning. Only the Holy Spirit can reveal the love of Christ and only the Holy Spirit can fill us with the fullness of God.

Only in the love of Christ and the fullness of God can we become mature sons and daughters of God. As sons and daughters, we are to carry out the Father’s will and not our own will. There is no male or female in the matter of sonship. Every person who has surrendered their life to Christ has been called to reflect Christ in and through their life. It is in men and women throughout the nations that God is revealing His kingdom purpose in the earth. The Written Word is being lived out in their lives. These are lives which have been recreated in Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. God’s purpose is for the nations to come to know Him and do His will. This can only happen through sons and daughters of God that are led by the Holy Spirit.  

Today, ask the Holy Spirit to help you know the love of Christ in an ever-deepening way. Ask Him to fill you with the fullness of God so that Christ may be revealed in every facet of your life. Ask that you might have a part in helping others come to know God and to do His will.

LETTING THE SPIRIT REIGN IN YOUR HEART

1 Samuel 16:14 – Now the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord terrorized him.

This is a difficult passage in that it conveys the thought that both the Spirit of God and an evil spirit were sent from the Lord to Saul. God put His Spirit on Saul when he was anointed as King of Israel. Saul even prophesied when he was among the prophets. Saul turned from the Lord’s commands to his own plans during his reign. His heart became cold and selfish. The Lord withdrew His Spirit because Saul chose to do evil before the Lord. Afterwards, the Lord sent an evil spirit to terrorize Saul.

The God of Heaven is in control of both the good and the evil. Satan and his kingdom of darkness have restrictions placed on them by the Lord. They are confined to the earth in their ability to have influence. As believers, we wrestle against these powers (Ephesians 6:12). Satan and the kingdom of darkness have already been judged by Jesus according to John 16:11 declaring that “the ruler of this world has been judged.” Many Christians are still in bondage to the kingdom of darkness because their hearts have not been fully cleansed and released (1 John 1:5-10). The Spirit of God comes to convince of sin (John 16:8). He also comes to produce righteousness (John 16:10).

Many of God’s people battle continually with evil spirits because they refuse to allow the Holy Spirit complete control in their lives. They remain king of their own circumstances, rather than allowing the Holy Spirit His rightful place of rule in their hearts. Unforgiveness is one of the main bondages giving the enemy a right to control, confuse, and bind up our walk with Christ and our relationship with others. Jesus addresses this in the parable of the unforgiving servant in Matthew 18:21-35). The King was angry that the servant He had forgiven failed to forgive a fellow servant a much smaller debt. The King turned over the unforgiving servant to the tormentors in jail until the debt was fully paid. Jesus stated in Matthew 18:35, “My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from the heart.” The tormentors are evil spirits. The debt can only be paid through forgiveness from the heart.

Today, ask the Holy Spirit to search your heart and reveal to you any unforgiveness that would give Satan’s demonic tormentors rights in your life. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you a heart of forgiveness for anyone who has hurt you. Ask God for grace to forgive anyone He shows you. Then bind the evil one and be filled with the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God has come to fully establish God’s kingdom reign through the Lord Jesus Christ in each of our hearts today and every day.

LIFTED UP BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD

Ezekiel 11:24 – The Spirit lifted me up.

Ezekiel was a prophet of the Lord with many experiences in the Spirit of God. The Spirit of the Lord led him to act out much of what he saw and heard. The Holy Spirit is still lifting up men and women dedicated to doing God’s bidding. Testimonies are received from around the world of visions and dreams God’s people are having. Testimonies of healings and miracles are becoming common place throughout the body of Christ. The Lord is speaking to His people through unusual events and experiences. As in Ezekiel’s time, the Lord wants to draw near to His people.  He wants to lift His people into realms of the Spirit and show them how to accomplish His work.

The Spirit of the Lord does not bring revelation that is contrary to God’s Written Word, but confirms the Word of God by supernatural means. The writer of Hebrews addresses this issue when he asks the question, “How will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard, God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will” (Hebrews 2:3). The Holy Spirit breathes life on the Word of God. Many try to use the Word without the life-giving power of the Spirit and are left with legalism and death. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 3:6, “who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”

Some important questions to consider are: Is there life in the word you carry for God? Has the Spirit of God lifted you into places of fellowship and revelation to hear what the Spirit would say to you? Do you minister out of your head knowledge or by the Spirit of God quickening you with a message and deeds that produce life in the ones to whom you are ministering?

Take time to seek the Holy Spirit and ask Him to release His life in and through you. Prepare to allow the Holy Spirit to do unusual things through you. Expect Him to confirm the Word of God that you speak to others with His signs and wonders according to His will.

Father, I pray that your Holy Spirit would be free to speak words to me that are filled with Your life. I pray that I may hear your voice guiding me and that You would confirm your Word through me with Your life-giving power.  Protect me and others from the “letter of the law which kills” and fill me with the knowledge of Your Holy Spirit.