I don't know about you but I have had many prayers with the Lord that were more of petitions asking/needing more peace, love, joy, etc... Spent time looking up individual scriptures on how to have more of all these things. Even finding books or devotions on how to have more joy or walk in more love and so on.
It feels like there is a constant pressure to walk in a way that seems so difficult for our very flesh, our human nature. Swimming upstream. We become so focused on the individual character victories or over-focused on the individual character flaws that we miss the point completely.
There is a much simpler way. A way that can achieve so much more than one trait at a time or one attribute at a time. That is the Holy Spirit. What if we worked more on our relationship with the Holy Spirit. What if we focused on filling ourselves with more of the Spirit.
Many of us that grew up in church know by heart Galatians 5:22-23. We have memorized and repeated or made cute crafts for Sunday school these two amazing verses, but do we really believe every word it says? vs 22, "But the FRUIT of the Spirit is..." Did you see that? How exciting!!! The very fruit, result, of the Holy Spirit living inside of us is "...love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law."
It's like a fruit tree. It's planted and grows. What it has inside of it, the very things that makes up the very essence of the tree, causes the fruit to come forth. It doesn't have to work hard at producing fruit, it is just a result of what it is and what it is created to do. But, if it's not watered or pruned or receive sunlight it won't produce much fruit. It may even stop producing fruit altogether and die. I am grateful that the Lord uses all His creation to speak to us!!
The Holy Spirit is there that we may have this fruit in our lives, BUT if we don't water or feed the Spirit in us what else could we expect but a shortage of fruit. His goodness to give us what we need to produce the amazing fruit we want to see in our lives is amazing. The Holy Spirit that was given to live in us when Jesus ascended to Heaven. He knew we would have need of the Spirit to produce fruit. He gave us the Holy Spirit to live in us, to guide us, to speak to us and tell us of things to come (John 16:7-15). And the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)!! God has set us up to not only survive in our earthly bodies and here on Earth, but to succeed. We have everything that we have need of, there is nothing we lack, we are fully equipped.
The only thing that may be lacking is our relationship with the Spirit. I find that it is an ever deepening relationship. The deeper your go, the more your allow the Spirit to guide your life, the more His fruit shines through. It's a process with sweet rewards.
I am on a journey that I know can only get better with time. A journey to continue to die to self and allow the Holy Spirit be my guide. A journey that will only enrich and strengthen our family, my marriage, ministry and relationships. You can't beat a deal like that!!
So, how is your relationship with the Spirit?
Mine, getting better every day :)
I Corinthians 3:16 "Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you?"