As I move into yet another year of life, I am absolutely fascinated with the astonishing passion and desire in the Father’s heart to make me like Him. Since before the dawn of man’s first moments on earth the intention of God was clear in creation, “Let us make man in our image.”
God’s top priority with me is to put His imprint on my life.
He does that beautifully in salvation by putting me into Christ and Christ into me. That places Jesus at the center of all my life experience and positions me in the place of the same relentless, ongoing favor that Jesus enjoys from the Father. Life in Christ is a gift that I embrace everyday. I do that by acknowledging everything that is in me in Christ (Philemon v 6). I don’t do anything to enter into that place of relationship. It is a gift! All I can do is stay there—abiding in the Spirit of God.
And like many people, I have read Galatians 5:22-23 on numerous occasions.
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Against such things there is no law.”
I’ve been aware for some time that the fruit of the Spirit is a daily encounter with God that can lead me into an ongoing experience—which opens my heart to the fullness of who God is for me and becomes the lifestyle in which He takes the greatest pleasure.
However, I ‘ve been especially intrigued by the statement, “against such things there is no law.”
There is no legislation, power, authority, force, demand, constitution, ordinance or regulation that can work against the fruit of the Spirit—which is the nature of God in action. No power in Heaven or hell can resist or work in opposition to God’s nature in us. I have been awed by these thoughts.
When I practice the fruit of the Spirit, nothing works against my heart.
I cannot be a victim. I cannot be downgraded, vilified, betrayed, maligned, abused or reviled. Yes, those things can still occur but the essential me cannot be touched, overwhelmed or overcome by them because the enjoyment of the Presence of God is more powerful. Nothing works against it!
As it hit me, my mind soared with all the possibilities of living in the one place where all negatives lose their power over me. It made me want to do my happy dance.
Abiding in God, as expressed in the fruit of the Spirit, sets me free from everything that resists me. Everything that works for me in Christ automatically works against any negative or oppositional relationship through the release of God’s nature in and through me.
I realized all this in a flash—like the Pentecost. The consequences of this truth took the roof off my emotions and set them free to explore Him. I realized that my heart had been so guarded against being hurt or taken advantage of that I was not free to love wholeheartedly. My heart was in a box guarded by false fears that I had dressed up as valid concerns. According to the world’s way of doing things, I was just being smart. However, I live in the Kingdom and different laws apply.
I recognized that what God was offering me was His unchanging self so that through all my circumstances and human encounters, I too could learn to be unchanging in the way that I lived my life.
The fruit of the Spirit has given me incredible confidence in my relationship with the Father, Son, Holy Spirit AND others. As I practice His Presence in this way, I am sowing into His character and reaping back from His favor. I am also more constant and consistent in my approach to people and circumstances and it fascinates me to this day.
My heart has a new rhythm. My worldly reactions are being turned into Kingdom responses. Stress is at an all time low because the Prince of Peace is more resident in my conscious sensitivity to God’s nature within.
P.S. This is the first post in a series to kick off 2016 about abiding in the Spirit of God and it’s impact on how we carry ourselves in the world. My hope is that this will inspire you to have more presence, more peace and more brilliance in the new year! To explore deeper, be sure to download “Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit.“