Cultivating in the Spirit

God has so much planned for us. 

When I sat down to write this post I had a completely different concept in mind. I was going to outline each fruit with a summary of the full posts. 

Instead. I want to talk about The Spirit of God, and His sovereignty. 

Life has a way of throwing things at us over and over and over again, and expecting us to just take it. We’re tired, we’re stressed, we’re uncertain, and generally I feel like we’re all just kind of taking things one step at a time. That’s all we can do, right?

Wrong.

I’ve lived by that concept for years, and only this year am I realizing that only “taking one more step” is not enough. It’s not enough to take that step on our own.

 We have to take that step with God. 

Walking in the Spirit

How many times have you been walking on flat ground and tripped on your own feet? I promise, I’ve been there hundreds of times. It’s frustrating and sometimes painfully embarrassing, even though we KNOW everyone does it from time to time. 

A part of being human is faltering and falling. But we can become stronger and more sure-footed when we put our trust and our purpose in the gospel, and in Christ. 

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.”

Galatians 5:16

The desires of the flesh are listed out in the next few verses after Galatians 5:16, all of them encompassed by selfishness, jealousy, and pride. We focus so much on ourselves that we don’t consider God. 

Do you think God goes even a second without considering us?

That’s why He’s given us the Spirit to walk with. He is our guide, leading us so we don’t stumble and fall, so that we can cultivate the fruits and gifts He has determined for us. 

1 Corinthians 12:11 tells us that “All these (gifts of the Spirit) are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as He wills.” 

In Romans, Paul tells us that “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God” (8:14). 

We belong to God, and because of that He has given us the Spirit to lead and guide us. We have been given spiritual gifts by the Spirit to help us cultivate the fruits of the Spirit that we’ve outlined the last ten months.

Cultivating Fruit

When growing fruit trees, cultivation is ridiculously important. You want to make sure you have the right soil, location, environment, and irrigation system in place so that the fruit tree can reach a proper root-depth. These fruit trees usually need about three feet of root growth to be strong enough to start growing fruit. 

Compare that to yourself now, as God does in the Bible. We have to have an “irrigation” system in place to help feed and water our souls so that we can continue to grow stronger and healthier in our faith and fruits. We are fruit trees, and must put ourselves in the proper environment, location, and in the right soil.

A proper environment for a Christian is one surrounded by brothers and sisters in Christ. We are told in the Bible that we have brothers and sisters around the world struggling with the same obstacles we do. Surrounding ourselves with other believers fosters an attitude of growth and inspiration.

The soil we should be planted in is the word, which nurtures our souls and feeds our minds. It keeps us alive and strong, and we become stronger the deeper we grow in it. 

The irrigation system for a Christian could be many things, from personal conviction (or, rather, the conviction of the Holy Spirit), to family members and mentors who keep us accountable against the word of God. This weeds out the bad habits and influences, and builds or strengthens the systems and influences that help us grow stronger in our faith.

Pruning…

I came across an article discussing the process of cultivating fruits, and this section popped into view: 

“Pruning is the removal of parts of a plant to influence growth and fruitfulness. It is an important fruit-growing practice. Primary attention is given to form in the first few years after fruit trees or vines are planted. Form influences strength and longevity of the mature plant as well as efficiency of other fruit-growing practices; pruning for form is called training. As the plant approaches maximum fruitfulness and fills its allotted space, maintenance pruning for various purposes becomes increasingly important.”

Have you ever considered pruning for the sake of your spiritual growth? Pulling out the bad habits, unhealthy friend groups, uninspiring TV shows, or even music that is detrimental to your growth? These bad habits take our attention away from God and towards the world. They determine where our thoughts will be, and draw our focus onto ourselves and the people around us, rather than onto the scriptures and the promises of our Father.

In our first few years of cultivation this is extremely important, because it provides the soil which we grow into the rest of our lives. 

Crucify the Flesh

“And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”

Galatians 5:24

I don’t know if you’ve ever studied the crucifixion or the practice of crucifying. But essentially, the reason it is so horrible, and why it was reserved for criminals, was because of just how slow and painful it was. 

Besides being nailed hand and foot (or wrist and ankle, likely) to thick pieces of wood, the criminals would then be hoisted into the air (often naked) the full weight of their body hanging on the nails. This would stretch out their shoulders, sometimes dislocating them, and force their body to hang limp because you couldn’t really fight against it (at least not for long.) It often took days for the people to die this way, hunger and thirst taking as much a toll as the cross itself. 

This, as horrible as it is, is exactly what we want to do with our sinful selves. We deserve this and so much worse for rebelling against our Father in heaven, except that Christ did it for us!

“For the people of Christ, the cross broke the grip of the laws and also the grip of the flesh. By faith, they recognize the reality of their union with Christ in His death. So, too, they have been raised to new life in the Spirit of Christ and therefore walk in the Spirit.”
ESV Study Bible footnotes

“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
”BUT GOD being rich in MERCY, because of the GREAT LOVE with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward  us in Christ Jesus.”

Ephesians 2:1-7

God has provided everything for us, even the sacrifice that was necessary for us to be able to grow in the Spirit.

We didn’t deserve that, we hadn’t earned it, we aren’t that good. No matter how you look at it, the gift of God’s Spirit is exactly that: a gift. 

God is rich in mercy meaning that His mercy overflows, it is abundant. Mercy is a gift, it is the withholding of a punishment we have earned.

God is faithful. God will not leave us to our own demise. We are His, and He will continue to care for us because He is faithful and consistent in character.

God is Sovereign

“No temptation has taken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

Romans 10:13

Sovereignty is a word we throw around a lot in Christian circles. Essentially, it means God has complete control and power over the universe that He has created. 

This is a comforting thought, that God does in fact know all and see all, even when we don’t feel it. 

“Remember this and stand firm, recall it to mind, you transgressors, remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’” 

Isaiah 46:8-10

There is no one like God, no one Who can create out of nothing and speak into existence things that we couldn’t even imagine. There is no one who can save the entire world—past and present—from sin and death. Except Christ.

“He has caused His wondrous works to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and merciful.
He provides food for those who fear Him; He remembers His covenant forever.
He has shown His people the power of His works, in giving them the inheritance of the nations.
The works of His hands are faithful and just; all His precepts are trustworthy;
They are established forever and ever, to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.
He sent redemption to His people; He has commanded His covenant forever.
Holy and awesome is His name!”

Psalm 111:4-9

We are provided for and cared for, loved even, by God who is “rich in mercy and abundant in lovingkindness,” and so we are in good hands.

Spirit Lives in Us

“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?”

1 Corinthians 3:16

We hear all the time in Christian circles that we can do things “with God” and that things are possible when we have “God on our side.” 

But what does that really mean? Obviously we normally don’t see a physical presence of God walking beside us. Christ isn’t currently walking the earth in human form. So what do we mean when we say we have God with us?

“When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

Acts 2:1-4

The signs they witnessed here were evidence of the presence of God. We often get caught up in the details of the little flames or speaking in tongues, but imagine simply the full presence of God and how that is manifested here. 

This is how God walks with us, as God the Spirit within us. He is a gift to us, as we see promised in Joel 2:28-32 and Isaiah 44:3-8. The presence of the Spirit is as comfort, as living water, as Helper, and as guide. John 16 tells us in beautiful detail the role of the Spirit has in our lives, and how as an individual member of the Trinity, He acts independently under the authority of God. 

“Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send Him to you.”

John 16:7

The plans of God are perfectly orchestrated to provide for His people. In His sovereignty He has provided a way for our salvation and a destination for our eternity. We will not be forgotten by our Lord, our Father, our Savior. 

The Spirit Cultivates With Us

As we close out this series on the Fruits of the Spirit, I hope you always remember the reality of the presence of the Spirit within us. Go back and meditate on each fruit, allowing the Spirit to guide you in your walk with Christ.

Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control. Each fruit is crucial and important for your spiritual growth. If we allow the Spirit to influence our lives and live with the fruits in mind, the Spirit of God will be with us every step of the way.

He is a constant presence cultivating our growth and feeding our souls. We can find comfort in the fact that we do not have to rely on our own strength or ability to live as Christians, but that we can lean on God and His perfect, sovereign will. 

A Prayer for all us Mountain Goats

My prayer for you is that you would take what you’ve studied and heard, and apply it to your life. I pray that you and I would both acknowledge the constant presence of the Spirit and recognize His help in cultivating our fruit. I pray that we would reflect the fruits of the Spirit in so much grace that it stands out from others around us. And I pray that through this, we would each grow closer to God hour by hour, day by day.

The Fruit of the Spirit: Joy

https://amandacleidy.com/creative-portrait

“Though you have not seen Him, you love Him. Though you do not now see Him, you believe in Him and rejoice with a joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory.”

1 Peter 1:8

Joy is one of my absolute favorite topics in the Bible. It is also one of the most frequently mentioned words throughout scripture. From Nehemiah to 1 Peter (just the word itself), we find a remarkable number of references to the topic of joy: 

  • Nehemiah 8:10:And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength” 
  • Psalm 4:7:You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound”
  • Habakkuk 3:18: “I will take joy in the God of my salvation.”

We also find the command to “rejoice” several times in scripture, which is the outpouring of a joy in a visible, active way. To rejoice means to be filled with joy, to cause joy, and to give joy to (someone). 

In Romans 12, Paul tells us to “rejoice with those who rejoice.” In Philippians, “rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice.”

It is a core quality of a Christian to be filled with joy, and to spread that feeling with those around us.

What is Joy?

“Christian joy is a good feeling in the soul, produced by the Holy Spirit, as He causes us to see the beauty of Christ in the word and in the world.”

John Piper

I often refer to John Piper’s definitions or use articles on Desiring God to research for my writing. The topic of joy is by far one of Piper’s most common themes, and he has thoroughly broken down this definition of what joy is:

  1. A Good Feeling: not an idea or a conviction, not a persuasion or a decision, but a feeling.
  2. In the Soul: not the body
  3. Produced by the Holy Spirit: as one of the fruits of the Spirit, it is a work of the Spirit
  4. Sight of Jesus: work of the Spirit results from seeing the glory and beauty of Jesus
    1. The Spirit opens the eyes of my heart to see the beauty of Christ, and then my heart is drawn towards Him in joy.
  5. In the Word and the World
    1. Word: it is most clear in the Bible (which is inspired by the Holy Spirit)
    2. World: through gifts and people, nature, food, and so much more

“Our experiences of the Spirit’s joy does not define our assurance of the Spirit’s presence.”

Dane Ortlund in: Joy Doesn’t Always Look Happy

Joy is an objective reality; it is a basic, non-optional element of what the indwelling Spirit gives to believers. Essentially, if you have the Spirit within you, you will have the ability to rejoice with a joy that is “inexpressible and filled with glory.”

In all honesty, it is remarkable to me that joy is not based on our circumstances. I think that growing up, most of us associate the word “joy” with the word “happy,” because that’s the closest synonym in our dictionaries. 

But really, joy is so much more than that. Joy is an unstoppable force of God’s character that makes happy look small in comparison. Joy is an overwhelming feeling within us that our basic emotions can’t crack. It’s the thing that makes people who have lost a loved one still smile, because they know that death has already been conquered, and it is nothing to fear anymore. 

Joy is the outworking of our union with Christ, and it flows from the taste of the sweetness of grace. It ”springs from knowing the true value of what God has given us.” (Derek Thomas)

How to “Joy”

Just like knowing who God is is different than knowing God, knowing what joy is doesn’t help so much with knowing how to feel it. 

As I mentioned before, joy is one of John Piper’s most discussed topics. As such, he has come up with “Fifteen tactics for joy” that I’d like to share with you here:

  1. Realize that authentic joy in God is a gift.

 It is not an assumed characteristic of a Christian’s life, you don’t just receive joy when you receive Christ necessarily, it’s a gift in addition to the salvation we receive.

  1. Realize that joy must be fought for relentlessly. 

I’m sure you know that joy isn’t easy, it isn’t natural. It’s hard to just “have joy.” It must be fought for, strived after, chased. But it’s worth it.

  1. Resolve to attack all known sin in your life, by the power of the Holy spirit.

 If we’re living in our sin we’ll never be able to fully grasp hold of joy, that sin is holding our hand back just enough to keep us from holding onto joy. We have to completely let go of the world’s hold on our lives.

  1. Learn the secret of gutsy guilt-how to fight like a justified sinner. 

Know that it is only God who can redeem you, and fight for that. Know that it is only God who can cleanse you, who can pull you from that sin, and fight for that.

  1. Realize that the primary battle is a fight to see- to see God for who He is! 

There is nothing like seeing and knowing our God.

  1. Meditate on the word of God day and night.

 Like David singing psalms in the kingdom to Saul, or Daniel defying the king’s orders and praying openly to his King in heaven, let us find joy in speaking with our God! Let’s be hungry for communication with our Father.

  1. Pray earnestly and continually for open heart-eyes and an inclination for God. 

Often in the Psalms we see David asking that his voice be heard by God. This honest plea to be heard is not unfamiliar. God can hear you, all you have to do is ask!

  1. Learn to preach to yourself rather than listen to yourself. 

This point, I believe, is one of the most important-at least for me. We need to turn our grumblings into lessons for ourselves, push ourselves forward, motivate ourselves with words from scripture and prayers to our God.

  1. Spend time with God-saturated people who help you see God and fight the fight. 

We become like the five people we spend the most time with. If the five people we spend time with are God-saturated, we will start to imitate that behavior, to desire to be God-saturated too, and we won’t be able to turn our backs to the words of God.

  1. Be patient in the night of God’s seeming absence.

 I know this is hard, it’s not an easy thing to be patient in any situation. And it’s scary to feel like God isn’t there. But I promise He is there, He won’t leave, and He’s working in your life to make everything more beautiful than you could ever possibly hope for.

  1. Get the rest, exercise, and proper diet that your body was designed by God to have. 

Our bodies were created by God, they are precious creations that require special care. Don’t abuse that creation, but have dominion (care-taking) over your body.

  1. Make a proper use of God’s revelation in nature – take a walk in the woods.

 With precautions, of course, but there is nothing like a walk in the woods to open your eyes to the nature of God.

  1. Read great books about God and biographies of great saints.

 It may seem dry at first, but these people have been saturated with knowledge of the gospel and it is thrilling to hear what they have to say.

  1. Do the hard and loving thing for the sake of others (your verbal witness and deeds of mercy). 

It isn’t always easy to be kind, but we are walking witnesses of Christ, lights in the darkness of this world and we can change the world simply by imitating Christ; doing the hard and loving thing.

  1. Get a global vision for the cause of Christ, and pour yourself out for the unreached. 

Our little circle of the world is not the only part that’s fighting for the gospel. It’s important to realize the global impact of the gospel and how that’s affecting our brothers and sisters in Christ throughout the world.

“Every moment of our existence is cause enough for joy: the good and the bad together should integrate to form a hallelujah symphony to the praise of almighty God.”

Derek Thomas

We are told in 1 Thessalonians 5:16 (the second shortest verse in the Bible) to “Rejoice always.”

Ellen B

One of my favorite people in the Bible, Paul, writes a lot about joy in suffering in his letters to various churches in the new testament. While in prison, under guard, in trials legally and figuratively, he finds joy. He is able to separate his circumstances from the overwhelming understanding that through all of it, God is still there. God is still God. 

While there isn’t one fix-all solution to feeling joy, I think that reading about the people in scripture who have felt joy and expressed joy no matter their circumstances can certainly help inspire anyone to have a more joyful attitude towards their own life. 

I know that no matter what I go through, remembering Paul’s example, Job’s arguments, Esther’s faith, David’s psalms, and Christ’s prayers unfailingly help me to turn my attitude around. 

“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”

Romans 5:3-5

A Prayer for All Us Mountain Goats

I sincerely pray that each of you can find a way to experience joy in the Lord. I pray specifically that you can find joy when it’s hardest to feel it, that you can rejoice boldly and with certainty that God is there, that God has redeemed you, and that God is working in you to make you whole, complete, lacking in nothing. I pray that we as a body of Christians can shine with joy so brightly that people question us, and recognize that we are glowing with something more powerful than we can understand. 


Lydia Cannon

Christian, Writer, Coffee Addict

https://millennialmountaingoat.blog/


Supporting Verses

Nehemiah 8:10

Psalm 4:7

Isaiah 9:3

Psalm 21:6

Ps 16:11

Psalm 66:1

Ps 81:1

Ps 95:1

Ps 98:6

Joel 2:23

Habakkuk 3:18

Luke 1:44

Luke 2:10

Galatians 5:22

1 Thessalonians 1:6

Acts 13:44-52

James 1:2

1 Peter 1:6-9

Psalm 98:4

Psalm 118:24

Romans 12:15

Philippians 4:4

Philippians 3:1

1 Thessalonians 5:16

Don’t forget to check out the Recommendations page for links to other Christian organizations and Bible study tools!


The Fruit of the Spirit: An Introduction into the Conduct of a Believer

*NOTE: Hey Mountain Goats! This is the introduction to a brand new blog series I’ll be posting about the Fruits of the Spirit. There will be a total of NINE posts following this one that will delve into each of these fruits more specifically. Be sure to check them out as we continue to grow and journey together!

“For the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true”

Ephesians 5:9

How long has it been since you’ve considered your own conduct as a believer? What kind of witness are you reflecting in the way you treat others and the way you respond to trials?

I think it is important to consider, occasionally, how we are perceived by the world. If someone were to meet me today, would they know I was a believer based solely on my behavior? I hope so.

Christ left an example for us when He walked on earth, and gave us a Helper to stay with us when He ascended. Together they teach us to understand the message of the gospel, and show us how to more accurately reflect the glory of the Father in everything we say and do. 

I want to learn what is good and right and true, and share it with everyone around me. I want to reflect God’s glory in my actions, in my conduct, and be such an obvious Christian that people don’t have to wonder. 

So what is it? How can we go about finding what is good, right, and true? And how would I go about sharing it with the world?

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

The Spirit

“But the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”

John 14:26

The Spirit, I believe, is not nearly as understood as Christ or even as God. We learn about Jesus our whole lives, but tend to take for granted the immense gift of the Holy Spirit, God within us. 

The Spirit, or, the Holy Spirit is the person of the Godhead who works continually within our hearts to sanctify us. His part in our sanctification is to be here with us to help us understand more clearly the words of scripture, to live more fully the message of the gospel, and to grow internally to be more like Christ. 

The fruit of the Spirit, then is the Spirit’s character within us, filling us with Christ-like attitude. He is given to us by the Father as a Helper, a guide, so that we will not be left alone. 

“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs-heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.”

Romans 8:13-17

The Fruit

“Fruit” is a biblical analogy for the conduct of a believer. In other words, how a Christian ought to behave. There are several passages exploring the idea of fruit in the New Testament, particularly as it relates to good fruit and bad fruit. They are summarized as such:

Good fruit is that which reflects the glory and character of Christ; beautiful and tasteful, delicate but healthy. 

Bad fruit is the opposite, it reflects the world and the things of the world. It is negative and often repulsive, something you wouldn’t keep around if you had the choice. 

“Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God.”

Romans 7:4

We, as belonging to Christ, have been freed from sin. If we set our minds on things of the flesh, we cannot please God. It is impossible to “serve two masters,” flesh and God. Thus, we must set our minds on the things of God, the fruit that comes from God. 

In Philippians 4:8, Paul gives us a list of adjectives to consider and set our minds upon. We are to think about what is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and praiseworthy. If we fill our minds with all of this, we won’t have the time or energy to think about the negativity and repulsiveness of the rotten fruit of the world. 

“Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.”

Matthew 3:8

Repentance is not only an outward conformity to a new commitment, but an inward dedication to righteousness. So in bearing “fruit in keeping with repentance,” we are letting the work of sanctification fertilize our hearts so that we can bear good, healthy fruit that will continue to ripen and grow. 

In Matthew 15:10-11, Jesus explains to His disciples that it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth. He explains further that whatever goes into the mouth passes through the stomach and is expelled, but that whatever comes out of the mouth, this comes from the heart, and this is what defiles a person. 

The heart and mind of the Christian cannot be pure, the actions of a Christian cannot be pure, if we do not first inwardly reflect on and consider the fruits of the Spirit, the works of the Spirit, and the kingdom of God. 

Good Fruit vs Bad Fruit: Knowing the Difference

As I mentioned before, good fruit can be defined as that which reflects the glory and character of Christ. It is the distinctive set of qualities in a believer’s conduct that sets them apart from everyone else in the world.

These fruits are (Galatians 5:22-23):

  • Love
  • Joy 
  • Peace
  • Patience
  • Kindness
  • Goodness
  • Faithfulness
  • Gentleness
  • Self-Control

Christ uses the fruit analogy in the gospels to explain that good fruit can only come from a good tree (foundation, center, inward growth), and that bad fruit comes from a bad tree. This is just as straightforward as it sounds, and is probably one of the clearest analogies in scripture. 

If you nurture the roots of a fruit tree, watering and caring for the leafy sprigs when they pop through the soil, and continue to nurture its trunk, branches,and leaves, and maybe even prop the tree up with some sort of support so it can stand straight and tall, then you can almost guarantee that it will eventually bear good, healthy fruit. 

On the other hand, if you plant a seed for a fruit tree and only occasionally tend to it, barely check on it, and offer no support system as it grows, then it will grow weak, crooked, and could possibly die. The fruit it bears (if any) will be contaminated, will rot, and won’t be able to be consumed.

Fruit, as mentioned above, refers to the conduct of a believer. 

  • Good fruit = good conduct
  • Bad fruit = bad conduct.  

In Galatians 5:16-23, Paul contrasts the fruit of the Spirit with the conduct of the world and with the works of flesh (sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, etc). 

These characteristics hang our place in the kingdom of heaven in the balance according to Paul in Galatians 5, the conduct that separates God’s children from the rest of the world. He says “those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:21).

That’s heavy, the entire idea of our conduct being so important in the end. I know it’s impossible to be perfect. It is impossible to be perfectly pure in our conduct and our intentions. 

But don’t be discouraged! 

That’s why Christ came, to be the perfect branch, the perfect lamb. He set for us an example, one which we can strive to imitate.

“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit.” 

Matthew 12:33

When Paul talks about those who practice such immoral qualities as the ones listed above, he is talking about those who are actively sinning with no desire to repent or try to live more like Christ. One sin, or even a hundred sins, is not the definitive end of your eternity. 

I do want to emphasize that everything in scripture is intentional. Everything in scripture is there because it was “breathed out by God” (2 Timothy 3:16). So we should take it seriously. It is important for us as children of God to actively work on each of these good fruits as they apply to us and our daily lives. 

Conducting Ourselves

As heirs of the kingdom, we are given the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us to live our lives as repentant believers, exhibiting the fruits of the Spirit as they grow within us.

One of the most beneficial practices of our faith, is prayer. Prayer helps us build our relationship with the Father and to grow stronger in our faith. It can provide us endurance and understanding as we take this journey through the fruits of the Spirit and learn about how to effectively apply them to our lives. The Spirit will work in us to make these behaviors reality, all we have to do is ask. 

“But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct.”

1 Peter 1:15

Over the next few months, we’ll explore each of the fruits individually, starting with Love and ending with Self-Control. I am so excited to journey through this study together, and to truly understand and apply these ideas to our daily lives! 


A Prayer for all Us Mountain Goats

My prayer for us is that we be constantly aware of the Spirit’s presence within us, working towards bearing “fruit in keeping with repentance,” and desiring an inward change. One that leads to outward growth. I pray that God may encourage us through the people around us, use them to keep us accountable to be loving, joyful, patient, and kind. I pray that we encourage one another as well, that we would be so filled with purpose and direction to serve HIS purpose, and glorify Him forever.


Supporting Verses

Proverbs 20:11
Luke 12:11-12
Romans 5:3-5
1 Timothy 4:12
James 3:13
1 Peter 2:12


Lydia Cannon

Christian, Writer, Coffee Addict

https://millennialmountaingoat.blog/


Don’t forget to check out the Recommendations page for links to other Christian organizations and Bible study tools!