The Struggle is Real - Part 2

We at Inspire Light are releasing some new items and if you were able to watch our live chat yesterday you got to hear all about it. One of the items requires some braided elements. I am a little obsessed with braiding (you should have seen my Barbie dolls hair) and I am running with this new item with such excitement. One morning I was reading Galatians 5 and started to get some braiding done. While I was braiding I was thinking about how in Galatians 5:16 it says, “walk by the Spirit” and then further down is says, “if you are lead by the Spirit.“ We can hear this so often as a Christian but the reality of that for our lives can be lost in the familiarity of the statement.

As I was moving one piece of fabric over to the other side and so on I could visually see that to walk by the Spirit and to be lead by Him is to allow who we are to be entangled with who He is. The fabric of our surrendered lives has such an opportunity to be immersed with God. He wants to be the one holding and moving our lives to create this beautiful piece. He not only wants to create beauty out of the flow of our lives but He wants to be part of every piece of it. 

But how? Well, eat some fruit girl! 

photo by: Daria Yakovleva

photo by: Daria Yakovleva

But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Another translation says: 

But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions:

joy that overflows,

peace that subdues,

patience that endures,

kindness in action,

a life full of virtue,

faith that prevails,

gentleness of heart, and

strength of spirit.

Never set the law above these qualities, for they are meant to be limitless.

One of the most significant things about the above scripture found Galatians 5:22-23 is that it doesn’t say the fruits of the Spirit but the FRUIT. It is one fruit that produces all of these things in our lives. We don’t have to eat the fruit of joy one hour and then have to remember to eat the fruit of kindness the next. No, they are all in one single helping of nourishment. 

There are many studies about how our bodies absorb nutrients. One of the most important things is the consistency of the good nourishment being introduced into our bodies. That consistency is able to overcome the years of bad items that has blocked up our digestive system. When we consistently choose healthy, whole foods that have nutrients and minerals that our body needs, then we are able to receive all that we need from those foods. We can become malnourished by not choosing to eat healthy foods and by not choosing them consistently. The consistency is the key because even when we do introduce healthy foods into our system it is not just a magical pill that makes everything better. The years of bad food choices have destroyed the way in which our body can actually absorb nutrients therefore the more we choose what is healthy the more we allow our body to heal itself. THIS allows it to absorb fully the good we are putting in it. 

What does your spiritual diet look like? 

All fruit has multiple nutrients within it like different minerals, vitamins, and so on.  We not only eat the apple but we consume all that comes with it. When we “eat” the fruit of the spirit we part-take in all the “nutrients” of it, which the word tells us, is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. When we consistently eat of the fruit then we become continually nourished by each one of these attributes. That nourishment, just like vitamins and minerals, is revealed not just on the inside but on the outside as well. 

Being malnourished by food has clear indications as we have all seen those commercials, which pull on our heartstrings, of children in third world countries who haven’t been able to eat and drink. (Side note I am so thankful for Danielle who continues to teach me how we can be Jesus to people around the world who need our support and love). However we as Christians seem to be able to hide well enough being malnourished by the Spirit. All the “nutrients” that the fruit of the Spirit produces usually has a counterfeit that we attempt to produce in our lives to fake out everyone. I know I can usually get away with faking it with many “nutrients” of the Spirit but one in particular is my sure tell that I am not being nourished by the fruit of the Spirit. 

The struggle is for sure real! Oh joy. I can pretend to by patient, kind, gentle or self-controlled (trust me I don’t pull it off well) but I personally cannot pretend to have joy. When I first came to know the love of Jesus and was continually eating the fruit of the Spirit, joy was radiating off of me. You could never produce that type of joy in my life. As years continued, I was becoming malnourished in the fruit of the Spirit for a number of different reasons one being the familiarity of His love for me leading to the familiarity of spending time with God – aka not consistently eating of the fruit. And I struggle with not having joy in my life because of that. Joy is my number one revealer of my quality time with God.

What is your revealer of your time with God? Do people notice? Do you notice? 

This is not a blog to tell you what to do and what not to do, this blog is to encourage you that the fruit of the Spirit is yours to eat. It is sitting on the table in front of you (figuratively of corse). All you have to do is choose to want to eat it, choose to want to spend quality time with God, choose His love and choose to love Him in return. Sometimes it is easier to write something out then to do it, but I want to set you free today that choosing God and being nourished continually by His presence, is as easy to write as it is to do. He doesn’t hide from us, He wants us to be receiving the fruit of His spirit. He loves us so. 

I am going to leave you with a little old song from my childhood that I have been singing in my head while preparing this blog….I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart – WHERE - down in my heart  - WHERE - down in my heart! 

May you be filled with the fruit of the Spirit and may we all (including myself) stop choosing to walk around as malnourished Christians because there is a full life of fruit waiting for us!