Daily Devotionals

Ghost: Week 4 - Thursday

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! 

Galatians 5:22-23

Look through these nine fruits of the Holy Spirit again and read them slowly. When you think about each one of these areas, do you see God producing these in your life? Here is the sad news: On your own, you will never be able to experience these principles or characteristics long-term. You might experience peace or joy for a time, but it will come and go with your circumstances. For some, it is like riding up and down on a merry-go-round. They are up for a time when life is good, and then down when their world is dark. The Holy Spirit helps us to stretch outside of our circumstances into these long-lasting fruits, fruit that doesn't go out of season with time, but that is sustained through the power of God.

I have seen people in our church who have gone through terrible circumstances. Even in the midst of suffering, they have joy. I have seen families that hear the diagnosis of cancer who sense God’s kindness holding them. I have seen fathers who could have responded to an overwhelming situation with anger and rage, and instead act in gentleness and with self-control. I have seen ladies who have been through the pain of separation and even divorce who still remain faithful to God after their world was turned upside down. How does this happen? Only God. The Holy Spirit can give them the ability deep down to persevere and have a deep abiding character, even in our darkest of days. He comforts us and holds us in the midst of the storm and brings out these spiritual fruits when we remain connected to Him.

For the life that is unconnected to Jesus, these nine fruits of the spirit will come and go. But for the person who remains committed to Him, they will see this good fruit come out of their lives. Not only will it affect your own character, it will flow into your relationship with God and others. Choose today to keep in step with the Holy Spirit as He brings these fruits out in your life.

Moving Toward Action

When you read through the fruits of the Holy Spirit, which one do you need to work on most? It could be that your relationship with God is off and you are not making much time with Him. You need to put Him first by pursuing love, joy, or peace. Maybe you lack patience, kindness, or goodness in your relationship with others. You find that you are not patient or kind to your kids or those closest to you. It might be that you lack faithfulness, gentleness, or self-control when it comes to the way you handle yourself. Your passion hasn’t been guarded, and instead, you have been rash with your mouth and actions. Pick one fruit that you need the Holy Spirit's help to bring out in your life and write it down below. Then take some time to journal about some ways you can let God take control of this area of your life.

Going Deeper

Read Galatians 5:16-25 (NLT)

So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.

When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.