I often wonder why it is so hard for me to give off all the fruit of the Spirit all the time. It is especially hard for me to do so when there are so many things that annoy me on a day-to-day basis. I know that I have to be loving at all times, to forgive at all times, to be self controlled at all times, to be peaceful at all times but...I am not always all these things all the time! I do not know about you but I really need the Spirit of GOD to help me in this area.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:22-23).
Now, there is that feeling that always follows anger...that feeling of wanting to hold on to self-justification...self-pity...It is a feeling that you are not too willing to let go of! It is as if you want to hold it close to your chest so that you can keep that person in the ‘guilty seat’...the HOT SEAT!
I do not know if I am the only one who goes through this but, sometimes, because someone is not repentant enough or does not act repentant enough, I hold on to that feeling – I know you know which one. It seems as if I purpose to hold on to that self- pity so that I can justify myself and prove my innocence but also prove the guilt of the other party.
Listen. Something happened to me recently in relation to this. It was not the first time that it was happening to me and I felt sad...annoyed...hurt...bitter...and all those feelings that you also feel, sometimes, but that no one knows about! Anyway, I knew that it was a test and that I had to pass it. Therefore, I prayed. I prayed that I would not say or do anything to abort GOD’S plan for me. I knew that GOD wanted me to learn something but also that He wanted to teach the other person something. The way that I responded would determine so many things. Therefore, I maintained my peace, put my finger on the mouth and KEPT SILENCE. Now, even if I seemed to keep my peace, outwardly, I was BURNING UP on the inside – I was livid! However, since I am very careful about not operating in the flesh but in the Spirit at all times, I knew that what I was feeling was not Godly, and so determined to regain my peace.
Just this morning, I realized that I still had those negative feelings. I then wondered what Jesus would have done in such a situation...I wondered what feelings He would have had and if He would have nurtured any negative feelings. I prayed. I asked Him to help me feel exactly how He would have felt.
I must tell you that a certain thought kept flitting in and out of my mind during this entire scenario. The thought that I had asked Jesus to teach me how to be a good shepherd and to teach me how to lead as He led took permanent residence in my mind. Soon after asking Jesus to give me His feelings, if He found Himself in a similar situation, I began feeling peace. I slowly let go of the negative feelings, by the grace of GOD, and began to return to my usual ‘place of inner peace’.
I now realize that the good Shepherd, Jesus, must have had instances such as the one that I had had. I know that He must have kept His peace in all situations even as I know that He requires the same of me. I now know that we must purpose to remain in His peace regardless of what attacks we face on a daily basis.
I then remembered that even as this war had waged itself in my mind, I had purposed to be SILENT because it is a practice of mine. It is important that I speak only the heart and mind of GOD or else be SILENT!
How many times do we fail the test? How many times do we open our mouths and say something that is completely out of the will of GOD?
I know that GOD has allowed me to share this with you for a reason. I know that you, too, have to purpose to keep your peace at all times. You should not allow the devil to steal your peace. You should give off all the fruit of the Spirit at all times.
Dear GOD, sometimes, I lose my peace about certain situations yet you demand that I give off the fruit of the Spirit at all times. Please forgive me.
Lord Jesus, I know that you are the best example of a good leader that I could ever ask for. Please give me those qualities that you exuded when you were here on earth. Teach me to be peaceful all the time regardless of what happens to me and around me.
Holy Spirit, please take your rightful place in my spirit, body and soul. Help me to crucify the sinful nature and all its passions so that I can give off your fruit all the time.
Father, please give me peace of mind at all times so that only peace comes out of me when I am tempted. Let me give off the fruit of righteousness, which is peace and its effect, which is silence. May I be silent during those times even when I would have spoken nonsense and aborted your plans for me. I thank you, Lord, because you have done it. In Jesus’ name, I have prayed, amen.