“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.” (Mark 12:30)
Life has been so busy, I fully intended to write this post soon after and as a follow up to my post, Idol Talk, which I just realized I posted a month ago!
I’m sure you all can identify.
So, going back to my post of a month ago – remember I said that to me, it seems that all sin is a form of idolatry? Because, idolatry is when we turn to anything else but God through His Son Jesus Christ for fulfillment or satisfaction in this life.
So, what is the answer to this “sin which does so easily beset us”? The answer is the next verse in Hebrews 12:2 – “Looking unto Jesus”! When we look to Jesus for fulfillment or satisfaction in this life, we allow His Holy Spirit to guide and control us, and when we “walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16), we will not fulfil the lust of the flesh. A little later in that chapter 5 of Galatians, Paul lists the works of the flesh, most of which we talked about in my previous post, and then he lists the fruit of the Spirit in verses 22 & 23.
“Fruit”, like grapes, is what grows on a branch that is connected to a vine. That vine, through the branch, sends the nourishment, water, and the genetic makeup to that fruit in order to determine what kind of fruit it will be. If the branch does it’s job, and stays connected to the vine, it will produce good fruit. Spiritual “fruit” is what grows when we are abiding in Christ, the True Vine, we are the branches that will bear much good fruit if we stay connected and yielded to Christ through His Holy Spirit Who dwells in us once we are saved or born again (John 15).
So, let’s look briefly at those sins we talked about last time, and see how if we love God and walk in His Spirit, we can show forth the fruit of the Spirit which is the opposite of those sins – or, the antidote.
Remember: Greed, envy, lust, sloth, gluttony, anger, and pride?
The Spirit-filled opposite of Greed would be Love, self-sacrificing, agape love. Being content with what you have, and generously sharing it with others. “…It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).
The antidote for envy is gentleness (kindness) and joy with thankfulness, helping others and putting their needs above your own, receiving the joy that you can only have from giving of yourself, and being thankful and content with what God has given you. Philippians 2:2 & puts it this way, “Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves”.
Goodness is the spiritual answer to Lust, Control your passion to desire more for yourself and use it to serve and help others. Let God’s goodness fill you as you yield more and more of yourself to His Holy Spirit. Renew your mind with His Word, meditating on it constantly and His goodness will fill you and flow out from you. Romans 12:2 says “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
If you feel slothful, ask the Lord to fill you with patience and faith to see the end results that come after putting in much hard work, and also with zeal and diligence to do a good job. Many times our hard work is not rewarded with instant gratification, but God encourages us in Galatians 6:9, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”
Overcome Gluttony with temperance, letting God control your desires so you can do what pleases Him, and not feed your flesh. Be healthy in body so that you are fit to serve God and others, so you are not limited by being overweight and out of shape. “And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things…But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway” (1 Corinthians 9:25,27).
Anger is eradicated with longsuffering, faith, gentleness, and peace. Take time to understand the needs and desires of others before acting and speaking. Forgive as you have been forgiven. A soft answer turns away wrath (Proverbs 15:1), so keep a soft answer on your lips to keep you from angry words. Be patient and wait on the Lord for His timing and working in situations.
And of course, Pride is overthrown by humility or meekness. Get rid of that inflated ego, after all, everything we have and are was given to us by God (1 Corinthians 4:7). Replace it with a servant’s heart like Jesus’ (Matthew 20:28). Glory in God not yourself, edifying others, not yourself. Galatians 6:14, “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”
So, fellow Christians, let’s yield ourselves to the Holy Spirit who lives inside us, so that He increases and we decrease (John 3:30).
~Graced and Grateful Grammy
The root determines the fruit
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23