What is the first thing you do when you are grocery shopping for something new? Do you look at the price? Do you look at the nutritional facts? Or do you look at the label or wrapper it is in? It’s amazing how much money companies spend to tell you what their product is without you even having to see what is inside. However, there is much more to know than just what you see on the outside.
What is on the inside eventually makes its way to the outside. If the inside of something is rotten or going bad, it may take a few days for the outside to show it, but it will eventually change. The same is true for us. What is within our hearts will make its way to the outside. If our heart is full of anger and bitterness, then our life will show that. If our heart is full of love, joy and kindness, then our life will show that.
After the resurrection of Jesus, God in his great love and power, sent the Holy Spirit. If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit is residing in your heart and equipping you to do God’s work. The Holy Spirit changes a person’s life and empowers them in their everyday life for the glory of God. In Galatians 5, Paul writes about one of the evidences of living a life surrendered to the Holy Spirit. He lists the fruit of the Spirit:
“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).
These characteristics are the inward and outward result of the Holy Spirit’s presence and work in the life of a believer. If you’re like me, you might be thinking, “Hmm…there are qualities I definitely need to work on.” That’s okay! We must daily learn to surrender our life over to the Holy Spirit, so that these characteristics can be seen in our lives. The question is not: “Do I perfectly exemplify all of these characteristics in my life?” but rather: “Are these things a general characteristic of my life?”
So, how do we see the fruit of the Spirit in our life today? We must daily choose to follow the Spirit. There is a battle within us to follow our own sinful nature rather than yield to the Holy Spirit. Paul says it this way:
“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”
We must surrender to the Holy Spirit’s guiding of our actions, attitudes and desires.