It’s funny how often people feel ‘stuck’ in life. Stuck in a job, stuck with a limited income or stuck with responsibilities that prevent them from doing the things they would like to do. Well in the Kingdom of God there is never any need to feel stuck, because the Holy Spirit is on a mission to transform us into the likeness of Jesus Romans 8:29. Now this may seem a very slow process to you and me, but even if it is only happening incrementally, the Holy Spirit is ‘on it’! You and I are being transformed, as we look at Jesus, ‘from one degree of Glory to another.’ 2 Corinthians 3:18.
This is why, as we have been going through the fruit of the Spirit, we have been linking each fruit to the nature and character of God, because when it comes to the fruit of the Spirit, it is not about us trying to make ourselves into ‘nice’ people for Jesus. It is rather about the new life we have, the life of Christ now living in us, growing and being released through the ‘common clay pot’, that is our life here on earth, for His glory.
Our remit is to fully represent Him on the earth, and so seeing who He is has been part of the journey to recognise what a transformed me will look like. The ‘fruit of the Spirit’, encapsulate who He is, and therefore who we are becoming, by His grace. He said that if we remain in Him and He in us we will bear much fruit; “apart from Me”, He said “you can do nothing”. John 15:5.
Hindrances to abiding and allowing our new life in Christ to bear fruit can be found in the parable of the sower in Matthew 13:3-23. They are i) having good seed, (good teaching etc), snatched away by satan, ii) Having very little root in terms of faith and so finding trouble and persecution destroy it. iii) Having the new life choked by the worries and cares or the pleasures of life. Then there is also the possibility, even for the seed that bears fruit, that the quality or amount of fruit that we bear can also depend on how we receive and nurture what we are given.
So over these past few days, as we have looked at the fruit of the Spirit and the parallels that we see in the character of God, we have been encouraging you to use thanksgiving as you receive truth, and as you cooperate with the lovely Holy Spirit who is greatly at work in you ‘both to will and to work for His good pleasure’ Philippians 2:13. Thanking God every time you face a challenging situation will also bring the life and grace of God into your life in greater measure.
It’s a collaboration in which the Godhead, Father Son and Holy Spirit are all involved, as is our cooperation, signalled by our thanksgiving, that will make sure that we don’t feel ‘stuck’ in our journey of transformation till the day we die and see Him face to face. Then we will be totally changed to be like Him. John who had already seen Him on earth and had ‘seen’ Him in heaven, Revelation 1, wrote ‘When he appears we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is,’1 John 3:2. Praise the Lord.
So let’s thank Him for all the transformation that is taking place now, and for the transformation that will take place then, and let us bear hundredfold fruit from the seed that He gives us.