August 26, 2016
By Skip Heitzig
The heart cry of every true believer should be to go deeper with the Lord. I feel really ill at ease when somebody says, "I've grown enough spiritually." In the Bible, Joseph is described as "a fruitful bough by a well; his branches run over the wall" (Genesis 49:22). He continued to grow throughout his life.
Sad to say, many Christians stop growing once the seed is planted. They make a little bit of progress, but by and large there's not much change. The Bible says we're to walk in the Spirit, which means to make progress in the Spirit. Some have chosen to sit in the Spirit; then there are others who decide to run in the Spirit, and they tend to fizzle out. But the greatest thing is consistent growth—week-by-week, month-by-month, year-by-year consistency. A person who's controlled by the Spirit in this way will be very easy for the Spirit to move and guide, because they're teachable, easy to work with like clay.
In John 16, Jesus spoke of the work of the Holy Spirit: "It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you" (v. 7).
One of the Holy Spirit's jobs is to rebuke, convict, or expose the evil deeds of the world—to convince us that we're blowing it. That was the work of the Holy Spirit in your life prior to salvation. When you made a confession of faith, then the Holy Spirit came into you and still continues to work, but in a different way. He takes the raw material—a sinner saved by grace—and makes you more like Jesus day by day, week by week, month by month, and year by year."God isn't finished with me yet" is one of the Christian's famous sayings. We're all under construction. But God is working on us and developing fruit in our lives.
In Galatians 5:22-23, as we've seen, the apostle Paul talked about the works of the flesh versus the fruit of the Spirit, and he wrote, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law."
Notice that it's the fruit of the Spirit, not the fruits of the Spirit. Fruit is singular. There's one fruit of the Spirit, and it's love. Maybe you're thinking, Wait a minute! I thought there were nine fruits of the Spirit. No, there's only one—love—and it is manifested in eight different ways: joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. It's the same light—love—but multifaceted like a prism, demonstrated in these different ways.
The fruit of the Spirit is love. This is so important to growing and going deeper with the Lord. That's the only thing that will last! I wholeheartedly encourage you to keep growing and going. Did you know you can grow old and not grow up spiritually? I sincerely hope you don't fall into that pattern. I pray you grow more and more in love, abiding in Jesus Christ, maintaining that constant, living communion with Him, and being so controlled by the Holy Spirit that you are like soft clay in His hands.
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