Taking Your Spiritual Temperature

December 29, 2001
by Simon MacInnis

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (NIV)

As we continue the daily journey of our Christian life, it's important for us to take our spiritual temperature. How hungry are we to walk with Jesus? How excited are we about where we are in our walk with God? Are we feeling frustrated, or a little depressed, about our inability to get excited about our walk with God? Maybe you feel like I did for many years. I thought that the magic formula in the Christian life was "try harder!" I used to say to myself, "If you can't get excited about your walk with Jesus, maybe you ought to just give up," or, "I blew it again, there must be something wrong with my commitment," or "I'm just not giving this thing my best shot. If I would only try harder, maybe someday God would be pleased with my walk. I'm just not cutting it."

The issue for me was that I was trying harder and harder in my own strength to produce in my life the fruit that only the Holy Spirit can produce. I had missed the beginning of today's verse, for it says, "the fruit of the Spirit is…". It is the Holy Spirit that produces these character qualities in our lives, not us.

This was a major problem in the Church of Galatia. The Galatians had accepted Jesus Christ by faith, but were now seeking to live the Christian life in their own power, not relying on the Holy Spirit by faith to make them more like Jesus. It is God, who is at work in us, giving us the desire and also the ability to do what He wants us to do. If we have been trying to produce in our lives what only the Holy Spirit can produce in us, then we need to be honest with Him. He knows exactly what we are thinking and how we feel.

If we lack enthusiasm about our walk with Him or lack even the desire to walk with Him, we can give that to Him today. Next, we can ask Him to give us a passionate desire to know Him. Remember, He has promised to be at work in us and give us the desire to know Him.

Prayer: Father, help us believe in you more fully and to depend on you to produce the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives, rather than relying on our own strength. Amen.

About the author:

Simon MacInnis

Woodstock, New Brunswick, Canada

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