You’ve likely heard of the fruits of the spirit. The 9 things that naturally come in our lives as a result of Jesus dwelling within us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Today, I present the fruits of the spirit in a different way through the Message Translation of the Bible. Just a more modern wording for us to consider and apply.
Galatians 5: 22-23 “But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.”
Understand why I titled this devotional “I want it all”? Oh yes please God. I’ll take all of it. I need every bit of what you’re offering here in this scripture. How about you?
It’s like a buffet with all of the best things in life and God says “Girl, whatever you want, it’s all yours when you live my way.” Let me highlight a few of the offering’s on this magnificent all-you-can-eat buffet God has offered.
First, exuberance for life. Exuberance is being full of energy, excitement, and cheerfulness. What is all this energy and excitement over? Just LIFE. Life on this Thursday in the middle of April. Someone asks the general, canned question, “how are you today” in passing… well I double dog dare you to say “I’m full of exuberance for life!” This is what God is offering you. Don’t you want it?
My sister, understand this means God wants to make you a morning person! Impossible you say? NOTHING is impossible to our God. I’ve seen this happen in women’s lives. Former absolute HATERS of the sunrise now wake up an hour earlier just to get more out of life and savor their new favorite part of the day. You can be excited about waking up every day. You can be full of energy and cheerfulness. Yes, this means you can naturally be in a GOOD MOOD. A good mood can be your default. An exuberance for life is yours when you what …. when you live God’s way.
Another offering on the buffet of life set before you today is serenity. Sweet serenity, this means you can be calm. You can be filled with peace in a less than perfect situation. You don’t have to flip the heck out over anything. You don’t have to jump to worst case scenario. You don’t have to play out the 10 possible negative scenarios in your head to be prepared for what COULD happen. Nope, you can be completely calm. You can control your emotions and not be agitated, irritated or stressed out. Anxiety and depression are replaced by a reassuring sense of calm. Serenity is yours when you what … when you live God’s way.
This scripture also says we develop a willingness to stick with things. Well holy schamolly did you hear that girls? God is offering you willpower. He is offering you the ability to finish what you start. Who needs to grab ahold of that and run with it? Who will take a double helping of willpower today? How different would your world be this year if you could stick with things? Imagine the goals you could accomplish if you were a gal who naturally had a willingness to stick with things. Goal weight – check. Debt free – check. Beautifully clean house – check. Are you getting excited yet sister? A willingness to stick with things is yours when you what … when you live God’s way.
And finally I want to highlight one last gift God offers in this scripture. We find ourselves not needing to force our way in life. How many of you feel exhausted because you have to fight your way through every day? It’s all a battle just to survive. A battle just to get along. The only way you can move ahead is an all out fight and quite honestly you’re tired from the fight. Why can’t anything be easy? It’s a struggle to get up. It’s a struggle to stay married. It’s a struggle to parent your kids. It’s a struggle to get to work on time. Dang if we’re not just struggling our way through life and tired from the fight. Here God is saying, I have this gift for you – you don’t have to force your way in life anymore. This way is yours when you what … when you live God’s way.
Well goodness gracious, raise your hand if you need some of this. Exuberance for life. Serenity. Willingness to stick with things. No longer having to force our way in life. Did you know all your life this scripture has been waiting for you in your Bible. An offer for you. And it’s available today. You don’t have to force God’s hand in giving you that serenity. You don’t have to twist his arm to give you a willingness to stick with things. He’s not greedy with the gift of exuberance for life. And here’s how I know.
This verse says “He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard.” Fruit appears in an orchard naturally. Fruit isn’t forced. It’s the result of a fruit tree doing what a fruit tree is supposed to do. It produces fruit.
So what this scripture is saying is when we live God’s way, good qualities will come naturally to us. We won’t have to fake our way through life. It will simply be the result of living God’s way.
So I suppose the big question is, ARE YOU LIVING GOD’S WAY? What does that mean to you?
Today I invite you to let this question stay in the forefront of your mind. Let it be a prayer on your lips. God, will you show me how to live your way? The bible promises if you seek, you will find. This could be the most important thing you ever seek … How do YOU live God’s way? What is his way for YOU individually?