Tag Archives: fruit of the Spirit

Patiently Waiting

15 Jun

***Inviting you along on my journey***

A few weeks ago I posted about the first step in my journey toward health.  Over the coming months I’ll be writing about what the Lord is teaching me.  It’s my prayer that you will be encouraged and challenged as we go forward together.  Our verse:

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

Patience.

…sigh…Can I be honest here and say that this is not easy for me? I like to say that I have patience but this week the Lord has shown me that I truly don’t.

Webster’s defines patient this way (emphasis mine):  2. adj. tolerating delay, provocation, annoyance, etc. without complaint or anger. (Ok, I’m not perfect at this but not too bad either. Something we’ve been working on for a while God, you know my heart is repentant on this front.) 3. adv. patiently-  persevering or diligent. (Really?  That’s the definition of patiently? Yikes…)

This weekend I was reading the commentary in my bible about the 400 years of silence between the Old and New Testament.  Not that God wasn’t active during that time, because we can see in history the rise and fall of nations ultimately leading up to the birth of the promised Messiah, which were foretold through the prophets.  But His prophetic voice was silent.

And so the Israelites waited, and cried out , and groaned for their promised Savior, the Messiah. They had to wait (patiently- diligently, persevering) 400 years for God’s promise to be fulfilled.

A long time ago, while struggling through young adulthood and trying to “find myself,” a wise teacher led me to Psalm 40.  It fit my situation at the time and so I purposed to memorize the passage.  Over the years I’ve gone back to it time and time again gaining comfort from the familiar verses.  Psalm 40:1 says:

“I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined to me and heard my cry.”

He’s shown me “waiting patiently” means something completely different than I originally thought.  In the past I imagined sitting quietly, hands folded, head bowed, holding back, so that’s what I did.  There are things I’ve allowed to fall away, promises I’ve pushed under the rug, because of my passivity.

But not anymore.

He wants diligence.

He’s calling me to persevere and abide.

And so, “He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet on a rock, making my steps secure.  He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God.  Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord. Psalm 40:2-3

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Discipline

17 May

*** Inviting you along on my journey ***

This journey is not easy for me.  Not so much because eating right is hard but because it’s bringing out other areas in my life that need to be pruned.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

I’ve decided this verse will be my focus, taking each piece and applying it to my life.  Last week and next will be focusing on self-control.  Honestly, I’ve never really liked that self-control was considered a fruit of the Spirit.  It’s just not one of the “fun” fruits.  And for a long time I rationalized that the reason I had none was because it was at the end of the list and therefore was unimportant to Christ.  I’ve always been good at making excuses.

So last week, full of fresh enthusiasm, I tried to practice self-control…and once again was brought face to face with the reality that I have none.

But the Lord had begun a work in my heart.  You see, all of this time, I was acting as if I had to be the one to fix meI had to step it up and somehow find my self-control.  I was trying to grow my own fruit. The pattern was set:  work, fail, cry out to Him, work, fail, cry out to Him.

Until finally I stopped.  I stopped because I was frustrated and discouraged and tired.

“Lord!  Why can’t I fix this??” was my cry.

And He said, “Are you finished?”

“What do you mean, Lord?  I’m doing everything I can.”

And He said, “I know.  Are you finished?”

Yes.  I’m finished.”

But He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”                       2 Corinthians 12:9

I can’t grow the fruit of the Spirit but He can.  He plants them in us at salvation and then cultivates His garden.  Sometimes thorns and brambles grow up around us and He has to cut them back.  He has to pull the weeds up by their roots, and friend, do I have some weeds. It’s painful but is anything that endures easy?  I want it to be…maybe then, it wouldn’t hurt so much.