Written by: Shani Ratliff
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-25)
I struggled to find an aspect of God to use as my topic for this post. There are so many facets of His character that could be touched upon. I love each of us have different reasons why we love Him and different understandings of who He is. Our understanding not only differs from person to person but also from moment to moment or season to season.
In my current season, He is my way maker and sustainer. He is my strength when I absolutely have nothing left to give and He is the one who fills in the gaps, where I am lacking, with His life-giving spirit.
In April of this year, I gave birth to a beautiful little girl. My husband and I were overjoyed with happiness to welcome her into our hearts and our two older sons were anxious to love and care for our little sweet girl.
As I was spending some time with her this week, and giving her a million little kisses on her adorable chubby cheeks, I whispered to her that she was my little “game changer”. My daughter was our surprise baby. My life plan or vision never went past having two kids (and boys at that!). As I whispered to her, I realized more than ever before that my life was officially being lived outside of the box! I’m outside the box of my planned life path, my foreseen mothering abilities and emotions, and ultimately outside my control.
During a recent hard day, I was holding her and telling God how much I needed Him. I was feeling emotionally drained and feeling like I was on the brink of failing in many areas – marriage, motherhood, homemaking. I began to pray. God I need you when marriage is hard, I need you when my words are harsh and mean sounding towards my family, I need you when I’m feeling judgmental and critical, Lord I need you.
As I was crying out to God, the Holy Spirit brought to my mind the fruits of the spirit and I began to see these fruits as aspects of God’s character that He strengthens us with and encourages us to walk in.
This fruit is not something that we can produce in our flesh or on our own. We need the power of the Holy Spirit to produce this type of fruit.
This particular aspect of God is so amazing to me because all of the spiritual fruit or attributes are in Him. They are Him and He gives them to us or equips us to produce these same attributes. He fills in the gaps of what we are lacking with himself! I love that!!
There is no other substitute for the life-giving presence and power of our Lord! My heart was encouraged in that moment and still is.
Please know that the transformation has not happened overnight, but God’s word is true and the more I meditate on the fruits of the spirit, and genuinely desire to have them produced in me in the tough times, the more I am strengthened. I must daily let go and let the spirit work and stretch me!
“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit”. (Galatians 5:24-25)
My beautiful “game changer” has brought me to a point of realizing my greatest need and dependence on God…His provision, presence, word, and leading. He is the one that will make a way for me in this uncharted course of living life outside of the box. Where I am lacking He is sufficient and able to keep me and He will keep you too! Believe it!
Here is a link to the song “Way Maker” by Sinach. It has blessed me and I pray it blesses you as well.