March: A Word from the Pastor

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

This divine fruit is proof positive of the indwelling presence of the Spirit of God. He, with all these godly attributes, makes His presence known in Christians. He communicates them to us, in us, and through us. It is to the glory of God that He saves worthless, wretched sinners and transforms them into saints who reveal the very character of God. Unfortunately, we don’t always manifest the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. Sometimes we display the character of our old nature. When this happens, how is it that we get back on track?

How do we pursue what God has placed within us?

First we must remember that the Christian bears the fruit but it is the Spirit who produces it. We often pursue the fruit of the Spirit by pursuing the fruit. We try our best to be more loving, more joyful, more peaceful. We seek to produce these qualities in our lives because we know that the Holy Spirit has placed them within us. However, we soon discover that our feeble efforts at producing fruit end in failure and frustration. We were never intended to be fruit producers. Rather the fruit of the Spirit is the evidence of His presence – His attributes in us. Second, we must always remember that fruitfulness is not by imitation, but rather by manifestation.

We are poor imitators of the Holy Spirit.

In fact, it is impossible for us to produce the qualities that are only derived from God. Lost sinners can imitate the fruit of the Spirit in bursts and spurts, but it is merely the performance of an hour. They well know that it is not the character of their lives. The way to pursue the fruit of the Spirit is to pursue God, not the evidence of God. The Bible promises that if we draw near to God, He will draw near to us. If the fruit is lean on the tree, then the problem is found in the roots. Fruit is not produced by strain and effort. When we live by faith in Him – treasuring His Word and pursuing Him in prayer, God reveals His presence in and through our lives. Fruitfulness is not by imitation, but by manifestation of God – of God in us.

– Gary W. Custis