“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22–23 ESV)
There are so many things that make everyone unique and different. Yet in the midst of all of those differentiators, there is at least one thing that all have in common. Floating around in our heads is found a secret list of negatives things we often constantly feel about ourselves. Many times, we only hope that those secrets are never discovered – mistakes we have made, secret sinful habits, anger issues, reasons we are a poor spouse, parent, employee, leader, the list goes on.
Those secrets represent the “flesh” that Paul talked about in Galatians 5:16-26. He teaches us that the “flesh” of self is at war with the “fruit” of God’s Spirit. Trusting in Jesus for salvation means realizing that God already knows our secret list of fleshly, sinful negatives that we would just assume to sweep under the rug and hide from everyone. The same Paul who wrote Galatians also reminds us in Romans 5:8 that “while we were sinners, Christ died for us.” He already knew our secret lists, yet He loved us and gave Himself up for us.
God is not intimidated by your list. In fact, He came to earth to replace your list with His love. Jesus already won the war between God’s fruit and man’s flesh, His Spirit and our sin. Instead of rehearsing your list of reasons why God couldn’t use someone like you, realize the reassurance that comes from the fact that God wants to shine His strength even through your weakness. It’s time to replace your secret lists with the Fruit of the Spirit. Open your heart and mind to God’s plans today and your list will be overtaken by God’s love. His list is filled with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
How can you walk through this day trusting in God’s fruit more than your flesh?