Beach time!

Beach time!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Are the fruits of the spirit even possible?

I have been under a fair amount of conviction lately that my propensity for fear and worry is, at the core, an issue with my faith in God. You may have already known this to be the root of fear but it wasn't something I had fully recognized until just recently. My fear says that my ability (or really my inability) to control a situation is bigger than my God. My worry says that if I dwell on something long enough, I can come up with a way to maneuver around the thing I  fear. My anxiety says that I really think that my God needs my help to figure things out.

Well. Where do I go from here? I know my God  is big but do I really understand His ability to truly hold me and my family in his palm? I don't think my finite mind can fully wrap around His size and infinite nature but He did design us with the capability to bear the fruits of the Spirit, but only if we allow the Spirit to overwhelm our nature, or our flesh. Love, joy, PEACE, patience, kindness, goodness, FAITHFULNESS, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22). I memorized these as a young child but I struggle with them every single day of my life. I desire to display each of these fruits but I wonder if I desire it enough. Do I desire for Christ to shine through me if it means that I am no longer visible but only Him? The bottom line is that if each of these qualities shines through consistently, then God gets all the glory and we set ourselves aside. It can't be all about us and God at the same time. This is not easy stuff. Here's the thing, When I do life on my own without God's help, not only am I fearful and anxious, but I am the opposite of each of those fruits of the Spirit. The opposites of these- love (hate), joy (misery), peace (anxiety), patience (impatience), kindness (meanness), goodness (selfishness), faithfulness (self-reliance), gentleness (harshness), and self-control (indulgence)-paint the picture of a miserable person.

But with God, we can display the love of Christ with each of these qualities consistently. Does this mean God expects me to be perfectly sunshiney all the time and just artificially "Praise the Lord"-ing every catastrophe that comes my way? Certainly not. Sometimes life is just hard but He wants us to be genuine, transparent, and all together reliant on Him. Won't life be easier when I finally grasp this fully? Imagine the daily stresses that could be loaded on His shoulders and not ours. Think about the financial worries that could be handed to Him instead of fretted about long into the night. Just imagine the peace.

Oh, Lord, decrease me so that you may be increased. I want to desire you more than I desire control. Thank you for loving me so perfectly when I am full of imperfections.

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