Who Is In Control Of Your Life?

Scripture makes it very clear. God has given us the right to make any choice we want to make. However, we can defer control to another, possibly a spouse or evil influences, our selfish desires or the Holy Spirit provided to us by God. Our selfish nature, without control allows us to commit all kinds of sin. A person having the Holy Spirit and is submissive to His guidance will allow the Holy Spirit to produce the fruits of the Spirit in one’s life. Being submissive to the Holy Spirit and allowing Him to change our lives helps us to become more Christ-like. Not being submissive and ignoring God’s Spirit we see little or no difference from how we were prior to salvation. This can be a dangerous option if we want to grow spiritually.

Galatians 5:22 – 26 – “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. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”

For those who have had difficulty wondering if they have been saved and received salvation the fruit of the Spirit is a good indicator. Without failure, the Holy Spirit will provide some fruit if not all nine. How much depends on our commitment to His directions. Love, joy and peace should provide evidence that you have received God’s Spirit into your life. The fruits are that further guarantee that Christ dwells in a believer’s life.

The Apostle Paul tells us we are to become like Christ Who is our example for living life. A godly person is to allow the fruits to become a part of their character and personality. It is the fruits of the Spirit that we want to give control in how we live.

It should be pointed out there is a difference between gifts of the Spirit and fruits of the Spirit. Every believer can have all the fruits but a person may only have one or more gifts. Gifts may be teaching, prophecy, administration, witnessing, etc.

Christ tells us the greatest fruit is love. Love is what frees us from the law and legalism. John 15:13 – “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Christ then set the example on the cross. This love only comes from having the Holy Spirit. It is a love that comes from God and it comes to us unconditionally with no strings attached.

No matter how much you may have sinned. God continues to love you. This is why you have been given His Spirit. If sin had no pleasure, what would be its appeal? God allows us to make bad choices knowing that the consequences could be devastating. Yet, He is willing to forgive. We must continually be on guard realizing that there are those negative influences that continually provide tempting pleasures that can lead to sin. If we can develop the self-control to listen and focus only on the Holy Spirit we will be filled with the fruits which will guide us in becoming more Christ-like in our behavior and our love.

Romans 8:38 & 39 – “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Normally, peace and joy cannot be instigated on our own. It comes from God through the Holy Spirit. We are obligated, as believers, to be obedient to Christ’s ways. We are to live in peace with God and we must live in peace with others. Our selfish nature makes this sometimes difficult to do. We are commanded to never hate another person. In many situations it is only allowing the Holy Spirit to work within us that we can live in peace with others. It is a fruit that can and must be obtained.

We know that our selfish nature is often impatient. We may be impatient to things or events but never to other people. Patience needs to be an expression of love. If someone is disrespectful do we allow our selfish nature to react or are we kind and patient having the gift of self-control?

Take an inventory. How many fruits of the Spirit do you have? How close are you to spiritual maturity?

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