The Layers of Fruit
A devotional by Allison M. Wilson
"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 (NASB)
It’s amazing how much God will show us if we will allow it. Take a familiar passage of Scripture like Galatians 5:22-23 (NASB). Read it slowly. There is nothing in Scripture that is by accident. God has started showing me that the order of this particular list is extremely important to Him. Why?
Well, one might say that God wants everyone to feel His love. That’s true. Or, you might say He wants us to show His love to everyone. Also true. I believe it goes much, much deeper.
Until we allow Him to show us the depth of His love for us, we are only accepting a fraction of what He’s given to us. His love, without bounds or end or conditions, is something we humans cannot attain on our own. This love causes hearts to change. That’s some powerful stuff! This love takes a heart of stone and creates a soft, pulsing with life, heart which beats for its Creator.
Without a glimpse of what this love is, we cannot hope to have the rest of the fruits of the Spirit come alive in us. When we realize how much He loves us, fears are driven away (1 John 4:18). Why? Because fear has to do with punishment which we, as believers in Christ, have had that taken for us. Yet, how many times do we fear that we’ll disappoint God? That we will do something to make Him angry with us? What does the truth of Scripture say, though? We have been set free (John 8:36)!
So, if love is this freeing, why do we still fear? Because there is an enemy who wants us to believe lies about our good, good Father. God is not like us. He does not hold a grudge against us (1 Corinthians 13:5). He does not lose patience with us (1 Corinthians 13:4). He does not get provoked (the word used in 1 Corinthians 13:5 means “exasperated”). He doesn’t even seek His own way but allows us to take paths that may cause us pain because we wanted it more than we wanted His best. He will never allow us to be harmed, but He will allow hurt to come. However, that hurt will always bring us to a place where become more like Him if we allow it.
Two questions were given in a recent Bible study. We were encouraged to ask these questions about anything that came our way that made us think negatively about ourselves, but I think they can be asked in many situations. “Who told you that?” is the first one. Where did the question originate? From the father of lies or from the Lord? The second is, “Is it true?” Does what you were told match up with what our Heavenly Father says about you or the situation? There is nothing new under the sun, so you can find the truth to everything you come up against in this life in the Word. Now, you have to decide if you are going to accept it as truth or rely on your feelings. There is only one feeling you can accept as truth every single time. That is God’s love for you. From it, everything else flows. All the Fruits of the Spirit come from a deeper understanding of this first one. Will you accept it as truth for you?
My Prayer to God: Daddy, You are love. Your love takes us into Your heart. It can lead us down paths that have pain, but the outcome of becoming more like You is so worth it. Give us an ability to understand Your love a little more every day. May it change us in ways that make those around us question why we love so radically. May it shine into lives that others may see You. In Jesus Christ’s Name I pray, AMEN.
A very early reader and lover of the written word, Allison M. Wilson has been writing since the age of 8 with the heart to impart stories and God's truth.
She has judged countless contests for the last 25 years, reviewed for several online publications, professionally edited, and written articles and devotionals.
Wife, mother, writer, editor, teacher, mentor, and mompreneur, God keeps her busy while living in east central Florida with her family.
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