fruit of the Spirit {one singular sensation}

I may or may not have had an “aha!” moment recently having to do with the fruit of the Spirit.

Galatians 5:22-23

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Did you catch what I failed to catch for so many years???  It’s the “fruit” of the Spirit.  Not “fruitS” of the Spirit.

It’s all together… it’s all ONE fruit.  They aren’t separated, they are all clumped together in one singularly sensational fruit!

Image found at:
Image found at:

So…. what’s the big deal?

This is where my outlook has made a major shift this week.  If I pray for a particular fruit (let’s go ahead and use patience, since it’s one a lot of mamas say they struggle with), I’m doing a disservice to the Spirit that was sent to bear fruit in my life.  It’s not MY fruit.  I’M not meant to be patient, I’m meant to be a vessel through which patience flows!  I’m not meant to be kind, I’m meant to be a vessel through which kindness flows!  Do you see the shift; the change there?  If I am trying to be patient and kind, I’m missing out on the wholeness of the fruit that is available.  It’s like declaring I love apples, but only consuming the skin of the fruit.  There is so much more to the apple!  There is so much more to the Spirit than my attempts at being patient!

To go along with my swirling thoughts… here is a passage from a book I’ve been reading:

Let me illustrate with another story. I once stayed in America in the home of a saved couple who, soon after my arrival, requested me to pray for them. I inquired the cause of their trouble. “Oh, Mr. Nee, we have been in a bad way lately,” they confessed. “We are so easily irritated by the children, and during the past few weeks we have both lost our tempers several times a day. We are really dishonoring the Lord. Will you ask him to give us patience?” “That is one thing I cannot do,” I said. “What do you mean?” they asked. “I mean that one thing is certain,” I answered, “and that is that God is not going to answer your prayer.” At that they said in amazement, “Do you mean to tell us we have gone so far that God is not willing to hear us when we ask him to make us patient?” “No, I do not mean quite that, but I would like to ask you if you have ever prayed in this respect. You have. But did God answer? No! Do you know why? Because you have no need of patience.” They the wife’s eyes flashed. “What are you saying?” she burst out. “We do not need patience, and yet we get irritated the whole day long! It doesn’t make sense. What do you mean?” Quietly I replied. “It is not patience you have need of. It is Christ.”
And this is the truth. God will not give me humility or patience of holiness or love as separate gifts of his grace. He is not a retailer dispensing grace to us in packets, measuring out some patience to the impatient, some love to the unloving, some meekness to the proud, in quantities that we take and work on as a kind of capital. He has given only one gift to meet all our need: his Son Christ Jesus. As I look to him to live out his life in me, he will be humble and patient and loving and everything else I need — in my stead.  — The Normal Christian Life

Isn’t it so true that we try to separate out and decide for ourselves which of the fruit, which part of the gift we need?  Jesus hands us the fullness of Himself in the person of the Spirit, and we turn back to Jesus, not even glancing at our newly minted Spirit-Advocate, and declare to him that we need more of whatever it is we think we need.

Truth is… HE KNOWS WHAT WE NEED!!!  We don’t need to tell HIM we need patience!  He knows!  We don’t need to tell Him we need to work on being more loving, or more kind, or that we lack self-control… HE KNOWS!  That’s why He gave sent the Spirit to us!  How prideful we are when we pray for one thing versus another… He has given the WHOLE fruit, not just part of it, and to say we need more of _______ is like saying we’re good on the other bits of the gift.

“I just need some patience today, Lord, please grant me patience!”

Translation:  “I’m good with love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  Just patience, thanks.”

A major shift in thinking.  A major shift in prayer and action.

I am no longer asking for a part of the fruit.  I’m asking for the whole thing.  It is for me, and I want it all.  It’s not greedy to want a gift that has been given to you, and that’s what’s happening here, believers!  We have a gift sitting in our laps, and we need the whole parcel, not just a part of it.

I have changed the way I pray; now I am asking for more of the Spirit in me.  He’s there; He was sent when I said “yes!” to Jesus, but He can just hang out there, or He can be given room to do His thing.  The space He needs comes from my desires, my thoughts that are not His thoughts, my ways that are not His ways taking a backseat (or even being completely forgotten in my pursuit for Truth).  It has to happen every day, this dying to self, and as it does, the Spirit in me grows and stretches a bit more, sees that He is a little freer to make the deposit of the gift He has, knows that the fruit He bears will find a home.

Singular.  Not plural.

It’s the FRUIT of the Spirit, and it’s ALL for whoever calls on the name of the Lord and believes.


3 Comments on “fruit of the Spirit {one singular sensation}”

  1. Ahhh… thank you! I love when the Lord reveals a new part of Himself, and a new part of His Word! Always exciting 🙂

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