When we strive to live by the Spirit of God, we will bear the fruit that portrays our righteous life.
This is usually easier said than done. We have an enemy out there (the devil) who’s job is to turn us away from God. He will try everything possible to keep us from a righteous life.
We need to put on the armor of God EVERY DAY (Ephesians 6:10-18). According to these verses, the “Sword of the Spirit” is the word of God. It will pierce through the plans of the devil. Know God’s word and study it every day. Keep it fresh in your mind. (Check out my posting on August 2, 2010. I pray this prayer daily to make sure I start out with my armor on. It is very powerful!)
Besides God’s word, our own words are a mighty force against Satan. When we sing praises to God or worship Him with our mouth, the Devil will flee. He can’t stand it! That’s why it is so important to watch the words that come out of your mouth. Satan will use the negative ones against you at every chance he gets. Especially in your marriage!
Back to the fruits (Galatians 5:22-23): I know these are gifts from the Spirit, but I believe that if we intentionally strive to abide by these qualities, we will see huge changes in our marriage relationship. If you can practice love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, you will experience a marriage made in heaven. We would not have marriage problems if we would live by these qualities.
Some of these may be difficult if they’ve never come naturally to you. I believe that God will honor our attempts by taking away those difficulties when we sincerely strive to live our lives by the Holy Spirit. He will do what ever He can to help when He sees that our hearts are pure and desiring to do right.
Galatians 5:24-26 goes on to say, “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature 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.”
Hmm. Let us not become provoking. I am mild and meek to everyone except my husband. Again, when I’m tired, hungry, or not feeling well, I may have moments of provoking him. (Much more in the past, thanks to God!) Maybe he did something I didn’t like. I don’t want to tell him outright, but I might provoke him in some other area that I HAVE to bring out his behavior that annoyed me. Boy, I hate being human sometimes. It’s encouraging, to me, to see how Paul struggles with that very battle in Romans. (See previous posting.) “When I want to do good, evil is right there with me.”
We will never be perfect on earth. Maybe if we conquered this struggle on our own, we wouldn’t feel the need for God. Therefore, we have to work every day to keep our minds set on the things of the Holy Spirit in order to live the life He planned for us, in order to bear the fruit that others will see our love of God.