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Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 59 – Fruit of the Spirit

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 59

Fruit of the Spirit

Lord, displaying the fruit of the Spirit seems a goal too difficult to continually attain. How do I become a fruit-bearing Christian? How do I maintain a life of fruitfulness in You? Lord, may You be known by the fruit of the Spirit displayed in me. I want to serve You and bring You glory all the days of my life. Let me be known as Your disciple by Your good fruit in me.

A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

My sweet child, I desire a close relationship with you. When you remain continually connected to Me, My Spirit produces His good fruit in you. You cannot yield the fruit of the Spirit on your own. You must submit yourself to the purifying work of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit produces choice fruit in you; it is not the result of your own doing. Be the bearer of good fruit by walking in step with the Spirit, rather than striving in the flesh. Depend on Me and be sensitive to the promptings of the Spirit within.

The Holy Spirit is continually sanctifying you; daily He transforms you into the image of Christ Jesus. Surrender your will to Him. Pay attention to His voice. Walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:16). Crucify the flesh with its passions and desires and live by the Spirit keeping in step with Him at all times (Galatians 5:23). When you do this, you will be recognized by your fruit (Matthew 12:33). Every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit (Matthew 7:17).You are a good tree when you remain rooted in Me.

Meditate on My Word day and night and you will be like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever you do will prosper (Psalm 1:2-3). Blessed are you when you trust in the Lord, and put your confidence in Him. You will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit (Jeremiah 17:7-8).

You are known to be My disciple, when you display the fruit of the Spirit in both your words and deeds. Stay tuned in to My Spirit. When you remain in relationship with Me, you will experience My love, joy, and peace. The seed I sow in you will reap a harvest of fruitfulness in you for others to taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8). When you, yourself, have experienced My patience, kindness, and goodness, you can’t help but display it and share it with others. Surrender to the control of My Spirit and clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another as the Lord has forgiven you. Let your love bind all these virtues together and let peace rule in your heart (Colossians 3:12-15).

“Remain in Me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:4-5). “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in My name the Father will give you. This is My command: Love each other” (John 15:16-17) Be transformed by My Spirit as you live in step with Him, and you will bear fruit that will last.

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, I do want to glorify Your holy name. I ask that Your Spirit purify me and transform me into the image of Jesus Christ. I pray that I could remain in an intimate relationship with You, walking in step with the Spirit, so that I will become a good tree that produces choice fruit. Holy Spirit, I submit myself to Your transforming power, so that I will blossom. Mature those blossoms into vine-ripened fruit. Let me remain in the vine right now as we speak face to face in quiet conversation. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Two-way Conversation with God: 

  • Father God, please share from Your heart what I need to improve on with regard to maintaining a more cherished relationship with You. (Write whatever you hear Him say.)

 

  • Jesus, my Friend, You are the vine, I am the branch. How do I bear fruit that will last? What is my part in this command? (Record everything Christ says to you in your thoughts.)

 

  • Holy Spirit, help me stay in step with You. Allow me to hear Your voice clearly. What am I missing? What must I do to remain in step with You? (Journal your thoughts and the impressions He gives you now.)

Review God’s thoughts and impressions you’ve sensed and written above. What Scripture comes to mind as you review your notes? Use the concordance of your Bible to look up an impression from God’s Word. Record the verse or passage here. Write all insights and encouragement the Holy Spirit illumines for you as you read God’s Word right now.

Prayer:

Most High God, You have laid down Your life for me. I want to honor You, by laying down the desires of the flesh, and picking up my cross daily to follow You. I submit my will to Yours and ask that You empower me to live a fruitful life when I remain in close relationship with You. As I read and meditate on Your Word, let me be like a tree planted by streams of water. Let me bear fruit in its season. I will remain in You as You remain in me. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Supporting Scripture:

Psalm 1:1-3, 1Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, 2but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on His law day and night. 3That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.

Psalm 34:8, Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.

Proverbs 11:30, The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and the one who is wise saves lives.

Jeremiah 17:7-8, 7“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. 8They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heart comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

Matthew 7:17-20, 17“Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown in to the fire. 20Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.”

Matthew 12:33, “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit.”

Luke 3:9, The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”

John 15:4-17, 4“Remain in Me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me. 5I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing. 6If you do not remain in Me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. 9As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Now remain in My love. 10If you keep my commands, you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commands and remain in His love. 11I have told you this so that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be compete. 12My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from My Father I have made known to you. 16You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in My name the Father will give you. 17This is My command: Love each other.”

Galatians 5:16-17, 16So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.

Galatians 5:22-26, 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

Colossians 1:9-14, 9For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of His holy people in the kingdom of light. 13For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, 14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Colossians 3:12-15, 12Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved

Step 1 – Expect and Believe – From: 7 Simple Steps to Hearing God’s Voice

7 Simple Steps to Hearing God’s Voice: Listening to God Made Easy

By Sindy Nagel

Step 1 – Expect and Believe

To hear God’s voice, we must expect and believe we will hear it. In faith, we should not doubt that God speaks to us. James 1:5-7 says,

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord.

DOUBT kept me from hearing God’s voice for the first twenty years after I became a Christian. My skepticism resulted in a lack of spiritual intimacy with Jesus Christ for the first two decades of my life as a believer.

I knew being a Christian meant enjoying a relationship with Jesus Christ. I thought I had one, but I didn’t really consider that it required two-way conversation with Jesus to maintain that closeness.

Unfairly, I talked to God, but I didn’t pause to listen to His response. I never dreamed one of the voices in my head might be the Spirit of God within me.

I didn’t EXPECT that God would ever speak to me, an average person. I knew He spoke to prophets, pastors, missionaries, and other spiritually mature individuals, but I never thought I could hear God’s voice.

However, one evening about eighteen years ago, it all changed for me. I heard a voice in my thoughts that I knew was not my own. It was God! He spoke to me, an average girl. Now I know ordinary people hear from God too. And I know God speaks to all believers, but we don’t always hear Him.

In John 8:47, Jesus says, “He who belongs to God hears what God says.” Jesus said it, so you can believe it! When you belong to God, you will hear Him.

The next verse helped me when I found myself hesitating: “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24). To hear God’s voice, we must first believe we will hear it—believe, and then anticipate hearing it.

I attribute my years of doubt to a deficiency in knowing and understanding God. More precisely, I needed to better understand His Holy Spirit within me. It’s absolutely vital we grasp the idea of who the Holy Spirit is in order to expect we will hear God’s voice and believe God speaks to us.

When we invite Jesus Christ into our hearts to be our Savior and Lord, we instantly have the ability to hear God speak because He sends His Spirit to live in our hearts. The Holy Spirit is God’s voice in us.

When Jesus died on the cross, He didn’t stay in the grave. Amen? And He didn’t leave us alone as orphans to fend for ourselves. He gave us a far greater gift—God raised Him from the dead, and He sent the Holy Spirit to live inside the heart of every believer.

Did you hear that fantastic news? Jesus is alive, and the Holy Spirit is the living God who dwells in us and gives us life! We do not place enough value on this gift. It is priceless!

By the Holy Spirit’s power we are able to hear the voice of God within us. Here are a few other things the Holy Spirit does for us:

  • He reveals to us what He knows and hears from God and Jesus. (John 16:13-15)
  • He testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. (See Romans 8:16)
  • He seals us as a deposit, guaranteeing our eternal inheritance until the day of redemption. (See Ephesians 1:13)
  • He is our Counselor. He counsels us in the wisdom of God. (See John 14:16)
  • He is our Comforter who soothes us in times of sorrow, anxiety, and grief. (See 2 Cor. 1:3-4)
  • He is our Teacher. He reminds us of what Jesus said and recalls Scripture to our minds. He properly interprets the Word of God for us. He teaches us the truth. (See John 14:26)
  • He guides us to the truth. (See John 16:13)
  • He ignites our faith. (See John 6:63, Ephesians 3:16-17)
  • He empowers us to overflow with God’s hope. (See Romans 1:13)
  • He teaches us right from wrong according to Scripture.
  • He convicts us concerning sin, encouraging us to confess it and repent, or change our ways. (See John 16:8)
  • He transforms us and encourages us to become exceedingly more Christ-like through the process of sanctification. (See 2 Thessalonians 2:13)
  • He is Immanuel, God with us 24/7. (See Matthew 1:23)
  • He makes the things of God known to us. (See John 16:14)
  • He gives us spiritual gifts from God. (See 1 Corinthians 12:4-11)
  • He empowers us to do the will and work of God. (See Acts 1:8)
  • He is our intercessor, helps us in our weakness. When we do not know what to pray, the Spirit prays for us in accordance with God’s will. (See Romans 8:26-27)

The list goes on and on. The Holy Spirit of God indwelling us meets all our needs. Also, He connects us in relationship to God the Father and Jesus the Son. We know God better and experience more of Jesus through His Spirit within us.

The most astonishing part about all of this is the Holy Spirit is a free gift from God. Have you accepted this free gift?

1 Corinthians 2:12 says, “We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us” (emphasis mine). What a priceless gift it is indeed!

Jesus took our place on the cross. All we have to do is invite Him into our hearts to be our Savior and Lord. When we do, both abundant life here on earth and eternal life with God in heaven are free for the taking. We can have the Spirit of the living God dwell in us without any cost to us. Truly, this is amazing grace!

In John 16:13-15, Jesus explained the main role of the Holy Spirit when He said,

But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to Me by taking from what is Mine and making it known to you. All that belongs to the Father is Mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is Mine and make it known to you (emphasis mine).

God speaks to all of His children through the voice of the Holy Spirit within. He makes known to us all that belongs to God the Father.

We have the living God inside us, so why wouldn’t we be able to hear His voice?

There are at least 7 things that may prevent us: doubt, fear, pride, worry, busyness, disobedience, and an unwillingness to forgive. To be clear, these behaviors won’t necessarily keep God from speaking to us, but they may make us deaf to His voice. Learn more about each of these obstacles in my book, 7 Roadblocks to Hearing God Speak: Removing the Barriers between you and God.

Practicing any or all of the seven behaviors above may cause you to feel the All-Powerful God won’t speak to you because you’re not worthy to hear Him. Truly, despite your flaws and feelings of inadequacy, God continues to pursue you passionately. He doesn’t wait until you are perfect and sin-free to speak to you. If that were the case, none of us would ever hear from Him. Instead, the Holy Spirit helps you become more Christ-like, so it’s imperative you know how to hear and recognize His voice to utilize the promptings and assistance He offers you in the journey of sanctification.

Ironically, listening to the Holy Spirit and hearing from God are vital for identifying and changing or eliminating the seven behaviors causing your deafness to Him.

One of the roadblocks to hearing God’s voice is lack of time or busyness. The next step to hearing God’s voice is making Him your first priority and meeting with Him daily. This practice greatly increases your ability to hear Him speak. Expect to hear His voice. God does speak to you. Believe the truth. God desires an intimate relationship with you through two-way conversation. Now, make the time to listen. You’ll be really glad you did!

 

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Book One in Hearing God's Voice Series

Book One in Hearing God’s Voice Series