How to develop the fruit of the spirit

By: David Hopkins Of The Spirit

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

The fruits of the spirit are actions that are practiced from the bottom all the way up.

Because each fruit adds new qualities as well as the qualities of the previous fruit.

For instance the top fruit; which is love and defined by mercy also has the qualities of joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance.

Then next is joy which is defined by hope and has the qualities of peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance… so on and so forth.

In this article I will explain how you can practice doing all 9 fruits of the spirit and that way get much closer to God.

Temperance – Be Patient – 1

Proverbs 8:34 Blessed is the man who heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.

The only real way to develop patience is to wait on the lord by meditating on His word everyday and paying attention so you can recognize when His word works the way He said it would.

Meekness – Be Humble – 2

Proverbs 16:19 Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.

A lot of people get stuck on this step because of pride; unable to let go of past hurts and bad experiences and since they didn’t develop any patience they are easily enticed by the lure of quick gain and fall prey to worthless addictions.

Faith – Remain Loyal – 3

Proverbs 25:19 Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.

And of course you can’t stay loyal to God without patience and humility. A lot of people betray God on this step from fear of missing out on worldly temptations, desires and lusts.

Goodness – Be Obedient – 4

Proverbs 21:3 To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.

You can’t obey God without faith in His word and that’s why the Bible says it’s impossible to please Him without faith, and just like Jesus demonstrated the more faith you develop the more obedient you’ll become.

Gentleness – Be Considerate – 5

Proverbs 19:22 The desire of a man is his kindness: and a poor man is better than a liar.

An obedient servant of God is a gentle and considerate servant. I never trust a person who is harsh and inconsiderate of others regardless of what church they attend.

Longsuffering – Endure Injustice – 6

Proverbs 20:22 Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the Lord, and He shall save thee.

A considerate person can endure a lot of unfairness, injustice, pain and suffering because they understand what God is trying to do, while they wait for God to put all the pieces in place to bless a lot of people because of them.

Peace – Remain Calm 7

Proverbs 17:28 Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.

A man who can endure injustice and stay calm without cussing everybody out and threatening to kill or sue everybody is without a doubt at peace with the word of God.

Joy – Stay Hopeful- 8

Proverbs 15:23 A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!

And after peace there is the next level of peace which is joy or uncontrollable hope. So now, not only did you not curse and threaten everybody you blessed them with kind words despite their evil intentions.

Love – Be Merciful – 9

Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.

And last we have love where you hold your peace in stressful situations and stay calm, and where you bless the people who are being unfair to you, and then you take it a step further by doing something to help them solve their problem with no hope of any return from them.

The Word of God describes the fruit of the spirit as “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” It then goes on to say, “There is no law against these things” (Galatians 5:22-23)!

For many Christians, these nine attributes, which sound so simple, are an ideal, a way of living that remains just out of reach. They want to experience a life that is full of the love of God, His characteristics and the direction of the Holy Spirit, but past hurts, lifelong habits and daily frustrations make that seem impossible.

Thankfully, God is the God of the impossible.

As the Apostle Paul reminded us in Ephesians 3:20: “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.”

Let’s rest on that a moment. God—our God—is able to work in each of us to accomplish more than we can possibly imagine!

How is that possible?

By us taking—or possessing—the fruit of the spirit.

When we take the fruit of the spirit, we move them out of the ethereal and into the natural. We lay claim to them and understand that we have a right to have them in our lives as children of the Most High God. They are part of our covenant rights through Jesus. How do we do this? How do we take the fruit of the spirit and enjoy the effects of developing and living with that fruit on a daily basis? Let’s explore four ways to take the fruit of the spirit.

1. Go to the Source of the Fruit

Developing the fruit of the spirit comes from a relationship with the Lord. Yes, we can try to force the fruit of the spirit in our lives, but doing so will be a trying experience. We’ll struggle to keep our peace, remain faithful, live joyfully, respond in love and more. The process will be merely a work of the flesh.

Developing the fruit of the spirit becomes a natural process when we yield to the Lord. By spending time and developing a relationship with Him, appreciating how much He loves us, and understanding who He is and who He wants to be in us, we begin to yield to Jesus. That process allows us to develop a oneness with Him that results in us developing the fruit of the spirit.

how to develop the fruit of the spirit

2. Remove Any Blockage

When we allow the Lord to work in our lives, areas of weakness will inevitably come to light. The Lord will bring to mind areas that need His healing—offenses that must be forgiven, habits that need to be broken, and directions that we should follow. We may not even understand the reason for what the Lord tells us to do, but if we will obey Him, the results will be life-changing.

Take forgiveness. We may have every “right” to be angry about a past offense. We were quite possibly wronged in horrific ways. But Jesus wants us to move beyond the offenses. He wants us free. He knows what happened to us. He knows how we were wronged, but He isn’t asking for us to demand fairness. He’s asking for us to extend forgiveness (Matthew 6:14-15).

The person we forgive may or may not receive our forgiveness. They may not even be around or alive to receive it. Yet, we still benefit because forgiveness releases us from the bondage of hatred, fear, anger and sadness. In their place, the fruit of the spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness and self-control—develop.

3. Put Your Fruit on the Tree

The reality is that fruit on a tree is not fruit until it’s hanging on the branches. It’s the same with spiritual fruit. We can’t claim to have fruit in our lives until we’re willing to put it on display. We don’t have the fruit of patience until we exhibit the fruit of patience. We don’t have the fruit of faithfulness until we exhibit the fruit of faithfulness.

Just as fruit on a tree starts small and grows, the fruit of the spirit must grow, too. When we develop our relationships with the Lord and remove blockages, we create a healthy spiritual environment that encourages growth.

For instance, as parents, we may naturally have short fuses. When our children disobey or respond in childish ways, our knee-jerk reaction may be to lash out verbally in anger. But as we develop our relationship with the Lord and walk in forgiveness with our children and others, a godly love begins to grow. We begin to see our children through the eyes of Jesus. We see their potential, not their failings. Will we still discipline and disciple them? Of course. But the attitude and atmosphere in which we respond to them will change. The fruit of the spirit will grow in us, and hopefully, in them, too.

3. Realize It’s All About Jesus

Taking the fruit of the spirit should be the desire of every Christian because every Christian should desire more of Jesus in their lives. As the book of Acts makes so clear: “For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring” (Acts 17:28, KJV).

As we mentioned earlier, we can force ourselves to live in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, but chances are, we won’t be able to maintain them. We can force ourselves to be patient, for example, but will that result in joy or frustration? Most likely, the result will be frustration—and quite possibly high blood pressure and tension headaches.

That’s why it’s so important to allow Jesus to work in us. His presence in our lives becomes all-encompassing. His will, His thoughts, His manners become ours. It’s not about us; it’s about Him. It’s about His work in us. When we need the fruit of the spirit, it is there because Jesus is there.

Then when people say, “You’re so patient (or kind or loving or faithful or fill in the blank). How do you do it?” you can honestly respond, “It’s not me. It’s all Jesus.”

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