But the fruit of the Spirit is …
Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)
Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. (Galatians 5:25)
Remember, all these qualities we’ve been talking about are known as the fruit of the Spirit. They are not qualities to be added to our lives as much as they are evidence of the life that is already there. If you find that these qualities are foreign to you, then you would have cause to be concerned whether you have been born of the Spirit. Call them “signs” of the Spirit if you wish, that would be the sense of it.
This is what the Spirit of God looks like in our lives. These are the qualities that render you fruitful for the kingdom of God. If you can see these things at work in your life, then God is at work in you. So faithfulness would be just what it is — consistency of belief. Faithfulness would be God holding onto us while we hold onto Him. Faithfulness is what you can count on, and though you can’t always count on yourself or those around you, you can always count on God.
Without bragging, I’ve had numerous people tell me they have been encouraged by my faithfulness over the years. That’s just because I started out with a visible form of public ministry primarily through my music, and I’m sure some of the people in our Catch audience go back that far with me, so they can see that I’ve been faithful. Well they’ve been faithful, too, because here we all are, continuing to move forward in our faith, and your faith is just as confirming as mine. This faithfulness is really not to our credit, it is to the credit of the Lord, and the credibility of our faith itself to hold us.
People who jump from one set of belief systems to another are not necessarily unfaithful people as much as it says the faith or the belief system they have — whatever you call it — is not solid and true enough to last over the long haul. It may have had elements of truth, but it wasn’t the whole truth. The fact that we are still believing — still being driven by the same simple faith that we started with — says more about the truthfulness of what we believe than it does about us. As you know, we can’t really boast about anything except our Lord.
But it goes both ways. Once this faith has gotten a hold of you, you can’t let go.
I received an email a while back from a pastor who was recalling when he first heard me speak when he was a student at a Christian college and I had come to minister on his campus. My talks those many years ago had had a profound effect on his faith. He had gone on to join the ministry, and now he was inviting me to come to his church and speak to his congregation. And then he wrote something I have never forgotten. He wrote that he wanted to share me with his congregation — true — but even more than that, he wanted me to know that he’d been faithful.
Who’s faithful and who gets the credit? We are faithful, but God gets all the credit.
“As you wish,” He says, and we wish to hold on for dear life. We will never let go, because He never let’s go of us.
But the fruit of the Spirit is … faithfulness. Against such there is no law.