No Such Thing as Fresh Fruit in the Grocery Store ~ blob

 In Daily Encouragement

I love fresh fruit when it has been picked at the right time and is ripe, sweet, and juicy. The problem in our big business mass-production approach to offering us what looks like fresh fruit at the large supermarkets ain’t fresh at all.  Sure, it looks good, has beautiful color, and can make your mouth water…but the first bite often betrays the lie that it is fresh because it is often not sweet or juicy.

You can come close to what you are desiring when the fruit is in season and you find someone with a roadside business selling what was picked that day or the day before.  Peaches and plums should explode in your mouth with a waterfall of sweet juice and a soft texture proving it is ripe.

There are still some farms around Columbus when you can pick your own fresh fruit and enjoy it in its limited time of ripeness. Pick it too soon and it will be hard and bitter.  Pick it too late and it will be mushy and gross…only to be spit out and thrown away. Perhaps there is a reason it is only ripe for a season and then we must wait for a year to delight in its true goodness as it should be consumed.

So, why am I talking about fresh fruit?  Because for the past few days I have been pounding home the vital truth that we all need to daily be being filled with the Spirit and then throughout our day we need to be walking in the Spirit.  By doing this consistently…every day…we will begin to be being transformed by the Spirit.  And when we are consistently being filled with and walking in the Spirit, He begins to bear His “fruit” in our lives.

His fruit has no season. For those who make the effort to consistently be learning from His Word, asking Him to fill us so that we can walk in Him, spending quality time with the Lord in prayer and meditation on a daily basis the Spirit begins doing His work of transforming us into more Christ-like people.

Have you ever met someone who is displaying the fruit of the Spirit in their life?  They are awesome people.  You find them easy to love and wonderful to be with.  You come away from a time with them and feel better about yourself and life in general.  It is because without even realizing it, spending time with them is a chance to taste real fresh fruit.  So, let’s learn more about the fruit of the Spirit and how some might begin to develop and ripen in our own lives.

We find the fruit of the Spirit listed for us in Galatians 5:22-23 immediately after Paul commands us to be actively walking in the Spirit one day at a time.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,

goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…”

Before we get into learning about these delicious fruits notice that they are found in a teaching about life in the Spirit versus life in the flesh.  These two forces are in a battle within us.  The Spirit battles against our flesh…and our flesh battles against the Spirit.

However, for many of us, that is not what is happening. We find ourselves battling against our flesh as we have done for much of our lives.  We try to control it and we get body slammed.  It is the real WWF (Wrestling With our Flesh).  The more we step into that ring the more times we get defeated…because we are not supposed to be in that ring.  Only the Holy Spirit can handle your flesh.  Which is why we need to be being filled with the Spirit daily and then walking in the Spirit throughout our day.  If you are not doing that and depending on Him…you are toast.  Burnt toast over and over again.

Here are the deeds of the flesh;

“Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these…”

Notice that the first three deeds of the flesh are all sexual in nature.  Immorality is a word that would include any kind of illicit sexual activity like adultery, fornication done outside of marriage. This word in Greek is the word “porneia” which means;

“…referred to any excessive behavior or lack of restraint, but eventually became associated with sexual excess and indulgence, of every kind of extramarital, unlawful, or unnatural sexual intercourse.”  (https://www.preceptaustin.org/galatians_519-20)

The next word in impurity.  This is a word that means a state of moral impurity related to thought, word, and deed. It is being unclean…saying, doing, and thinking unclean or impure words, actions or thinking.

The third word is sensuality.  This word originally referred to any excess or lack of restraint but came to convey the idea of shameless excess and the absence of restraint, especially with sexual excess.

Does that not describe what we as believers struggling with sexual addiction do or not?  It nails us because these actions are what we have become addicted to and we know exactly what it feels like to be doing the deeds of the flesh.

Now don’t freak out over these next words in the passage, but we read next; “that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” It is not saying everyone that struggles with these things will not go to heaven.  It says those who “practice” these things. Not practicing like you practice the piano.  The idea is to perform repeatedly or habitually and thus describes repetition or continuous action.

It is not someone who struggles with these sins but one who has given themselves over to them and they have become their lifestyle.  They are not battling against these sins but are doing them repeatedly with no desire to stop.

Now, I will get to the fruit of the Spirit tomorrow, but I want to end on this.  Having an addiction to porn and sexual sin does not always mean you are not a Christian.  These sinful actions will cause you to feel you are not saved and may possibly be evidence that you might not be saved.  However, these actions are the result of a Christian not walking in the Spirit but instead giving in to the desires of their flesh.

These sins are highly addictive, and Christians can be addicted to sinful behavior just as any non-Christian.  The difference is the unbeliever revels in their sins and goes on doing them without remorse and shame while the true believer wants to repent, stop the addictive behavior, and seeks help from the Holy Spirit and a community of other believers who will be willing to help bear one another’s burdens.

Tomorrow we will begin learning more about the delicious fruit of the Spirit and how He causes it to grow and become part of who we are. But today be being filled with the Spirit and walk in the Spirit and you will NOT fulfill the desires of your flesh.

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