Monday meditations Gal. 5.22-23: fruit of the Spirit

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”

This is actually less of a meditation and more of a spiritual practice (that will lead to and include meditation). Find at least 15 quiet minutes and sit with this list of Spirit-fruits. Since these are fruits the Spirit produces in us (not self-made fruit), ask the Lord to highlight one of these that needs cultivating at this moment. It might be one you are really lacking in, but it also might be one you particularly excel at already. The Lord may want to shore up a weakness or further develop a strength. Try not to assume you know or go in with preconceived notions. Let the Spirit tell you.
When you hear from the Lord and have zeroed in on one, then meditate on what that fruit means, what it would like for the Spirit to produce that fruit (or more of that fruit) in your life. The Spirit will give you specific direction on tangible things you can do to participate in the production of this fruit. After all, even though the Spirit produces the fruit in us, we are not uninvolved in the process. Note that one of the Spirit-fruits is self-control; that is not a mistake or a logical contradiction. The Spirit produces the fruit, but our will has to be compliant with the Spirit’s work for fruit to be produced.
The Spirit will give you one specific fruit to work on for this moment and specific ways to work on that fruit – if you take time to listen.

only the Spirit can set us free

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. Galations 5:1

This is a more positive way to say what I was trying to get at in yesterday’s post and perhaps a verse you would rather meditate on. The reason I went with the other verse was the impression it made on me regarding the sin of rebuilding the law-based system. Christians often think ongoing sins they struggle with being things like lust, anger, pride, or the classic no-nos of smoking, drinking, and cussing, but I think we less often recognize the sinfulness inherent in our self-constructed pieties. Please understand, I am not claiming that we have been set free to sin, that would make no sense, all sin is bondage, set free to be a slave to sin is self-contradictory. But I am saying that sometimes in our efforts to rid ourselves of sin, we set up law-based systems to make this so, and thereby sin in the very act of trying to rid ourselves of sin.
Because the fact remains that we cannot rid ourselves of sin. We cannot save ourselves from our sins and we cannot improve ourselves either. Holiness only comes through the work of the Holy Spirit in us. The Spirit’s work sets us free from sin, without using a law-based system to do so. Only the Spirit can do such work. Trying to live by laws (whether the OT law or ones we or others invent) impedes the work of the Spirit and according to Paul is sin. And I think one of the sins Christians are most prone to.
There, I’ve gone and made yesterday’s point all over again. Not sure why I’m on about this at the moment, seems someone needs to read it. Hope this helps.