“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22). These qualities result from being indwelt and led by the Holy Spirit.
Sometimes we say or do things on impulse, only to realize that what we have said or done does not measure up to the fruit of the Spirit. That quickening of our spirit, that regret, is part of the work of the Holy Spirit. At that moment we may ask God’s forgiveness for our misstep and ask for the Spirit’s help in not repeating our unfortunate words or actions.
On the positive side, as we live from day to day in tune with the Holy Spirit, He will lead us and help us grow the fruits of the Spirit. It takes the Holy Spirit to produce the fruit with our participation and continual efforts to develop them in our lives. This is a cooperative process.
Jesus spoke of being born again in terms of being “born of the Spirit” (John 3:6 ESV). The Holy Spirit births us when we accept Christ as our Savior. He is active in our lives from the moment we become children of God.
In various places in Acts, Luke records that people “were filled with the Spirit.” In the Greek language of the New Testament, that verbal phrase “were filled” is written in the aorist tense that denotes it happens in a moment of time. It is a completed action of the Holy Spirit being received in his fullness.
On the other hand, Paul wrote, “Be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18) in the present indicative tense of the verb “be filled.” “Be being filled” might be a good paraphrase. Let the filling of the Spirit be more than a one-time event, but a continual infilling we can be intentional about.
Sometimes when I awake in the morning, I greet the Lord and ask him to fill me with the Spirit for that day. And at times throughout the day, my thoughts and prayers turn to the Lord. Our walk with the Lord is continual. Even though we are involved in many things during the day, we may consciously reach out to the Lord and seek the help of the Holy Spirit in a moment of time.
Paul wrote in Romans 8:14, “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.” Or, we may reverse the sentence: Those who are the children of God are led by the Spirit of God.
In verse 16 of the same chapter, Paul reveals one special way the Holy Spirit leads us. “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” That witness of the Spirit to our spirit assures us of our relationship. The Holy Spirit also witnesses to our spirit things other than the fact that we are God’s children.
The Holy Spirit faithfully guides us through opening our minds and hearts to the Bible and by witnessing to our spirit. In those ways, we may grow the fruit of the Spirit as He leads us.
Bob Haslam is the former editor of Light & Life Magazine [LLM] and the author of the book “PK,” which can be ordered online at fmchr.ch/bhaslam through Wesleyan Publishing House.
GROUP DISCUSSION: When does God become active in a person’s life?  If we are led by the Spirit and demonstrate the Spirit’s fruit, how will that make a difference when we are faced with conflict in our lives? 0