Last night and for the past few weeks we have been looking at the Gifts of the Spirit in Out of the Box Youth. In previous weeks we did a spiritual gifts inventory and we found some really great things about where the youth are gifted. Some of them have the gift of a pastor and that excites me. Some of my strongest gift indicators are in Apostleship, Pastor, and Leadership. What are yours? Are you working within” your giftedness?
Last night though we looked at the “fruit of the spirit”. This is different from the Spiritual gifts, however in order to operate in the gifts God has given us we have to be walking in the Spirit, therefore we will manifest fruit, or grow fruit maybe.
Here is what Galatians 5 and Paul has to say, in 22-26, “22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
I had each of the youth to write down the different fruit and then rank on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the strongest, how they felt they ranked in these fruit of the spirit.
The result was that many of them were reluctant to put a 5 in any of the fruit, I encouraged them that it wasn’t a prideful thing to know that you are bearing fruit.
The biggest revelation that came from this experiment what that many and probably most of them scored the lowest on “self-control.” I would venture to say that probably most people reading this struggle in the same fruit, “self-control.”
Here was my question to them and to you. What can you do to get the number to a 5 on self-control, or at least to move up the number scale?
Here are the answers they gave. Fasting, Prayer, Bible Study…They were naming off the Spiritual Disciplines. That’s it, they got it right…
When a person comes to know Christ then you receive the Holy Spirit of God who lives inside of you. There is no need to pray for the Holy Spirit, He is there. However, just because Holy Spirit lives inside of us, that does not mean that we are continually filled with the Holy Spirit, nor does it mean that we walk in the Spirit.
These things are accomplished through Seeking God, by Drawing Close To God, through the Spiritual Disciplines. Those who have ears to hear, listen. God is doing a new thing among us and those who are tuned into God will be the ones God uses during this new move of God.