</>Gal. 5:22-23 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." These are the character traits that we produce when we walk in the Spirit. The way of the Spirit is contrary to the way of the flesh. When we walk in the Spirit we experience an incredible unity and harmony with our brothers and sisters in Christ. If you take a closer look at the fruit that we produce when walking in the spirit,(patience, kindness, gentleness) we begin to walk out a lifestyle that is considerate of others. It is not an offensive lifestyle, but rather a considerate lifestyle. Keep in mind that God is Spirit and the true worshippers worship in Spirit and Truth. If we want a relationship with the Lord we must learn to walk in the Spirit. In the Spirit there will be unity. In the flesh there will be fractions and divisions. I want to mention just a few of the characteristics of the flesh that Paul mentions in Gal 5:19-21(nkjv)
"hatred, contentions, jealousies, outburst of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy"
When we operate in the flesh nature we often turn against the very people that are with us and supporting us. Why is it that we become envious and jealous of the very people that are our brothers and sisters in Christ? It is because we are not walking in the Spirit.
How do we learn to walk in the Spirit?
In today's reading in 1 Samuel 25, I can't help but notice and address the energy that Saul is exerting in trying to capture and kill David. Saul is king of Israel and instead of governing over the affairs of his kingdom, as a king does. He has assembled three thousand men and is chasing David all over the country side. My mind began to examine the energy and expense it would require in order to run a man hunt involving three thousand men. Imagine the food required for one day to feed an army this size. Anyone viewing this from the outside must have been puzzled. This kind of behavior raises questions: Are not both of these men children of Israel? Aren't these the people who claim to be the children of God? Is David not one of the hero's of Israel? Wasn't David the one that fought for Saul, killing Goliath, delivering Saul's army from the Philistines? Why has Saul turned on his own people? Has Saul become mad? Saul acts out the works of his flesh.
Saul was given an amazing opportunity to mentor David, to raise and groom God's next king. However, out of his own insecurity, Saul becomes envious and jealous. Saul begins to focus on the wrong things in life. Instead of leading his kingdom, he is consumed with killing David.
This is probably our biggest struggle in the church today. Due to insecurity, we get our eyes fixed on comparing ourselves to those around us. We can not celebrate and appreciate their victories and promotions because we become paralyzed by jealousy and envy.
"Why is God blessing them when my life is always a struggle?"
This is really nothing strange or unusual, it is simply the pattern that develops if we do not continue to walk in the Spirit.
Ask Christ to give you His love for your brothers and sisters. Ask the Lord to help you always remember who our true enemy is. And ask Holy Spirit to help you denounce the works of the flesh, and to walk in the Spirit. God tells us that we are to love our enemies. How much more should we love our brothers and sisters in the faith?
How does one walk in the Spirit?
In the words of Jesus, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." Luke 9:23
Something in us must die before the Spirit can live.