Fruit of the Spirit – Gentleness (Part 2)

Gentleness2

Gal. 5:22 Amplified Bible

“But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge].”

God hates pride

Proverbs 6:16 Amplified Bible

“These six things the Lord hates, indeed, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look [the spirit that makes one overestimate himself and underestimate others], a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood. A heart that manufactures wicked thoughts and plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, A false witness who breathes out lies [even under oath], and he who sows discord among his brethren.”

A proud look – the spirit that makes one overestimate himself and underestimate others. God doesn’t like it when we think little of other people. Especially if He has gifted us in an area and we look down on others because they can’t do what we do.

Maybe some of you are gifted mentally and you learn really really fast. Sometimes those people make the worse trainers because they just don’t get it that others don’t get it the first go around. And if you are not careful you make others feel inferior by your words, “Well, how can you not understand that?” “Hello?” Don’t you hate that, “Hello, is anybody home in there?” “Yes, thank you I have been in here a lot of years.”

Some teenagers haven’t lived long enough to know a lot, but they think they know everything. Not all are like that, thank God. You don’t have to wait to be fifty to start humbling yourself. You can start now! This will put a smile on God’s face.

I have read this someplace: “When a person turns eighteen their brains fall on their pillow at night and they don’t get it back until they are twenty five. For me it was more like forty-five.

God hates pride. It’s not just something that He doesn’t like, He hates it.

Humility is defined as: “freedom from pride and arrogance, a modest estimation of your own worth.” In theology it means “lowliness of mind, having a consciousness of your own defects.”

Not unto condemnation. You should be able to tell people what your strengths and weaknesses are and not be embarrassed because we all have them.

God purposely leaves weaknesses even in His choicest of saints because if you had no weaknesses you would have no need for God. Sorry, you will never do it all right. No one is perfect! You can have a right heart, and you can want to do what is right and you can get up everyday and press toward that mark of perfection, but you have to get comfortable with having some weaknesses. Know what you are good at and know what you are not good at. Stop putting all your time into what you are not good at, trying to prove something you are never going to prove. If you are not good at something, find someone else who is.

I tried to sow and do scrapbooking, but that was just stupid. I tried to garden and decorate my home, but that was not my gifting. I tried to do sales and work at a retail store but it left me feeling empty and never satisfied. When I minister for God I feel it is my purpose in life. It brings such a satisfying feeling and I know I am doing exactly what I was created for. It fuels me to see people transformed by the power of God. This is my theme and mission for ministry: “Seeing people transformed by the power of God to transform their world in turn!”

Humble (Vines Greek Dictionary): “Low lying, or to stay under.”

To stay under the mighty hand of God. To stay somewhere when you would like to leave or get out of it but you know God is telling you, “Not yet, not yet, not yet!”

Maybe staying at a job that you are the only believer and it really is not all that comfortable to you. Everything in you would love to go do something else, and you could. You could go get another job but you know deep down inside you are the only light in the place and that is where God needs you. So you humble yourself. You stay under the direction of God.

When are we going to learn to get around to living for God? To realize everything doesn’t have to be comfortable. Everything doesn’t have to feel good. There are sacrifices that we are asked to make sometimes. To stay somewhere where you really don’t want to be. To do something you really don’t want to do. Even as far as not defending yourself.

It’s taking me a long time to not try and convince people that I am a good person when they judged me. “Well, you just don’t understand.” Honestly, the more you try and defend yourself, the guiltier you look. Sooner or later you have to get to the point and say, “God you are in charge of my reputation, and if it isn’t good it is Your problem.”

No body is free until you get to the point you don’t try and impress anybody. I said you are not free until you stop trying to impress anybody!

Meek (Vine’s Greek Dictionary): “Gentle, mild, Christ’s own disposition. It is the Christian adornment. It is the opposite of self interest and self assertiveness. It is an inwrought grace of the soul.”

It has to be worked in us. You can’t just get in the prayer line and get this. I could lay hands on you until you had no more hair on your head and pray for you all night and not pray humility in you. You have a seed of it in you, I do too. This is the fruit of the Holy Spirit that dwells in us!

But a seed has to be watered, it has to be nurtured. You have to keep the weeds away from it. It has to have sunlight. You have to work with it. In order for this seed to grow you have to study in these areas, you have to spend time with God, and you have to go through things where you have to apply this fruit. In the beginning it is so hard you feel like there is no way you can do it.

Let’s talk about trails for a minute…

Trials

2 Cor. 1:8 Amplified Bible

“For we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about the affliction and oppressing distress which befell us [the province of] Asia, how we were so utterly and unbearably weighed down and crushed that we despaired even of life [itself].”

I’m telling you Paul was having a bad day!

2 Cor. 1:9 Amplified Bible

“Indeed, we felt within ourselves that we had received the [very] sentence of death, but that was to keep us from trusting in and depending on ourselves instead of on God Who raises the dead.”

Why do you find yourself in a situation that is definitely over your head and seems like more then you can bear? God wants you to say, “I can’t handle this, but God you can.” “This is too much for me, I lean on you.” “I rely on you God for wisdom.”

Sometimes the more God uses you and the more He blesses you, the more He will have these kinds of situations salted and peppered into your life every now and then.

There is something about us, we just can’t seem to stay right if all we ever have is good good, blessing, blessing, blessing, favor, favor, blessing, blessing. You know why? We start to get proud and puffed up.

The Bible says pride puffs one up. Sometimes God lets us walk into some stupid trap the devil placed before us. He’ll get us out of it but not until God is done with it.

God has to keep us in a position that He can use us and the only way God can use us is when we stay humble, under, submissive. It is not just about being submissive to God, we need to be submissive to the human authority God places over us. And we need to learn how to do it with a good attitude.

You have to learn to come under authority before you come in authority. Coming under authority is not just doing what someone tells you to do, and doing it with a bad attitude and start talking about them behind their back. Come on now! We have to say, “God if this is the job you have given me right now then I’m going to trust You. I’m going to do this for you. And I am going to do it with a good attitude. I’m going to do it unto you.”

The Bible never asks us to do things for man, it asks us to do things for God. The Bible says, The love of Christ constrains me (2 Cor. 5:14). The more we love God, the more we are going to control ourselves to operate in all this fruit. We are going to trust God to get what we are suppose to have. (We will be talking more about this when we talk about the fruit of self-control)

Meekness is not weakness. It is strength under control. Let’s talk about Paul’s famous thorn for a minute.

2 Cor. 12:7 – 8 Amplified Bible

“And to keep me from being puffed up and too much elated by the exceeding greatness (preeminence) of these revelations, there was given me a thorn (a splinter) in the flesh,…”

God was using Paul mightily more then anybody else at that time. He had a miraculous conversion. Miracles. He received by direct revelation two thirds of the New Testament. The greatest revelation on grace.

“…a messenger of Satan, to rack and buffet and harass me, to keep me from being excessively exalted. Three times I called upon the Lord and besought [Him] about this and begged that it might depart from me;..”

And He said, “No!” We’d like to think God is going to say yes after everything we ask Him. “Oh God You got to get me out of this!” Well, sometimes God says, “No! You are more valuable to Me in that situation then out of it.”

Vs. 9 “But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness…”

God said, “My grace is sufficient for you and My strength and power are made perfect in your weakness.”

God in essence said, “I have given you this thing that creates a weakness in you and inability in you so you’re going to need me and cry out for My grace, and it’s all gonna be okay anyway Paul cause I’m gonna fill up that strength with my grace and it will be as if you didn’t even have it, but I’m going to leave it with you so you need Me.”

Pride is independence. It’s all about me, and I, and what I can do, and not being needy. We inherently don’t want to need anybody. We would much prefer to be self-sufficient. But that’s not God’s plan.

Look at Job for a minute. He did have a problem. He was a righteous man but he had gotten a little smidge into self-righteousness. If you really studied the book of Job, which I highly recommend, you’ll see that he had a little attitude adjustment that was needed. And after he got it God blessed him twice as much as before.

God’s not trying to hurt anybody. He’ll bless you more after you humble yourself. Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God and in due time He might lift you up and exalt you.

Job 10:16 Amplified Bible

“If I lift myself up, You hunt me like a lion and again show Yourself [inflicting] marvelous [trials] upon me.”

You can scream at the devil until you don’t have any voice left. Realize it isn’t all the devil. Some of it was God growing me up. He was allowing me to be in certain situations to teach me how to still act like this no matter what my circumstances were or what situation I was in. This is the “grow up stuff” we need to learn.

The fact is God does want to bless you more then you can possibly imagine but you cannot maintain the gifts God wants to give you if you don’t have the fruit to balance it out. Otherwise you are a tree with no roots. First we have to get rooted and grounded in God.

 Job 33:16 Amplified Bible

“Then He opens the ears of men and seals their instruction [terrifying them with warnings].”

I believe when we are acting bad God gives us warnings but we don’t always listen.

Job 33:17 Amplified Bible

“That He may withdraw man from his purpose and cut off pride from him [disgusting him with his own disappointing self-sufficiency].”

Is anybody disgusted with your own self-sufficiency? Like, I am just fed up with acting like I know it all, can do it all, don’t need anybody, competing with other people, comparing myself to other people. I don’t want the pressure anymore of trying to impress anybody. I just want to be free to be me, and be wherever God has put me!

What hard work it is trying to impress people! We have to buy things we can’t afford, and dress in clothes we don’t even like and they are not even comfortable.

Fruits of Pride

Do you have pride in your heart? Believe it or not there is fruit produced from pride in our life. The things we do, the attitudes we have produce fruit. I read “50 Fruit of Pride” and it was amazing how many on the list I did.

Martha wanted to impress Jesus with all her work but Jesus said, “…Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41 NASB)

What do you do or use to make an impression on others? Cars? Jewelry? Home? The furniture you own? The neighborhood you live in? The company you work for? The amount of money you make a month? Your level of education? What restaurants you eat at? Who you know? What you know? What you look like? Are you a name dropper?

Be free from impressing people. Just be yourself and you will enjoy your life and have fun!

When you are full of pride you draw attention to yourself. You like to talk about yourself. Desire recognition and praise. “Give me the credit that is due me!” You are not fulfilled in serving others. You are self-sufficient. “I will do it myself, then I will know it is done right.”  OUCH!

Proud people are anxious because they are always worried about something. They actually think they can solve their own problems.

Self-focused, overly self-conscious. They fear man, and are very concerned about what people think of them.

The Bible says we need to be very careful about our thinking. Be careful when you think you stand, lest you fall.

Even giving your testimony can be given in pride. It it glorifies the person instead of God, it is pride. When giving our testimony the time has to be right and our motives have to be right or we are just gloating.

“Oh brother are you sick? I was sick just last week with the same thing but I prayed and it instantly went away!” What an insensitive, unfeeling, unthinking, unloving, haughty, puffed up Christian! … Selah

We should never give our testimony unless it glorifies God. So many times we lose the power of something that is a secret between us and God because we have to tell somebody!

God has so much that He wants to do in everyone of our lives. God wants to lift you up. He wants to bless you in amazing ways and share His power with you. But first we have to humble ourselves. We have to prove that we will do what ever God asks us to do with those blessings and with that power. Otherwise we become dangerous and all we do is hurt people. Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God. that in due time He may exalt you and lift you up! Amen!

Ask God to help you be a more gentle, meek, and humble person. Be a plant that wants to grow they way the Master Gardner wants you to grow instead of a stubborn week that wants its way and chokes out all the other healthy plants.

Blessings,

Pastor Kris Belfils

www.krisbelfils.com

www.HopeFellowshipSpokane.com

www.krisbelfils.wordpress.com

(A portion of this article was from Joyce Meyer’s audio CD: “Fruit of the Spirit – Gentleness”)

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