Lifting the Spiritual Barbells

We wring our hands. Where are those tests results? “Oh, God” we cry. “Please give me patience to see this though.”

But we have patience! Nowhere in Galatians 5:22-25 does it say to ask for: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness; gentleness, self-control: the fruits of the Spirit. God placed these nine attributes within us to use for Him: “My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, so you will be My disciples” (John 15: 8, NKJV).

But, they will lie dormant, and not develop if not exercised when confronted by challenges. On the other hand, sometimes our best efforts can disintegrate when we hit the wall of discouragement, and setbacks.

Our self-control ran amuck thinking God had taken too long in answering our prayer. Trying to live a life of faithfulness for Him before nonbelievers became a bedrock of pitfalls. Then, love and kindness pushed us over the edge of endurance: hard-hearted people shunned our love, while crabby- irritable people frowned on our kindness. Satan added weights to our emotional struggles.

Nevertheless, we needn’t feel like failures. It’s unreal to think we can live all nine characteristics with victory at the same time. When Nehemiah faced enormous opposition in rebuilding Jerusalem’s wall, how did he do it? One brick at a time.

Pray for perseverance, not patience: “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart” (Galatians 6:9, NKJV).

The next time we’re frustrated from opposition and trials stop, and take a second to recognize: “Oh, God this is Your moment. Give me the strength to live what You’ve equipped me to do.”

No one demonstrated this better than the Apostle Paul. Though prisons and torture were his earthly reward, yet he lived his life for Christ, and to gain - His smile! (Acts 20:24).

Nothing will develop physically, or spiritually without resistance. Strenuous issues come to make us practice using those fruits of the Spirit like a barbell. But how we are blessed. He never asks for a hundred-percent success rate, merely obedience: one brick at a time. And one day at heaven’s gate, we’ll see - His smile, and hear: “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:23).