Week of Apr. 19
A Healing Spirituality Have you ever prayed for healing? Maybe you prayed for physical healing from a disease, or emotional healing from a broken heart. Maybe you needed spiritual healing from a chronic sin or addiction. We all desire to be healthy and whole, especially in our desperation for spiritual wholeness and peace.
The Holy Spirit promises us a healing spirituality through a relationship with Him. When we are sealed by the Holy Spirit and marked as one of God's children, and when we daily seek to be filled by the power of the Holy Spirit, then we will bear the fruit of the Spirit. Jesus said, "Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit" (Matthew 12:33).We will only find spiritual wholeness if we manifest the fruit of the Spirit—not through false spirituality found in meditation, self-help books, or motivational seminars.
Many Christians do not live up to their end of the bargain. Once they have been sealed by the Holy Spirit, they forget to seek His filling every day. They neglect their relationship with God. They begin to doubt His promises. They are living in turmoil when they could be experiencing spiritual health and wholeness.
When we do not seek the Holy Spirit's filling each day, we become more and more influenced by our sinful nature. Paul warned the Galatians: "So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want" (Galatians 5:16, 17).
However, for those of us who are sealed and daily filled by the Holy Spirit, we can experience His fruit: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control….Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit" (Galatians 5:22-25).
The fruit of the Spirit is about our character, not our behavior or conduct. The fruit of the Spirit is about being not doing. The fruit of the Spirit is the likeness of the Spirit. We need to stay connected to Him in order to bear His fruit. If we begin to shut God out of our hearts, we will cease to be fruitful. Jesus cautioned, "Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:4, 5).
Have you ceased bearing the fruit of the Holy Spirit? Are you filled with selfishness instead of love? Do you feel misery and bitterness instead of joy and peace? Have kindness and goodness been replaced by malice and manipulation? Is there treachery, harshness, and self-indulgence in your heart instead of faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control?
We often do not realize how little fruit we bear until we allow the prodding of the Holy Spirit to convict our hearts. Spend time in prayer today allowing the Holy Spirit to show you the current state of your spiritual health. If you have ceased bearing fruit, seek God's forgiveness and commit to seeking His filling presence every day.
"This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples."
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Today, we live in a culture that is increasingly hostile to biblical values. It takes great courage and faith to live as a follower of Christ in a world characterized by moral depravity, injustice, idolatry, and more…but it is possible!
Dr. Michael Youssef invites you to take a walk through the book of Daniel with him. In Leading The Way Through Daniel, the first volume of the Leading The Way Through the Bible commentary series, you will discover how a man of God lived a godly life in a godless culture.
Like Daniel, we are living by faith in a faithless culture. Leading The Way Through Daniel equips you to stand for God’s truth despite great opposition. This timely devotional book is ideal for personal or group use.