Spicy Spiritual Stew
Posted on July 9, 2020 by Catey Stover in Freedom Fighters
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT)
On today’s episode of Freedom Fighters, I would like to share my recipe on how to make a wonderful spicy spiritual stew. It’s a very easy dish to make and if made with right ingredients it is guaranteed to satisfy the hungriest Christian. So, without further a-do let’s get right to it, shall we?
Now, the first thing you’ll need is the right cooking pot. Now, it can’t be just any cooking pot and it shouldn’t be the boiling pot that Ezekiel was told to use…that’s a different pot of stew to make. Actually, I prefer the large melting pot of life to toss my ingredients into, it has the right shape and depth to handle everything that you’ll need to make this stew just right.
The next thing we’ll need to do is fill this pot with water. Now you don’t have to be too fussy about the water you use I, however, fill my pot (about ¾ quarters full) with living water. Then you’ll take your pot over to the large burner of your stove, crank that fire up good-n-high and begin adding your ingredients. Add a cup each of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Then bring it all to a good rolling boil, stirring frequently until…???
Yeah, I guess by now you’ve figured out that I’m having too much fun with the fruits of the Spirit. But what I’m hoping to convey is something that has been on my mind recently and that’s what it is like trying to bear fruit in the crucible of life. The first thing we oughta say is, “It ain’t easy!” Now, I could be wrong, you just might a whole lot more solid on your standing then me but when living life in the world (and not of it) the temperature is bound to go up and sometimes things just seem to bubble out.
In his commentary on the book of Galatians, Martin Luther points this out, “To feel the lusts of the flesh is not without profit to us. It prevents us from being vain and from being puffed up with the wicked opinion of our own work-righteousness.” I think this where the crucible of life comes into play. Ya really don’t know if any of those fruits are genuine until they’re tested and sometimes that’s gonna mean there’s a little bit more stress that is creating a little bit more heat placed on them than normal.
For example, we say “I love people” until a Debby Downer comes along and challenges the very fiber of your being. We sing that we’ve “got that joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart” until the day where everything just goes wrong without reason. Christians are to be peaceful and quiet until they get on social media (I’ll just leave that there). Long Suffering (nope ain’t going there either). We are called to be gentle until we run outta longsuffering (go back a sentence).
We share goodness with everyone until that moment when they can’t share it with us. We display meekness until someone does or says that one thing (as my daughter says “Don’t poke the bear”). We maintain our self-control until we say just one more bite can’t hurt (mmm, Klondike Bar). And finally, we say we are solid in our faith until God doesn’t answer our prayers (the way we told Him to).
And to top it all off, we’ve got this verse to contend with…
“Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.” (Galatians 5:25)
This Spirit is the One that Jesus will tell His disciples about. He’ll assure them that the Spirit will never leave them, He’ll guide them into all truth and will soon dwell within them. Then Jesus will say, “All who love Me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make Our home with each them.” (John 14:23) I take this as meaning there’s no room for a bucket of dirt in you BUT you’re gonna have to leave out a fruit bowl.
Luther says that it is really kind of God to send so much infamy, reproach, hatred, and cursing our way to keep us from getting proud. Like we need millstones around our necks to keep us humble. I wish I could ask him, “Whaddya nuts? Can’t I just be comfortable in Christ?” Unfortunately, the answer to that is no. So why is it essential to have our fruit tested? In a word—vainglory. When folks see a display of our fruits, it isn’t important for them to say, “Now that’s a Christian!” On the contrary, they should say, “I can see Jesus!” Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) has been married for 25+ years (Kathy), has a married son (Kevin) and a daughter in college (Karen). He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008. You can email him at email@example.com
Think About This: “A true Christian conducts himself in such a way the he does not need any law to warn or to restrain him.” — Martin Luther
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: 16 Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil; 17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 For he who serves Christ in [e]these things is acceptable to God and approved by men. –Romans 14:16-18
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the doctrinal and theological views held by America’s Keswick.