by Brandy Webb
Now that we have discussed the Fruit of the Spirit, we need to look at things that can quench it. We are all trying to fight the good fight, to win the race, to make it to the Kingdom of God, and since we are of the Spirit, we are to walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh.
The thing is, though, when Christians start talking about the desires of the flesh, sin, we seem to focus on one type of sin and ignore the rest that can keep us out of the Kingdom of God. Let’s just look at the list in Galatians 5:19-21: “sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar” (HSCB version).
I am not going to dissect every little one of these, but I do want to point out some that we probably, at one time or the other, have succumbed to. How about, anger? Jealousy? Selfishness? Envy? Hatred towards others? Dissensions? Um, church splits ring a bell here. Idolatry may seem like one we don’t see ourselves committing, but let us not forget, coveting is idolatry (Col 3:5, Eph 5:5).
My point isn’t to make us feel that it is hopeless to get into the Kingdom of God. My point is that it is easy to quench the Spirit when we give into our carnal selves. Plus, it seems that we seem to focus on one type of sin more than we look at the others because when we examine the others we may be seeing ourselves in the mirror. It is easy to see the obvious sins, but what about the ones that we all are probably guilty of that are more internal than external?
We all fall short from the glory of God (Rom 3:23), this is why He gives us His Spirit, because we need His Spirit to fight the temptations of the flesh. This is also why we have a Savior. The door to the Kingdom would not be open without His blood washing our sins away.
I believe that one of the main reasons we sometimes slip is because we set our minds on earthly things rather than on the things above. It is hard to walk toward something that we can’t see. For me, it is tempting to wonder if it all is a fantasy, but that is when my faith kicks in and says to hold onto the Truth. The enemy wants us to stumble. He wants us to give up and to quit the race. He tempts us with our carnal flesh. He also tempts us by making us more distracted by pointing fingers at everyone else. We must remember when we are pointing a finger at others we have three pointing back at us. The deceiver likes it when we are distracted in throwing “stones.” Remember, those who haven’t sinned can throw the first stone (John 8:1-8). Why do we focus on the specks in others’ eyes, when we have a log in our own (Matt 7:3)?
It is the finger pointing and judging others, rather than focusing on our own walk, that causes those on the outside to not want to know more. We can be our own worst enemies. We have to strive to walk in the Spirit, to live in the Spirit, to make sure our actions are of the Spirit because the world is watching us. Every time we demonstrate the sins of the flesh, they are there to point their fingers at us and to justify why they don’t believe, because we struggle to walk the narrow path. We must show them that we are different. So, let us reveal to the world our good fruit of the Spirit and not the bad fruit of flesh, because “the law of the Spirit of Life has set [us] free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:3).