We are all familiar with the works of the flesh and their dangers. How do we avoid being overcome by the works of the flesh? Do we just try harder or do we go on a fast?
Rather than focusing on the flesh and struggling with it, the Apostle Paul gives us insight into how to overcome the flesh in Galatians 5:16 when he says, “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”
What does it mean to walk in the Spirit, and how do we know when we are walking in the Spirit? The Holy Spirit always agrees with the Word of God. If you are walking in the Spirit, your mind and emotions will be submitted to both. This means that whatever you are going through, your actions and reactions will be consistent with the Word of God and the Holy Spirit’s leading. When this is true in your life, you will exemplify the fruit of the Spirit at all times, especially during difficult times.
One of the keys that will reveal whether or not you are walking in the Spirit is the way that you handle challenging circumstances. These are the times when you are squeezed by the pressures of life and business. When you squeeze an orange, unless it is rotten, fresh orange juice comes out. What would happen if you squeezed an orange and get lemon juice? You would know that either you have the wrong fruit or the fruit that you have is rotten.
When the pressures of life and business squeeze you, what comes out of you? How do you respond when your husband or wife disappoints you, when employees or vendors let you down, or when you face financial pressures or tight deadlines in your business?
During those tough and challenging times, do you exemplify the fruit of the Spirit or the works of the flesh? It is easy to walk in the Spirit during the good times, but the true test of whether we are walking according to the Spirit or the flesh comes when we are wronged and disappointed.
In Galatians 5:22-23, the apostle Paul lists the fruit of the Spirit :
- Love – Demonstrating genuine care and affection to others through
your actions and responses.
- Joy – an emotion of profound happiness that comes from the Spirit of God.
- Peace – An inner tranquility that is beyond human understanding, based on complete trust in the sovereignty of God.
- Long-suffering – Patiently enduring wrong or difficulties for an extended
period of time without compromising your core values.
- Kindness – A genuine expression of mercy, compassion, and favor toward others.
- Goodness – Moral excellence; genuinely right.
- Faithfulness – Consistent, dependable, and loyal regardless of circumstances.
- Gentleness – Power under control; using your advantage for the benefit of others rather than to promote yourself.
- Self Control – The ability to control our thoughts, emotions, and actions.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. – Galatians 5:22-23 (NKJV)
Following this statement, the Apostle Paul says, “…against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:23). The flesh is subject to the law of God and of man, but the Spirit takes us to another level. When we are truly walking in the Spirit, there is nothing that we could do that would violate the laws of God or the laws of upright men.
Because the Holy Spirit is the source of the fruit of the Spirit, when you are walking in the Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit will be present in your life at all times and under any circumstance.
What are the benefits of exemplifying these characteristics for the Biblical Entrepreneur?
When you operate in the fruit of the Spirit, it is as though you are superseding the laws of gravity while still being on earth. Imagine participating in a car race where everyone else is driving a regular car, but you have a car that is able to fly. Flying is within the rules, and so this gives you quite an advantage in the race!
Walking in the Spirit gives you a supernatural advantage that produces miracles in your life and business. Difficult relationships and situations become easy to handle. Your enemies make peace with you. Your tense marriage becomes pleasurable. Difficult employees and customers become pleasant. You are able to handle stressful times with a greater level of calm. With all these benefits, why would you not want to walk in the Spirit?
How would you rate yourself in each of the fruit of the Spirit, with zero being the lowest and ten being the highest? Where you rate less than seven, what will you do to improve in that area?
My prayer for you this week is that God will give you the grace to exemplify the fruit of the Spirit in all areas of your life, at all times, in all circumstances.