Reverse Directions!

As many of you know, I read the Bible through every year. It has been my practice for a long time, and I am often asked why I do so. My answer normally is that I am still learning much from the ancient text and love that the Lord continually reveals understanding to me through the Scriptures. While that is a very truthful answer and has been for many years, I am discovering something absolutely wonderful that I have not seen so clearly before.

The primary use of the Word is not to help me behave myself and understand more data; it is instead to commune with my God! It is a place to immerse myself in His thoughts and His story. It is a time to get to know Him whom my heart loves and follows. My direction of thinking about the Word must be reversed. My heart receives, but now my heart must give and receive as I study. The amount of time I spend in the Word is not to be determined by my need, nor my assignment nor to find an answer. It is instead to love Him and to spend time with His thoughts.

So often we are content to rest our faith in someone’s system of “how-to” than to rest ourselves in Him and allow Him to be revealed as we focus His direction. This passage was in my daily reading this morning:

“For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in much fear and trembling; and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God” 1 Corinthians 2:2-5 RSV

This precious Spirit dwelling within has promised to bring us into all truth (John 16:13). As we trust and choose in love to spend time in Him, amazing things occur. Let’s reverse our traditional thinking in approaching the Scriptures and begin to commune in Him as we read and study. What an amazing discovery and opportunity.


Fruit – Singular!


“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-control. Against such there is not law.” Galatians 5:22-23 MEV

Please notice the wording of the above passage. It is not “But the fruits of the Spirit….” It is: “But the fruit of the Spirit….!” The word “fruit” is singular. I have read and seen books and articles trying to tell us about the “fruits”, and I always cringe knowing that the author of the book/article had not correctly read the passage.

Paul is listing the characteristics of a single fruit. Pick one – any one fruit – and you will quickly be able to list nine characteristics of that same fruit. This passage is describing the characteristics of the fruit of the Holy Spirit. What does a person who is living in the Spirit and fellowshipping in the Spirit reflect? Well, this describes them. What does the fellowship in the Holy Spirit produce? These characteristics describe them.

When we think about it, these words also describe our Lord Jesus Christ. His person becomes the internal reality in those who deeply fellowship in His Spirit. Notice I am not saying the people who pray in tongues, nor am I saying that people who prophesy, heal, work miracles, etc. develop these characteristics. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are given to us who believe, and we are free to interact and use any and all of them. However, that does not create the fellowship in the Holy Spirit. It is simply working in faith through the gifts. I love the gifts and work freely within them, but that is not the same as “fellowship in the Holy Spirit.”

Fellowship is simply the interaction of His Spirit in us; our awareness of Him and flowing in Him as we live. It becomes very real in His presence in worship, study and focused interaction. Such times enrich and change our interiors. These characteristics are automatic in a life that has such focused interaction in our Lord Jesus through His Spirit. I think this needs to be expanded, so will leave this as it is and come back to it later.

Lord, thank You for fellowshipping in us and with us; for overshadowing our lives in your delightful presence and sweetness that we become as You are in our interior beings. Thank You!

For Others!


But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self control. Against such there is not law.” Galatians 5:22-23 MEV

One of the things I have noticed about fruit of any kind from any plant, the plant does not need the fruit. A healthy plant produces a good fruit that is simply given for others. For instance, the apples,  they are intended to be used by others. Otherwise they simply becomes fertilizer for the tree. As far as the tree is concerned, they are give-aways.

The fruit of the Spirit is like that. Whenever we try to use it ourselves for motives that are anything but pure give-away to bless others, it is not the fruit of the Spirit. In this kind of fruit, there is no manipulation, or even any desire to hold onto it or to those to whom it is given. It is something we simply delight in giving away.

Oh that we as believers in Jesus Christ would understand this fact! We do not give to others to receive back. We give in order to stay healthy and well in the Holy Spirit. All those earth-bound hooks and control factors for keeping the attention of others are simply from the wrong spirit entirely.

Also, we know that this fruit is developed from a tree full of free-running sap. These characteristics of the Believer are developed with in-depth fellowship in the Holy Spirit. They do not become a part of my gifting, they are simply developed in us by the Holy Spirit to give freely to others. If we are getting our emotional needs met through people then we will not be satisfied with what they give. It just can’t do for us what is needed. As we fellowship in our Lord through the Holy Spirit our needs become His to meet then these characteristics become a part of our person to freely supply others with a touch and taste of Him.

This brings us to the obvious conclusion that if we want to be really healthy and productive believers, we need to be spending a lot of time in Holy Spirit training and conscious presence. We cannot have these things develop as we stay as “casual Christians.” That is a term I use for those in the Kingdom that remain very self-focus and self-centered. These folk are saved, but remain pretty much as they were when first born-again, still empty and needing at every corner. In that mind-set we continually are waiting on God to move to help us.

There really is a place in Him where we learn to move as His partner in all His movements in us. That is another post. So I will let this one be as it is.

Lord, we lean. Teach us to engage you through the Holy Spirit in all we do, so we become pliable to release your good, good fruit. We choose you, please train us and develop in us your give-away fruit. Thank you.

Next week I plan on being at the Elim Oasis Conference in Lima, NY, so I will plan on posting from there. I am using my iPad today in anticipation of having that with me. I wanted to make sure all was working and connecting well. Seems to be good. Oh yes, I have a keyboard attached, otherwise I would not be doing this much typing. Thanks for reading and enjoy your week.

Resting & Allowing


“22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 meekness, and self-control; against such there is no law.” Galatians 15:22-23 MEV

Striving and working does not create fruit. Any ole’ apple tree demonstrates this truth. The photo above is very common to my area. Central New York, USA is truly apple country with many, many orchards dotting the countryside. Each fall the orchards are full of visitors who gather their new produce with joy and take advantage of the fresh fruit.

If we trace the development of that luscious fruit, we discover the process of its development lies in the careful tending of its tree and the health of its sap. The tree just stands there – through the sun, rain, snow, wind and whatever that comes its way. It continues to stand, as its roots are nurtured by fertilizer and by trimming from its caretaker. But the tree, well, it just stands and lets it all happen.

In the spring, there is the abundance of bees and the sound of buzzing everywhere, but the tree, well it just stands. The sap is flowing within, and it continues to bring fresh life to the interior of the tree. Sure enough, a bud develops and then a flower and out of that flower a little apple. As the season continues into the heat of summer, the sap continues to flow and produce the fruit as the tree; well it just continues to stand.

The point? Well, the “fruit” of the Holy Spirit is not developed by our effort but by our fellowship in life. Paul says to the Corinthian people as he closes his letter we call 2 Corinthians,

“14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.” 2 Corinthians 13:14

Paul knew that the only way to live in the fullness of what we are in Christ is to fellowship with and in the Holy Spirit. Nothing else will develop the fruit needful for our outward expression revealing our Lord in our world.

13 We know that we live in Him, and He in us, because He has given us His Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him, and he in God. 16 And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 17 In this way, God’s love is perfected in us, so that we may have boldness on the Day of Judgment because as He is, so are we in this world.” 1 John 4:13-17 MEV

So we are left once again at the doorstep of trust.

“Without faith is impossible to please God, for he who comes to God must believe that He exists and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6

Our study will not develop these characters that are ours in Him. Our working in prayer will not do it either. We can only rest in Him and trust the Holy Spirit to develop us from living with untapped resources to releasing the full bloom of those resources. We lean and trust Him, learning fellowship in His heart as we study and talk with Him.

Learning to rest instead of working is hard on all of us. But it is the way of the Holy Spirit. We are to rest in Him and all He has finished. He calls us to trust — to just stand there. It is the foundation of everything that He does in us and for us.

Lord, teach us to rest. We have such a tendency in our life in you to turn everything into some discipline or effort. Teach us how to relax, trust and begin to unfold in your heart as we allow you to unfold in ours. Such is our journey in you. Thank you for holding us in rest.