Joy And ObedienceGalatians 5:22-24: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ*s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
Galatians 5:16: This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
That word fruit is singular. We like to compartmentalize the fruit of the Spirit, but it all comes together. For the purpose of this article I shall focus mainly on the joy. We like to do what brings us joy.
Notice that when we are filled with the Spirit the lusts of the flesh are crucified and they are not fulfilled. Notice also that there will be an absence of lasting joy when our flesh is having its own way. My flesh and yours try to ignore the fact that there is joy in trusting and obeying the Lord. There is joy in doing what our Creator wants us to do. When we are disobeying Him the joy goes away. One who has received Christ has begun the most interesting, exciting and fulfilling adventure a person can have this side of heaven.
I remember my parents unselfishly taking our family to places that we could enjoy. They enjoyed watching us enjoy life. They also taught us to work and that work is fulfilling and rewarding. Those are some of the same things that our loving Creator does for us. He takes His children to places that they enjoy and He gives them work to do. He loves us and enjoys watching us enjoy His guidance and provision.Ephesians 2:10: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
J. R. Lowell: No man is born into the world whose work is not born with him. There is always work, and tools to work withal, for those who will. Also there is no man who has been born again whose work was not born with him.Psalms 37:23: The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Psalms 37:4: Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
Psalms 119:105: Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
God*s way is the right way in every step we take. He knows the future. He can see over the hills and around the corners when we cannot. We cannot seek His guidance too often and we cannot obey Him too often. This is not to say that there will not be persecution, trials and chastisement for Christians. Walking in the flesh brings chastisement.2 Timothy 3:12: Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
1 Peter 1:7: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
Hebrews 12:6-11: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. 9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? 10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. 11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
Like everyone else, I feel sorry for myself when I am persecuted, in a trial or being chastised. But the Holy Spirit soon produces the joy again.