(excerpt from Desperate Dependency by J. Kirk & Melanie D. Lewis)
MAMA PAID A friendly visit to her hairstylist, and little Johnny Kirk discovered an inspiring plastic astronaut buried in the sand outside under an oak tree. Knowing the evil desires of my heart, Mama admonished me to not take the astronaut from its space. But from my point of view the astronaut had a mission to complete: he must explore the deep recesses of my pocket. When confronted by my mother, I continued in my innovative solutions and lied to cover my expedition. I saw the astronaut as a satisfaction of my aspiration to escape the gravitational pull of boredom and be a part of the space race. Creativity ignited as I contrived further explanations to cover my transgression, but ultimately the truth was exposed and I had to face the consequences of my ill-fated mission. Once again I was grounded.
Our efforts to control our lives produce undesirable results. But still we attempt to counterfeit God’s design for our lives through our own efforts. With tenacity we persist in demanding that our way must work. And so we continue to counterfeit the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Deceived, we believe the fruit of the Spirit is merely the best side of humanity. If we try hard enough we can manufacture this fruit consistently in our lives. But living a life that is desperately dependent on Christ necessitates yielding to His Spirit’s movement as we cease endeavoring to produce our own fruit. We are incapable of producing His fruit on our own vines; we can only produce His fruit as we are grafted into His vine.
In Galatians 5:22–23 (NLT) God assures us, “The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” if we “follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives” (Gal. 5:25 NLT). This fruit completes His portrait in our lives so the watching world can see a glimpse of Christ. But in our desire for independence, we attempt to counterfeit God’s fruit with our own design.
Despite our best efforts, our plans cannot measure up to God’s design. Our feeble attempts to live independently from God result in disastrous consequences. Perversion propels us to further crisis, although God continues to assert His truth that we must be desperately dependent on Him in every area of our lives. Through Christ’s redemptive process we have a new set of options that can overcome guilt, shame, and fear with an overflow of His love, joy, and peace if we are willing to be desperately dependent.
What do you need to let go of so the Holy Spirit’s fruit can be evidenced in your life?