22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Gal 5:22-23
These verses in Galatians 5 give us a list of 9 fruit that are produced by the Holy Spirit in our lives. In 1 Cor 12:8-10 there are listed 9 gifts of the Holy Spirit, known as charismata. In our developed and instant culture, it might be easier to identify with the gifts more than the fruit. The gifts are instant and charismatic and look very impressive. They are amazing when on display and God changes lives through them. Superb! But it is prudent to pursue the fruit of the Spirit with patience and primacy. The gifts function like popcorn in a microwave whenever the Holy Spirit decides to put them on display. The fruit are like a marinaded stew in a slow cooker. The Holy Spirit works them and grows them in us over time. One of them is patience. Can you imagine how God will grow that in you? That’s right, by putting you in situations that require patience and endurance. And the rest are similar.
Your ultimate test of humility and maturity in God is your approach and maturity in the fruit and gifts of the Holy Spirit. Pursue first and foremost to be strong in the fruit. Allow God to grow and mature these in your life. If you must be known for anything, be known for these first. As you grow in the fruit of the Spirit, being used by Him in the gifts becomes all that much more effective leading to long-lasting fruit in others. Let love for all people be your number one mark! Cultivate a deep-seated joy that is at heart level and independent of what’s happening around you. Let your heart be full of the peace of God that starts by being at peace with God. And so the list goes. Remember, good fruit is as a result of cultivation, watering and generally nurturing. God bless you as you pursue that fruit that remains.