Excuse me sir, your fruits are showing
One of the things I was known for, sadly, is my temper. Any time something went wrong I was always quick to fly off the handle and raise my voice in anger. While I feel God is still working with me in this, there have been milestones passed. I’m often asked, “How do I know when God is working in my life?” I’d like to give you an example of what happened to me this morning as an answer to that question.
Today started off like any other day, it was a good morning, as far as mornings go. I rested soundly, woke up without any pains, so all things considered it was a good morning. We are currently doing some remodeling of our house, so we have stuff stashed all over the place to keep them safe. One of these things, was one of my favorite pictures which I had placed in our bedroom to keep it safe from the dogs. We have four dogs, and when they get wound up there’s simply no stopping them nor the havoc they wreak.
One of our smaller dogs jumped on to our bed with a tennis ball, which is one of her favorite toys. I took it from her, and handed it to my wife so that she could toss the ball. And of course, since my wife is not a MLB pitcher, the ball went straight into my favorite picture. The glass shattered everywhere, with no chance of saving the picture.
My wife has been with me for 24 years now, I’m sure that she was waiting to hear me start screaming and seeing the anger rise within me. However, this morning was quite different. I simply very calmly, without saying a word, went over and started picking up the broken glass from our carpet. Not a single word of anger did I utter as I removed the broken picture from our bedroom and took it outside to be thrown away.
A little while after that, as I went into the bathroom to finish getting ready for the day, and my wife accidentally poked me in the eye with her hair brush as I was passing her. I bent over in pain, after all one of the last things you want in your eye is a hairbrush. I’m sure that once again she was waiting for the verbal tirade to ensue. But I said nothing, no angry words left my mouth.
The book of James tells us in chapter 3 verse 8:
“but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison”
So how was it that I was able to shut my mouth this morning, instead of releasing a stream of vile words? It’s pretty simple, it wasn’t me, it was the Holy Spirit within me. You see, the more time that you spend with someone, the more like them you become. And since I spend a lot of time with my Father in heaven, the more like Jesus I become. The closer I get with God, the more evident it becomes in the fruits my life produces. In Galations 5:22-23 we see those fruits:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
So to answer the question of “how do I know God is working in my life” I’d say, what fruits are you producing? Are you lashing out in anger, or are you holding your tongue in self-control?
God is still working His mighty work within me and I still mess things up. But, I know that He is molding me and it’s up to me to want to be molded. I have to surrender it to Him, and let Him change my heart. And sometimes it’s hard to do that, let’s just be honest. But the truth is, true happiness lies in letting Him do His work in our hearts on a daily basis.
Surrender to Him, and let the fruits of your life change your world.