The third test of the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives is whether the fruits of the Spirit are developing, coming to ripeness. These fruits differ from the gifts in that they are qualities of personality which mirror integrity, while the gifts are abilities which enhance our service.
The fruits of the Spirit prove our claim to the gifts of the Spirit. Without these qualities of goodness, our works are meaningless. Without love, our oration is like empty gongs clanging, our kindness is ashes, our doing hypocritical. The fruits are a measure of the validity of our service.
These then are three ways we can identify the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Is there an inward certainty that He is present? Are we seeing demonstrations, of surprising super natural abilities in serving others? Is an inner harmony developing, a wholeness in our persons?
It is tremendously important not to limit the filling of the Spirit to only one occasion. He is not static, but (to employ an overused term) He is existential, or of this moment. He comes again and again with His gifts and His fruits to renew our strength and to gratify our needs.
When, we minister to the world, He ministers to us. I have come to learn how important it is to sit in silence before my Maker. The time for words and pleas and explanations is over. The Word has been studied and now the pages are shut.
Now to listen. Now to keep one’s mind fixed on Him. Now to be silent. Often when I leave these times of contemplation I am filled with His Presence, and filled again and again. The more we learn the discipline of yieldedness, the more we understand the meaning of dependence, the more we experience of Him.
For decades, Karen Mains and her husband, David, have served God through religious communications—radio, television, and print publication. The are the co-authors of the Kingdom Tales Trilogy: Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance, and Tales of the Restoration. To find many valuable resources for pastors and churches at the Mainstay Ministries main website, please click here.
Karen has long had an interest in Christian hospitality and is the author of the best-selling book, Open Heart, Open Home.
An award-winning author of several other books, Karen continues to write content for her Christian blog, “Thoughts-by-Karen-Mains.” In so doing, she desires to touch the lives of Christian women and men and help them find ways to walk closer with the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, through silent retreats, spiritual teaching, women’s retreats, Christian vacation opportunities, and other ministry activities, Karen helps each Christian woman and man receive vital spiritual food.
Through her Hungry Souls ministry, Karen serves as a spiritual coach to many Christian women and men, and teaches a mentor-writing class. And, through the Global Bag Project, she is working to develop a network of African women who sew exquisite cloth reusable shopping bags. This micro-finance women opportunity helps provide a much-needed sustainable income for struggling African families. For more information on this critically important project, please click here.
In addition, pastors will find special resources to help them create effective, life-transforming Sunday sermons by visiting David Mains’ website by clicking here.