We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better. Colossians 1:10
We bought a trampoline for our kids for Christmas last year. It came in two, very heavy, very big boxes. When we couldn’t find the instructions anywhere, we decided to just dive in. We made a complete mess of the thing! Nothing fit together properly, there were extra pieces, and it was extremely unstable. I just wasn’t satisfied with the end result, so I looked online for an instruction manual. I found one, and triumphantly printed it out. Once we followed the instructions, the whole thing fell into place and was perfect!
Life is confusing when we try to live it out of our own minds and desires, with no regard to God’s will for us. If we live from our own intentions, we will be ruled by emotions and irrational thoughts instead of wisdom from God. We cannot see the future that He has designed for us, so how can we make rational decisions about it without His guidance? Just like when we tried to put the trampoline together using only common sense and a picture on a box, ultimately it wasn’t what we had imagined. God’s will is the instruction manual for life; it is the way things are meant to look. We must ask for divine wisdom and inspiration so that we are in His will, not ours, for our lives.
How can we please God and produce fruit? We love to walk in our own ways because it comes naturally to us. If we don’t have to live within a boundary of right, wrong, and consequence, then we just do. Our lives won’t bear that fruit of the Spirit, though, if we are not living through the Spirit. Paul writes that we must live our lives with the desire of pleasing God. We must submit our thoughts and desires to Him, just as it tell us in Romans:
For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Romans 8:6-8
Living our lives according to God’s will and submitting ourselves to Him produce the kind of fruit that we need in our lives; love, joy, peace. As we lay ourselves down, we understand Him more. We are exchanging one mind for another. Our will for His will. In that, we become pleasing to the Lord, and we can walk out the freedom and good things that He has for us. When we follow the instructions, we are able to see the finished product as it was designed to be.
Do you make choices based on what you want to do, or what He wants you to do?
Can you see the fruit of the spirit in your life?