Book Excerpt, “Sure I Speak in Tongues” (Doesn’t Everybody?) Chapter Eight – The Fruit of the Spirit


Chapter Eight

The Fruit of the Spirit

For years and years people have spoken of the fruit of the spirit as if it actually referred to the fruit of good works. There’s certainly nothing wrong with good works, in fact the reason you have the spirit from God is so that you can perform good works. Or, I might say perform the best works! I believe the confusion comes from another verse of scripture that uses this same phrase. The verse says:

(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Ephesians 5:9

As it’s stated here it certainly would lead you to believe that the fruit of the spirit comes from goodness, righteousness and truth. However, the word for “spirit” in the text is actually the word for light. It’s the fruit of the light we are talking about here. This is simple to research for yourself or by even looking at other versions of the Bible. But here in the book of Galatians, the fruit of the spirit refers to the end result of cultivating your spirit. In order for anything to produce fruit it must first be cultivated. If you decide to plant yourself an apple tree, there are some steps you have to perform before you can actually enjoy the fruit. First you have to plant your tree in good ground. You have to prepare the ground and you can’t just plant the thing anywhere! After you’ve planted it, you have to care for it on a consistent basis, day after day. If you neglect it for a period of time, it may still produce some fruit, but the process will be hindered. However, if you diligently care for your tree, providing the best nutrients and water, eventually it is going to produce some fruit. And, you already know that the fruit doesn’t just show up overnight. That would be very nice, but it just doesn’t work that way. You have to continue with your care of the tree until the fruit appears. Even then, there’s a maturing that takes place before the fruit tree really kicks into high gear producing more fruit than you can handle. At that point, you have to find some friends and neighbors with which to share your bountiful crop. Pretty soon you become known in the neighborhood for your abundant apple crop!

The holy spirit living inside you follows the same process, with one exception. No matter how much you neglect your gift, it is never going to die off. It will just continue to be dormant until you start to provide it with the required care. God’s seed in you, like any fruit yielding tree, has contained within it all that you will ever need to produce the fruit. Therefore, your job is to cultivate your seed. You cultivate fruit by utilizing the manifestations of holy spirit, namely speaking in tongues. Speaking in tongues, day by day, builds up your spirit and at a certain point begins to produce fruit in your life. However, the fruit produced isn’t limited to apples or pears. The fruit of the spirit is everything you have ever yearned for in your life. It represents the most important things for a human being, necessary to thrive and to flourish! And, it can all be yours by making the decision to manifest the gift inside you. How incredibly simple and misunderstood this is in our world. By confusing the fruit of the spirit with the fruit of good works, people think they must somehow become good enough before God will bless them with these fantastic realities. God does not bless you because of how good you are. God blesses you when you decide to believe Him. When you finally get around to believing Him, you begin to do exactly what He tells you to do and you stop doing everything the world is always telling you to do. It is impossible for you to ever earn God’s blessings in your life! How good could you ever become? I have spent some time traversing that slippery slope, and trust me when I tell you, it is a painful, losing endeavor! You are not going to arrive at some place of ‘nirvana’ whereby you always do what you are supposed to do. You have the nature of sin in your blood. No matter how disciplined, how faithful, how sincere you are in your personal efforts to earn God’s goodness, you will never, ever, ever arrive at that place. Instead, like most of the “earn your blessings” folks, your end result will be nothing but condemnation and pain, coupled with critical judgment of yourself first and then other people. Your heart will become hard and calloused because the backstory to that behavior isn’t God convicting you of sin, but rather the adversary’s accusation being permitted to hold a place in your life. While you are feeling so religious and righteous, you will be completely off track from God and His love for you.  That influence controlling your life, and if you are honest, making you feel miserable, isn’t from God.

The things of God are always freely given to you when you believe, end of story! If you have ever felt the sting of condemnation and guilt, then you know it is not a motivator for your good. It is the exact opposite. It just beats you down and takes away your confidence (believing) in God. What you need from God is His forgiveness and guaranteed assurance that He has made you who you are and that by your own self you can do nothing! Understanding that finally liberates you from sin, which is the point of the whole book of Romans.[1] You are now, because of what God has done for you, free to love; free to give; free to serve. You are completely, completely, completely set free by God because of the accomplishments of His son for your life. Your response? Speak in tongues abundantly which is described as “giving thanks well!”[2]

As you speak in tongues faithfully, day by day, as God’s liberated person, you are cultivating the fruit of the spirit into your life. When the fruit shows up is God’s business. Your business is to faithfully cultivate the fruit. So, what is the fruit of the spirit?

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

Another way to say this is, what is the result of faithfully manifesting the gift? You get to enjoy your fruit! It is important to recognize that these fruit are an end result. They are not something you work hard to do; they are something that God blesses you with for acting on what He said to act on! This is a crucially important distinction! These fruit are a blessing from God to be enjoyed, not requirements for your behavior. For example, if you experiencing the love of God as a part of the fruit of the spirit, you will naturally share that indescribable love with other people. It will be there for you as a cultivated fruit. It is not a behavior you must strive to earn; it is a fruit you get to enjoy. Are you beginning to see how awesome this really is? This is your access point to the sweetest things in life. Your only requirement, if you want to use that word, is to enjoy and share your abundance of fruit. The peace of God that passes all human understanding, can be yours as a cultivated fruit. In that sublime experience of God’s peace, you will find that you really don’t need anything else in life to make you happy. You will be totally and completely at rest on the inside. How many people have even experienced this once in their lives? Well, here it is and it is yours for the taking. Speak in tongues much in your private prayer life!

You may have noticed that there are nine fruit of the spirit listed in Galatians. They are listed in the singular. In other words, the nine aspects are all part of one fruit, like a cluster of grapes. The fruit, like the nine manifestations, are placed where they are for a specific purpose. Also, like the manifestations, they are packaged in three groups of three. Within the three clusters, they follow a distinct pattern. The pattern is 1.) activates, 2.) encourages, 3.) guards. The first in the pattern activates you. It is a starting point which motivates you (internally) to act. The experience of love, for example, motivates you to take action. All loving is giving.[3] In that wonderful love, you will have a burning zeal to do things for other people. No-one will have to motivate you to do it. You will already ardently want to do it!

The next in the pattern encourages you. In a sense it inspires you to continue in something. When you feel encouraged, you persist in your endeavor because of your encouragement. The experience of joy, for example, provides you the encouragement you need to see something through no matter how hard it may be to do. Jesus, for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame and is now set down at the right hand of the throne of God (triumphant)![4] Joy is something that occurs on the inside. There are many things that may make us happy, like pleasant circumstances, but joy transcends all outside conditions and is something that takes place within us. The result of walking in the light, remaining in fellowship with God, produces fullness of joy.[5] We are encouraged to continue in the light because of how wonderful the experience of joy is to our souls.

The third in the pattern, that which completes the cycle, is that which guards you or guards the results. John 10:10 states that the thief (the enemy) comes not but for to steal and to kill and to destroy.[6] Your adversary has no other function other than his three-fold ministry mentioned here. Once you have gotten born again, he can no longer destroy you as you have received the gift of eternal life. However, he can still destroy the rewards you may have received had you chosen to walk by the spirit in your life.  In similar fashion, he cannot ultimately kill you as you will get up one day when the Lord returns, even if your life ended prematurely by one of his devices. Thus his primary mission against the believer will always be to steal something from you. He steals away your happiness. He steals your energy and your enthusiasm for life. He steals God’s blessings from you by getting you caught up into wrong doctrines and wrong beliefs. He steals your confidence in God which in turn defeats your believing; with your believing being the only way to overcome his attacks and manifest the more than abundant life. And, the adversary is very good at stealing! In order to receive the things of God, it is necessary for you to guard the results. You have to guard against his devices which seek to talk you out of the truth before you get the results. Thus, peace is an example of a guarding fruit. In the Bible, the peace of God is that which informs you if you are on track. When you feel peaceful about a decision, you can be assured your decision is right on. However, if you feel troubled about something, the agitation you are experiencing serves as an indicator that something is amiss; something needs to be changed or dealt with properly. In this way peace serves as the umpire of your heart. If peace rules (umpires) you are safe! If peace doesn’t rule (umpire) you are out![7] Often you may feel anxiety (fear) about something. God tells you not to be anxious about anything.[8] The agitating feeling of being anxious simply informs your mind, not that you must prepare for something dreadful, but rather that you need to do something with your thoughts. You need to change your thoughts about the situation. You’ll know that you have been successful when your peace returns. This is how the peace of God guards your heart. When at peace you can rest assured that your believing is right on with God’s Word and that you can continue looking forward to a good result. However, if you persist in your anxiety and your fear, the end result is always loss in some capacity. The loss you suffer, which is the adversary stealing from you, came about because you did not successfully guard the result you were after. Thus peace functions as a fruit that guards your results. The nine fruit of the spirit, in their respective groups of three, all follow this pattern.

  1. Love – activates you to do something.
  2. Joy – encourages you to persist in something.
  3. Peace – guards the results that you are after.
  1. Longsuffering (patience) – activates you to do something.
  2. Gentleness (kindness) – encourages you to persist in something.
  3. Goodness (being upright in heart) – guards the results you are after.
  1. Faith (believing) – activates you to do something.
  2. Meekness – encourages you to persist in something.
  3. Temperance (self-control) guards the results you are after.

Pretty fantastic, wouldn’t you say? These fruit are all available to you as you cultivate the gift by speaking in tongues much in your private prayer life. You have the opportunity to have these treasures by one simple act of believing on your part. You don’t have to work hard to finally feel God’s love, you simply receive it as a result. You have no requirement to roughly discipline yourself to gain self-control, you receive it easily as a fruit. You don’t have to pray for more patience to help people, you can just use the ability after receiving your fruit. Can you see how revolutionary this is for you? By believing God and faithfully persisting in speaking in tongues, these fantastic qualities just show up in your life. Oh the depth of the wisdom of God! He already knows how hard you’re trying and He made a better, far easier way for you to receive.

The fruit of the spirit have been referred to as the mark of quality in your life. If you want to measure your progress as a believing believer, all you have to do is tally up how many of these blessings you are enjoying in your life. This certainly isn’t a competition with other believers, but rather a gauge for you to determine if you are doing it right. I think you would have to agree that if you were experiencing even one aspect of the fruit listed in Galatians, it would be well worth the price of admission! My prayer is that someday you will finally recognize that the source of all goodness and blessing in your life is God and that God is good only, at all times and in every situation! Once this reality finally dawns on you, I know that you will have, once and for all, let go of all of your own good works and decided rather to freely accept all that God has freely given to you. Speak in tongues like a house-a-fire! You’ll thank me (and God mostly) when your fruit appears and then it is yours to enjoy fully!

[1] Romans 6:22

[2] 1st Corinthians 14:17

[3] John 3:16

[4] Hebrews 12:2

[5] 1st John 1:4-7

[6] John 10:10

[7] Colossians 3:15

[8] Philippians 4:6

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Sure I Speak in Tongues, Doesn’t Everybody?


speaking-tongues-700pxWhat I’m about to share with you may sound like the weirdest thing on earth. Speaking in tongues is so, so misunderstood. (Try Googling it) In fact, the world has done a bang up job of convincing people that it is freaky and a thing you should avoid at all costs. But, in reality it is just the greatest thing ever with the ability to completely and totally transform your life. Let me explain…

When believers were first born again on the day of Pentecost, they believed and received holy spirit on the inside. The spirit came with 9 evidences or operations contained within it. One of those 9 fantastic abilities is called speaking in tongues. Immediately after receiving the gift of holy spirit, the newly born again believers spoke in tongues. Basically, speaking in tongues is the God-given ability to speak in a language you don’t understand. It’s purpose is to give you a lever in prayer that totally bypasses your understanding. Many, many of your issues and problems in life come from not knowing what to pray for or said another way, what is the spiritual cause of your problem. Speaking in tongues was designed to cover those needs by the ability to pray perfectly, absent any selfishness or senses reasonings. Now, if I lost you already, I’m happy to explain in much greater detail in another setting, if you really want to know. But, going forward I want to address those believers who know how to speak in tongues and tell them why they should be motivated to speak in tongues abundantly, day and night, forever! 😉

Recently I came across a fellow believer on Facebook, who was in the process of identifying 150 reasons to speak in tongues from the Bible. The idea intrigued me because I had always been taught there were 10-12 reasons. No-one ever said they were the only benefits, but I assumed it was so. So, I started reading and researching the reasons. Wow, what a mind-blowing experience! I realized so lucidly that speaking in tongues was God’s gracious solution for so many of the things that plagued me or diminished my life.  Living on this earth, we all have a spiritual enemy working behind the scenes to thwart and retard our efforts. But, and it is a big but, he is a spiritual entity and as such hidden from our senses mind and ability to see him in action. Without God’s spirit and the ability to use the 9 manifestations, we would not stand a chance. (Enter the absolute misery that plagues the world!) Speaking in tongues, one of the 9 operations, is the only one we can operate whenever we want unlike for example, revelation, which God gives at His prerogative as the need requires. Now here is where it gets very interesting…

Speaking in tongues builds us up on the inside; that I already knew. But, I assumed it built up my spirit and ended there. Further, I was taught that my mind is built up by God’s Word, which is unequivocally true as well. However, there is a distinct carryover from spirit to my mind. Imagine, if my spirit was built up, since I cannot feel spirit, how would I ever know? But like all of the manifestations, it also works with my mind. The spiritual darkness that engulfs the world takes away our joy and happiness by assaulting us with negativity and drama. Speaking in tongues clears the path, so to speak and absent the hindrances, I feel freaking fantastic.

Here’s another example. Speaking in tongues gives rest to our soul. Have you ever felt weary and worn out? Speaking in tongues serves as a refresher to your soul. My spirit doesn’t need refreshing because it is perfect and never tired. However, my soul does need refreshing and rest. Speaking in tongues provides that for me. My soul is what makes me, me and it is not my spirit. My soul needs rest. Are you starting to see what I’m getting at?

Speaking in tongues quickens or makes alive my mortal body. How many times has your old body not been responding as you would like? How often is your body bothered by the things that are going wrong? Speaking in tongues brings life to your flesh and no amount of eating healthy or exercise, though necessary, can do more for you than God can. Do you hear what I’m saying?

Speaking in tongues offers you the opportunity to pray for things you need, that you have absolutely no clue that you need. God calls it our greatest weakness. So when you speak in tongues for yourself or for the people you love, God fills in the real needs by your decision to speak in tongues. It is trusting in God with all your heart and leaning not to your own understanding. That’s when all things work together for good, as the good book says.

The Bible says God has not given us the spirit of fear but (a spirit of) power and of love and a sound mind! The power doesn’t reside in your head, it resides in your spirit. Your spirit, built up and edified, comes alive with the power you need to overcome any crap the enemy is throwing at you! Any crap, anything, any problem, any… It also comes with love and a sound mind, experienced and evidenced in your heart. It’s like a love super-booster, pouring out from you like a river of pure sweetness. It’s a profound ability to understand spiritual things and finally, for once in your life, understand what the hell is really going on!

Like anything you actively cultivate, it has fruit attached. The fruit doesn’t show up right away, just like apples, but before you know it you starting seeing and experiencing the fruit. Guess what the Bible says the fruit are? Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, meekness, temperance (self-control), believing. Believing is how you can get things from God and you have the ability to cultivate more of it as a fruit. You want more love? Speak in tongues much. You want the peace that passes understanding? Speak in tongues much. You want to be more meek or teachable? Speak in tongues much. You need more self-control? (And who doesn’t?) Speak in tongues much. Our lack of self-control, is often influenced by the dark side of seduction and when you speak in tongues much it builds you up and removes the sticky attachments. Suddenly you are finally able to get in control of yourself!

It is so, so big people! It is one of God’s perfect solutions for you and once you learn how, you can do it as often as you want. Inspired by my learning, I’ve been going to the limits with it, speaking in tongues much, all throughout the day, when I can. (It doesn’t replace my responsibilities like work – smile) So, I can testify, it is drastically changing my experience of life. In fact, I think I’m tasting some heavenly fruit. But hey, don’t trust me, try it out for yourself!

If you know how to do it, do it abundantly. If you don’t know how to do it, reach out and I will help you get there. It’s not freaky my friends, it’s part of God’s perfection…

Sure I speak in tongues, doesn’t everybody?

Just some good thoughts…

 

The Elusive Quiet Mind…


imagesThe world lives and moves amidst a persistent and pervasive low-level anxiety that permeates every thought, every action and almost every decision. You have been living with “it” for so long that “it’s” hardly recognizable. It’s sort of like this hidden specter in the background of your life, quietly, secretly whispering, ever whispering “trouble is coming” “trouble is coming…” When it first appeared, when you were a child, you recognized it as an aberration and did whatever you could to escape it. But then, as you got older, it happened so regularly that it no longer seemed unusual. In fact, you got so habituated to it, you gave up all hope of ever having a quiet mind again. You can’t concentrate; cannot sleep; need prescription meds, drugs and copious amounts of alcohol just to make it through the day. What the hell ever happened to your elusive quiet mind?

I’ll tell you what happened to it! Someone stole it from you. You had it at one time. But, as you got older it sort of dwindled away. You didn’t see it making an exit, you only experienced what it felt like after it was gone. Here’s a macabre thought, you never see the good things being taken away until it’s almost too late and you can apply that to unlimited situations. You can’t detect it because of its subtlety. All error works that way. No one grows up dreaming of being a junkie or a prostitute. They just get swept up and away to a strange land located who knows where.

So, here’s the rub… It’s your mind, quiet or restless. Your mind produces or replicates your own thoughts. You think and therefore you are. All throughout the day you are thinking and processing and feeling. You are doing it almost subconsciously, but make no mistake you are doing it. And, if you are like most folks, you are receiving a plethora of information every day. It’s like you are laying in a hospital bed hooked up to an IV of cable television, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the rest of the Internet. Info, info, info, feed, feed, feed! All of that ‘so necessary’ information going in and taking root. Snippets of scary health information, fearful predictions, hatred, division, greed and a vast army of endless negative possibilities. All going in; all upsetting; all producing non-specific feelings of anxiety. And you wonder what happened to your quiet mind?

There was a time when people didn’t have access to so much information. There was a time when everyone didn’t know everything that is going on in the world. But that time is no more, so you have to do something to protect yourself. You wouldn’t think of eating poisonous food or drinking arsenic, yet give little thought to the daily onslaught of deadly toxic thoughts that are entering your noggin.

Worse than the external environment is the things you say to yourself on the inside. You being the only you, you have got, it seems you should always be on your own side! But instead, you say all manner of insults and think nothing of it. And, at the top of the list is that whole, “I’m not worthy thing!” Feeling unworthy and guilty is the precursor to anxiety. You know why? Because anxiety literally means divided and when you aren’t okay with you, you are most divided. You have got to come to terms with that right away quick, pronto! If you want to measure yourself accurately, know this ~ we are all unworthy in its truest sense. Who exactly is good enough for this life? No-one that’s who! So give yourself a break and stop vomiting on yourself! All that “I don’t deserve good things” nonsense serves only one purpose. To make you better? Hell no! To divide you against yourself and to defeat you before you ever get started!

So, how might someone like yourself get your quiet mind back? Well, here’s the shortlist:

1. Take control over the things that you are allowing into your mind.

2. Control your thinking and stop entertaining thoughts of fear and defeat. (They only gain power over you when you entertain them!)

3. When an agitating thought shows up, take the time to resolve it in your mind. Refuse it. Say it aint so! Challenge it (don’t argue with it!)

4. Practice being quiet. Quiet down, settle down, pursue peace like your life depends upon it.

5. Stop accepting anxiety as a normal part of life. Fear is not natural or normal no matter how long it has been going on. Your true natural state is one who is at rest, like you were when you were 7.

6. Begin to recognize triggers and sources of unrest. Then, find ways to avoid them. Unrest is ALWAYS a sign that something is not right. (Let the peace of God rule [umpire] in your heart..)

7. Stop verbalizing negatives and complaints. By verbalizing you are simply strengthening the things you do not want. Complaining just confirms your victim status and you are NOT a victim!

8. Take the time to learn about God and His ways. Be honest with yourself and recognize that you are afraid of life and NEED some assistance figuring this thing out. Caution ~ don’t pursue religion because it derives control from your fears!

Your quiet mind is not as elusive as you think. It is already there waiting for you to take back control and get back the booty that was stolen from you. The God of all peace wants you to be peaceful. However, you aren’t ever going to find it if you continue mindlessly trudging down all of the same paths you walked before. Instead of running from that specter promising you trouble,  listen for the true voice saying, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ~ Psssst “This is the way; walk ye in it.” There is just no other way my friends… Be quiet.

Just some good peaceful thoughts…