"But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives HE WILL PRODUCE this kind of fruit in us; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control....Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to His cross and crucified them there. If we are living now by the Holy Spirit, let us follow the Holy Spirit's leading in every part of our lives." Galatians 5:23-25....."If the Holy Spirit abides within me, than a river of His Life must flow out of me." James Robison
Somewhere in my prayer journals, I have written down a question in response to what Paul writes above. I ask myself the question, "What flows out out of my heart; love, joy, peace, and the rest of what Paul lists, or anger, bitterness, resentment, unforgiveness, and attitudes that find their place in the darkness? It's amazing how deeply the latter can lurk in our hearts, all the while remaining hidden......until something or someone comes along to trigger their rise. Such happened to me not very long ago.
Some things I had been troubled over, aggravated with had been stewing in my mind and spirit for most of the week. They were not welcome, but they were there nonetheless. More, as we so often do, I was rationalizing their presence much more than I was offended by them in my spirit. Then, that triggering I spoke of took place, and I was shocked by the intensity of the rage that spewed out of my heart. I was also shamed. Then I was broken. It was not the fruit of His Spirit that was flowing out of me, but of my flesh. I had no excuse. The river of His Holy Spirit, as the chorus says, brings life and refreshment wherever it goes.
It was not life and refreshment that was flowing out from within, but darkness and death. It had lain hidden until that moment, and then it burst out. That was ugly, but here's the beauty. When such happens to us, and at some point it will for us all, His grace and Presence will, when we recognize and repent of a bitter bile that flows out of us, burst in. And it cleanses and makes us whole. The River of His Life will again flow out of us.
So how then do we, as we walk in the midst of a world and enemy that works through it, "live in the Spirit" as Paul exhorts? I think it begins with the knowledge that in ourselves, we can't. In this knowledge, we then come to His cross, surrender to it, and upon it, die to ourselves. This is our lifestyle, and as we live in His Spirit, we are led of Him, searched by Him, and empowered by Him. He then produces the fruit of His Spirit, and part of that process is to expose whatever rotten fruit might be lurking in our hearts. Secondly, we walk in brokenness before not only our God, but before men. Sometimes it's the latter that is the most difficult. Admitting our lack to Him is one thing. Admitting it to our peers is something altogether different. Pride can hide out in the most unlikely places. Last, we live lives that are a transparent witness. It is not just what we say, and even how we live, but to Whom our lives point to. Too often we like to point to ourselves. How much of our witness really points to Him....and Him alone? The Father does not need us standing with Him on the throne. That place is for Christ alone.
So, if the Holy Spirit does abide within you and me today, what, according to Robison's statement, is flowing out of us? What might be lurking within us, hidden for the moment, but only waiting its chance to break out? It will. Will we, at that place, humble ourselves, seek His face, and in brokenness before Him, allow Him to break through to us? The mixture in our hearts made pure by His Spirit. The river of His Life flows freely, within and out of us. Some type of river will flow out of us. Will it be His?