There’s a commercial running lately that introduces an add-on you can get for your new car. If some boys egg your new car, if a cop pulls you over, if traffic is too much, all you do is hit a button and The Trunk Monkey comes out of the trunk and makes everything okay. The kids wash your car, the cop relents in giving you a ticket, and traffic moves a lot better… all because of a monkey in your trunk. Only available on certain models. And yes…I want one.
My wife and I attended a conference last week in Atlanta. If I had had the Trunk Monkey, he would have been unleashed several times on the drives down and back. Traffic was horrendous. It would be nice to have an on call traffic fixer available at the push of a button.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
Most Christians I know, including me, have a line that separates them from Jesus. More specifically, we separate our life into two or more sections. We think we need to do this for balance. That’s the word of the year…balance. The truth is, there is no balance…only obedience. When we live a life of obedience there is no need for the line. And when the line is gone people see Jesus instead of us.
I often wonder what it would look like if the complete Fruit of the Spirit was evident in my life at the same time. As I prayed this morning, and confessed that I am at heart a lazy man, I also prayed that Jesus would erase the line that separates me from Him. Then it hit me. I cannot look like Jesus if I do not obey Him. If the complete Fruit of the Spirit was evident in my life at once, I would look like Jesus. That results from obedience.
If you are like me, you want to pull out certain fruit that fits the moment. As I drive to Atlanta, I pray for patience as people pull out in front of me, and I ask for self control so as not to say things I should not say. But then I realize that I am going 80 mph and cannot possibly expect to look like Jesus while I am breaking the law. But there has to be balance so I stop praying for those things so I can drive as fast as I need to.
The Fruit of the Spirit was never meant to be like the buffet at the Golden Coral. We do not choose and pick what we want and leave the others till we need them. Obedience is not an option.
Lose the line!!!