There is and always should be a relationship between the fruits of Holy Spirit and the gifts of Holy Spirit.
For the body of Christ, we know that Paul said we should desire the gifts but that we should pursue love.
1 Corinthians 14:1 (AMPC)
14 Eagerly pursue and seek to acquire [this] love [make it your aim, your great quest]; and earnestly desire and cultivate the spiritual endowments (gifts), especially that you may prophesy (interpret the divine will and purpose in inspired preaching and teaching).
We must as the body of Christ be ever vigilant in creating, growing and maintaining a culture of honor and love if we want to see greater outpourings of the gifts of Holy Spirit and the glory of God inhabiting our personal lives and corporate settings of church services.
Those who believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit have always had inclinations to believe that expression of certain behaviors or demonstration of specific gifts that may seem odd to non-charismatic church goers are evidence that the Holy Spirit is at work.
As a personal believer in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, I would agree that the gifts are definitely an outward sign that the Holy Spirit is present and serves as evidence of visitation by the Holy Spirit and an outpouring of God’s love and goodness.
In fact, I have an increasing zeal and hunger to see these gifts manifested with greater intensity and to see God’s spirit poured out more in an effort to experience greater measures of His love and glory!
In measuring the movements of God in the church, this however, is what I like to think of as a “short interval” measuring rod of the presence of the Holy Spirit.
In other words, the gifts and manifestations are something we may experience ongoing, frequently and very open and publicly.
There is also a more subtle and often sidestepped and certainly left out of the spotlight yardstick by which we must also measure the presence and outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
This measuring rod is the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
Galatians 5:22-23 (AMPC)
22 But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness,
23 Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge].
In truth if we want to see greater legitimate measures of the former, we must position ourselves in a place of humility and allow the latter to be birthed in us understanding that we cannot produce them in of ourselves – to be completed in us it has to be birthed by the Holy Spirit.
As pastors, it is ever so important to keep a watchful eye that these essential fruits are present, thriving and abundant in the church and not see them as merely an individual checklist for believers to take care of on their own.
If we don’t see the evidence of these fruits both individually and corporately, as both the body of Christ and as leaders we should be alarmed.
In fact, I believe personally that one of the quickest ways to see the manifestations and expressions of the gifts disappear is to neglect pursuit of the fruit of the Spirit.
Fruit is an interesting thing. It grows on a tree or a bush that is plentiful. Fruit generally serves two main purposes:
- To reproduce the life inside of it, allowing for a greater expansion of the species of fruit.
- To be a source of food to others, selflessly giving its body to be consumed for the benefit and health of another.
As I ponder that, it makes me immediately think of Jesus and what he did for us:
He gave himself to be a source of life for us, going to the cross selflessly giving his body for our benefit and health.
Then he also put the seed of His life inside of us, so that we could go forth sharing that seed, casting it onto good ground in order to produce more fruit.
It is wonderful to explore the vast and great qualities and facets of God and how they all work together to bring forth his will and his kingdom through partnership with us.
We have to as believers not allow ourselves to become singularly focused or confined to carnal or more importantly religious thinking in our pursuits of God, but to be stretched to have the mind of Christ.
The four creatures and angels in the throne room constantly cry Holy is the Lord God almighty as they receive fresh and new revelation of the attributes and character of God and His holiness, righteousness, love, goodness and justice.
As His beloved, we must resist the urge to camp around a movement, a gift, doctrine or singular revelation.
We must be free and fluid to the ongoing and fresh revelations Holy Spirit wants to give us about the truths of Jesus Christ.
Like fresh manna, we need continuous fresh and new revelation of the heart of God what He is doing and how we are a part of that.
We have to continue to open ourselves to have freedom for even greater depths of wisdom, understanding, revelation and relationship daily.
Ultimately we want to embrace completeness of what God wants to accomplish in and through us.
All of these things are designed to work together for a greater relationship with God and with each other.
We must be vigilant and watchful that we not neglectful in embracing and pursuing ALL that God has for us.
I will leave you with this final thought:
Romans 8:28 (AMPC)
28 We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.
When Paul wrote this, I believe he was not merely referring to unpleasant circumstances that we may not understand in their present time.
When we look at the much larger picture, we have to understand that everything God is giving us, teaching us and instructing us about ultimately works together, hand in hand according to HIS design and purpose.
All the smaller things are working towards a much larger endeavor and we cannot lose sight of that larger picture by only seeing a very small part of it and holding to that singular part.
Be it the gifts, fruits of the Spirit, callings, anointing or the many other things which could be named, we must endeavor to see and embrace all things that God wants to give us together for His kingdoms sake.