It is a great help as we drive our cars to be able to tell how fast we are going, how far we have gone on our trip, and how much gasoline is still in our tanks. The gauges that register this information are a very great help to us.
The Lord gives us gauges in His Word that help us measure where we are in our walk as Christians. Several are very helpful with our marriages and other relationships.
One of my favorites is the list of “Fruits of the Spirit” in Galatians 5:22-23. “The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.”(NLT) I noticed that this group can be divided into three sets of three.
We can use the first three “love, joy, and peace,” as a thermostat of our relationship with the Lord. If we are at rest in Him, we will continually experience these in our lives. If love seems distant, it is because we are not drawing from His storehouse in our hearts. When we focus on Him, our joy level will be high. Philippians 4 lets us know that when our joy is running over, His peace will surround us as well. He tells us in the Gospel of John that these are His gifts to us.
The second three, “patience, kindness, and goodness” help us measure our interactions with other people. The spirit strong in us will develop these gifts so that we can be patient when our flesh would want to be agitated. His life working in us will enable us to always speak and act kindly to our spouse and everyone else. Our motive will be to be good to everyone, just as our Father is good to us.
The final three, “faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control”, make us aware of His hand on the reins of our souls. We are required to discipline ourselves by the standard of the Word. This grid is perfect for that. “Am I faithful? Am I being gentle in word and deed? Am I disciplining myself to represent Jesus?” If we measure ourselves by these questions, we will become more and more ruled by His Spirit.
By Carol Gordon, Heartmenders International