But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness (Galatians 5:22, ESV)
Faithfulness is one of the “fruit of the Spirit”. We often hear about love, joy, peace but there is more. The word “fruit” here is figurative language to describe our character. It is always important to identify figurative language in scripture so that you can relate the natural and the spiritual to grasp the sense of what God is saying fully.
The scripture often uses the idea of a tree to describe human beings. Eg. Jesus is the Tree of life. Trees bear fruit. Figuratively, that means each of us exhibits different character traits or behaviors which are a byproduct of our heart just like a tree bears fruit that is a product of its nature. Fruit describes character.
Fruit of the Spirit means human character, inner disposition or outward actions and words which are the result of the Spirit’s nature and work in us. When the Spirit is at work, and we yield to Him, there is a kind of character or behavior that results. That is why Jesus says by their fruit, you shall know them! The character trait of interest to us today is faithfulness.
In very simple terms, a faithful person is one you can count on to take specific actions. God has called us to be believers, and He expects us to be faithful to that calling, meaning live in accordance to that calling. When God gives you a ministry to preach the Word, He expects faithfulness to that calling. When He entrust money to you to use in a particular way, He expects faithfulness to steward the finances as He directs. That ability to be trustworthy, dependable or reliable is the heart of faithfulness. When the Spirit takes over your life, you will be a faithful sister or brother. In other words, when we walk in the flesh, we are unfaithful and become unreliable! Friends cannot trust us with personal information, or your boss cannot rely on you at work because he is unsure if you will be faithful to the task given to you. Or maybe your husband or wife cannot sleep at night because he or she is unsure what you might be doing next, etc etc.
Whatever the circumstance, unfaithfulness is a manifestation of the flesh and it is a big problem in society today. People are just not reliable.However, when the Spirit takes over and we bear spiritual fruit, even unbelievers will appreciate the faithfulness they see in us. Walking in the Spirit is more than just speaking in tongues or being joyful. It is a manner of life, a pattern of behavior and a kind of character that is a manifestation of the character of the Spirit of God. Well, be faithful, in small or big things committed to you!
What are the different fruit of the Spirit described in Gal. 5:22-23 above?
APPLY THE WORD
Walk in faithfulness. Are you faithful to your calling as a believer in Christ? Are you faithful with the ministry God has given you? What about the finances, marriage or even children you have? Can God depend on you to do what He ordained to be done? What about your friends, family, co-workers, etc? Can they dare count on your faithfulness? Are you reliable and dependable? If the Spirit takes over your life, you will start being faithful, so walk in the Spirit!
Ask the Father to help you cultivate faithfulness as you yield to the leadership of the Spirit.