Today I have really been nudged by God to evaluate where I am and who I want to be in Him. I think the thing that I am most afraid of is becoming comfortable or complacent in my walk with God. I don’t want to come to the point where a day is just another day. On the contrary, I want to see every day as an opportunity for living this great adventure in the presence of God. I want my relationship to be vibrant, active and contagious, and I want to always be open to His interruptions.
Although there are certain things I would like to have, like the gifts of organization and hospitality, that is not how God made me. More than anything, I want to be who God created me to be, and I recognize that I cannot become that person without opening my heart completely to the work of the Holy Spirit. I want Him to have total control of my life, that He might transform me to be more like Himself.
Several months ago, I sat down and wrote out a list of characteristics that I prayed God would develop in me. I recently read over the list and decided I wanted to share this list, but also expand it.
I want to be a woman who is:
-Full of the Holy Spirit
-Courageous no matter what life throws at her, choosing to be strong in the knowledge that in the end all pain and fear and sorrow and tears will be vanquished forever
-Transparent about her struggles and weaknesses so that God can speak without hindrance to those around her
-Obedient to God no matter where He takes her or how much she doesn’t like it
-Joyful through the good times and bad
-Patient through uncertainty and suffering
-Victorious in her attitude because God not only has won the victory over evil in the end, but also today. He is stronger than any enemy.
-Passionate about life and loving others
-Connected in every way to God’s heart and how He loves every person in the world. She shows no prejudice or preference but truly sees through God’s eyes.
-Brave to try new things or to work hard at something that does not come naturally
-Content with what she has and who she is created to be
-Drawn to those who are hurting and makes it her life story to show them hope from the One who is our hope
-Perceiving of things that are not as they seem
-Wise in every decision made, every word spoken, and every thought conceived
-Fun and sees the humor in life
-Responsible with every trust given to her
-Trustworthy in promises
-Honest in every way
-Interruptible to respond to the needs of others
-Becoming always more like Jesus AND
-Growing always into the purposes and vision for which God created her
Wow. Now that is the ultimate woman, right? I think most of us would agree that we’d like to be this description, but what an impossible goal! I would agree that this is impossible if we take it upon ourselves to become this woman of integrity.
Let us suppose for a moment that it is possible to display these characteristics. Actually, I know it is possible, because I have known a few people who have. How do we do it? Well, let us shift our focus a little bit.
Galatians 5:22-23a says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”
No doubt we could come close to quoting this from memory (maybe not all of us in order). I used to take this list and one by one set these characteristics as goals to develop in my life. Eventually, I grew frustrated because the more I wanted joy, the harder life became and the more I tried to be patient, the more the irritating things started coming into my day. I was fighting a losing battle.
I then took a much closer look at the verse and saw it said these things are the fruit of the Spirit. It doesn’t say they are the seed of the Spirit. Fruit comes as a result of a tree growing big as it is watered and cared for. We are the tree, dependent on the life-giving water of God to survive. God created us to bear fruit, and the more we tap into God’s living water, the better that fruit will be. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control are a natural result when a relationship with God is active and vibrant. Therefore, our focus is not on the fruit, but on the Spirit who gives the tree life.
Psalm 1:1-3 says:
“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on His law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.”
I want to be like that. I want my delight to be in God. I want to be constantly watered by His streams of life. So many times I have run so hard for so long that I have grown tired and become discouraged. However,the author of Psalm 1 says that a tree that is watered constantly by the streams of life has no withered leaves and produces “fruit” in season, at the exact time that God desires.
Who has God created you to be? What kind of fruit is your life bearing now?
I want to be a woman of integrity. Although I am not there yet, I deeply desire that the characteristics mentioned earlier will define who I am at all times and in all ways. This is only possible by seeking after God with all my heart as I delight myself in Him every day. I pray that the fruit of my life will be rich and life-giving to all those around me. I want to invite others to come over, that they may “taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8a).”
This is who I want to be. As this journey of seeking the heart of God continues, this is my pledge:
“I will sing to the Lord all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
May my meditation be pleasing to him,
as I rejoice in the Lord (Psalm 104:33-34).”