In this week’s Fruits of the Spirit blog, Pastors Warren and Linda Trimble share about the spirit of Goodness. Pastors Warren and Linda Trimble lead Liberty Christian Center Southeast in Winnsboro, Louisiana, and have been supporting Mercy for over 6 years.
The Fruit of the Spirit called Goodness, as stated in Galatians 5:22, is sandwiched between Kindness and Faithfulness. I think it is appropriately placed because of its significance as a call to action of God’s Love. Goodness prevails as the bridge between practicing your love walk (kindness) and actually living out a life of faith (faithfulness). When a Christian is chasing after a higher spiritual life and puts an end to their self-life, a new creation life in the Spirit unfolds. Goodness is defined as the quality of being morally good or virtuous. The Passion Translation in Galatians 5:16 states, “As you yield to the dynamic life and power of the Holy Spirit; you will abandon the cravings of your self-life which is living according to the desires and cravings of the flesh.” I believe Goodness serves as a foundational character trait of a new creation believer who walks by the Spirit.
But the battle of the flesh and the spirit is a spiritual battle. I was often tempted to fight the natural, only to learn later that it would never be a fair fight. It is not a natural fight. I believe the Holy Spirit produces the Fruit of Goodness in us; therefore, I cannot depend on myself to produce the fruit. The instructions in this chapter guide us on this very matter of how to win the battle of the flesh and the spirit. The scripture states, “they are contrary the one to the other: so that you cannot do the things that you would” (Gal. 5:17).
I tried and tried to figure it out but never could on my own. One day, I began to put these instructions in order to see how the Fruit of Goodness, as well as the other eight, could be more prevalent and consistent in my life. These were the isolated instructions that I concluded from the study of Galatians chapter five. The first is that Galatians 5:16 describes our battle as a “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” This means I learned to take one day at a time and to remind myself daily of who I was and what I already have inside of me. The second is, Gal. 5:18 emphatically says, “But if you be led of the Spirit, you are not under the law.” I understand now that I can be led or guided by the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit that lives in me. Lastly, Gal. 5:25 says, “If we Live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” The Spirit of God does not come upon me and leaves later. He comes to live in me.
I remember, as a teenager and new believer, being at a point in my spiritual walk where I really wanted to live a life totally surrendered unto God. However, I did not see how it was possible. One moment I felt that I was committed, then the next moment, I sinned or messed up, and felt bad. I realized that if my spiritual journey was to be lived out day by day, it was not going to be an overnight change. Since that time, I have learned that when I yield to living by the Spirit and the Word of God, that I am no longer bound and judged by the law. I found out that what I was experiencing was not condemnation, but personal conviction because I was allowing the flesh to override my spirit. What I did not know, was that the Fruit of the Spirit not only allowed me to operate in the total capacity of divine love but also equipped me to live and walk as a child of God daily. I learned that the Fruit of Goodness was just one of the nine different expressions of love that I possessed already. Many people do not realize they have this potential, divine enablement, already as a believer to be morally good and virtuous!
What I began to understand clearly, as I continued to walk in Goodness, was that I gained strength from being kind and being a blessing to others. I was already a faithful person, so I committed myself even more to reading the Bible, serving in the ministry, and helping others. This taught me stewardship and self-discipline. My daily walk began to change to where I made fewer mistakes because I learned to deal with issues differently. Daily prayers and Bible studies helped me to make better decisions all throughout the day. Gratitude and repentance replaced feelings of guilt and condemnation. I believed that I was no longer under bondage but free. My thoughts changed, so my mind changed. I no longer would wake up every day feeling aimless, hopeless, and dread, but I woke up feeling alive and looking forward to what the day would bring. I believe that is what it means to, “Live in the Spirit—so you also Walk in the Spirit.” (Gal. 5:25)
I believe King David had a glimpse of the Spirit of God living in him when he said, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Psalm 23:6) We can become this assured that God is with us by His Spirit; therefore, the fruit of Goodness is always with us. I believe David was declaring that he, himself, would continuously operate in the excellence of character and the Father’s forgiveness because he knew how important both were to living a holy lifestyle.
The Fruit of Goodness, produced by the Holy Spirit in you, will be the mark and the center point of your life. This will be the assurance of a spiritual walk in Christ and lived out before others. The Fruit of Goodness, as seen in your moral and virtuous lifestyle, will stand out over the works of the flesh every single time.
Warren & Linda Trimble Ministries is a non-profit ministry serving communities through the local Church, Liberty Christian Center Southeast, Youth Outreach Programs, Men’s and Women’s Ministries, United Fellowship of Women’s Network, Joshua Generation & Millennial Hangouts, and a dynamic ministry to the singles and married. You can find them on Facebook, Youtube, or their website linked here.
Mercy Multiplied exists to provide opportunities for all to experience God’s unconditional love, forgiveness, and life-transforming power. We offer multiple programs and resources online and onsite designed to equip people to live free and stay free in Christ. For more information about the services we offer, click here.