But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23 NIV)
Someone wrote to me recently asking what I meant by a statement which occurs in the booklet Paths to Power, which I wrote some years ago. The passage reads: "No one was ever filled with the Holy Spirit without knowing it. The Holy Spirit always announces Himself to the human consciousness." What bothered my correspondent was the nature of this "announcement." Of what does it consist? How may we recognize it? Is it some kind of physical evidence, or what?
This whole question is worthy of larger treatment than I can give it in this limited space. But possibly these thoughts will prove helpful to any who may be confused about the nature of spiritual evidence.
There is such a thing as the secret workings of the Spirit in the soul of man, for a time unknown and unsuspected by the individual. In fact, most of the fruits of the Spirit are unsuspected by the man in whom they are found. The most loving, most patient, most compassionate soul is unlikely to be aware of these graces. He is almost certain to believe that he is anything but loving or patient or kind. Others will discover the operations of the Spirit within him long before he will and will thank God for his sweet Christian character while he may at the same time be walking in great humility before God, mourning the absence of the very graces that others know he possesses.
O Lord, may Your Spirit produce in me fruit. I'm so conscious of works of the sinful nature.
God has wisely arranged it so that the fruit of the Spirit produced in believers is far more evident to others rather than to themselves. That encourages humility rather than misplaced pride.
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