From the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. (Psalm 61:2)

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Gal. 5:22-23)

The wise man feels his need for the Lord’s strength, guidance, and help. God rescues us both from within and without. He leads from within by the act of transformation, leading us to be patient and kind, instead of reactionary and uncaring. He leads from without by changing circumstances and delivering us from overwhelming temptations.¬†Many shut doors are not cruelly closed by God, but in love He is removing from us circumstances for which we are not ready.

Lead me

We must be led by God to search for what is greater than we are in ourselves. God creates a thirst for something better and greater than we have in ourselves. Failure and setbacks and frustrations are God’s way of teaching us to search for something greater. He leads us to higher rocks by showing us what we are not yet but would like to become.

The first three attributes of the Spirit’s fruit is “love, joy, peace.” This triad shows three things that we all want. God begins his work in us by giving us what we do not have and in measures that we do not experience in life – endless love, boundless joy, immeasurable peace. These make us want to thirst for more and more of God and from God. And surely if we do not have more, these will not last.

To the Rock more patient than I

Peace will not last where there is no patience. We need to draw on the Lord’s patience when we have none in ourselves. When we are discouraged with circumstances and people, when we are out of endurance and patience within us, then it is we need to lean more heavily than before on the strength and patience of Christ. Oh, for the patient peace of Christ that would allow me to sit quietly in meetings without impure or angry thoughts crossing my mind!

To the Rock more kind than I

Kipling aspired to “fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds worth of distance run” and we need to do more than merely endure. We must also in the midst of frustrating circumstances convey a message of love and hope. It may feel like victory if we merely keep quiet, but we need to do more than that. We must be kind and caring. In the fruit of the Spirit, “patience” is followed by “kindness” and “goodness.” We will only be as patient as we are kind and only be as kind as we are good.

To the Rock that is stronger than I

And “goodness” is followed by “faithfulness” and then by “gentleness” or “meekness.” These two traits are more than mere attitudes that we try to put on. They are the transforming work of Christ in our lives that He achieves by His Spirit. We are weak in faith but God always is confident in what He is doing. When we seek to be strong in ourselves we will stumble over the plan and means of God. But if we can be meek and gentle and surrender to Him, then He can change us.

To the Rock that is more disciplined than I

The final attribute of the Spirit’s fruit is self-discipline, or “sound mindedness.” It is on the list, but it is the last on the list. Think how differently this passage would read if it were first. Though a result of the work of the Spirit, if it were first on the list, then we would take credit in ourselves for everything else. But though it is on the list, it is last on the list.

Divine love makes for more discipline in life, more control over sinful urges. The divine love of God let’s us know that we can trust our souls to Him, that we can open our hearts all the way and lay them before Him. We will find grace and patience and love and acceptance in Him. The sin He forgives and cleans away, and He reshapes us into people of eternal hope.

When you feel weak, turn to God in prayer. Admit your weakness and surrender to Him. Allow Him to do in you what only He can do! He is the Rock that is higher than you!

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