There is a process in which we are changed by the spirit. One doesn’t just strive for the gifts of the spirit solely on their own. In order to be full of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, goodness and self control, we don’t seek the gifts, we seek the Holy Spirit.
What produces this extraordinary life? What causes a person to be filled with love on all occasions? What causes someone to be kind? Or the person who is patient or truly good. What about those who exhibit self control? The spirit produces those things in us as we seek the spirit.
I think this might be the reason Jesus said, “seek the kingdom of heaven and all those things will be added to you.” Have you ever experienced listening to someone who really seems to have it together and you pick out something from their life that you want to immolate. The only problem is that it’s the process that got them to this point – whether it’s great time management, healthy living, etc. In order to have those attributes and for them to stick in our own lives, we need to incorporate the discipline, the processes and the preparation.
In much the same way, attributes of the spirit come when we are seeking the Holy Spirit. Then the evidence becomes real – a newly formed way of living, new attitudes and powerful living. Don’t just pray for the gifts, pray for the spirit! And the fruit will begin to grow.
My prayer is not just for love, joy, peace, patience, etc… but for the Holy Spirit to fill me.