By Pastor Vernon Onrubia
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
In the narrative of Joseph’s life, it shows how he exhibited the fruit of the spirit that is gentleness. You know that the Spirit of God lives within you. You will not bear any fruit if the Spirit of God is not upon you. You cannot separate the Spirit of God with the character that you have. The power of the Holy Spirit must be seen in your life. You cannot say that you have been born again and yet your character is so flawed. If you have the Spirit of God, you must possess the fruit of the spirit. It should be visible in you because you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior. You were baptized, sanctified and justified by the Spirit of God. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.”
The fruit of the spirit is seen in different scenarios. It will not be manifested without interaction with people in different situations. If you say that you are filled with the Spirit of God and yet, the fruit of the spirit is not evident in you, you must be lying. You cannot separate God’s holiness, spirit and its fruit. Salvation is by faith and not by good works. Faith is the reason why you were born again and saved. But you should not put good works aside because this is the evidence that you really know the Lord.
Gentleness is the quality of being kind, tender and mild mannered. But there are many misconceptions about this. Some say that when a person is gentle, he is weak and does not care about the people around him. But that is not true. When you are gentle, you have inner strength and control. You need to cooperate with the Spirit of God. Joel 2:28 says, “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.” There is a gift! Prophesy, vision and interpretation of dreams. But it will not work out if you do not practice it. The same is true about the fruit of the spirit. You have to exercise and practice it, and you need to be cooperative with the Spirit of God.
Zechariah 4:6 says, “So he said to me, “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.” You need to ask the Holy Spirit to help you. The Holy Spirit is not just a force, mind you. He is a person. He is not just a power of God but the persona of God, teaching you how to operate in the Spirit. But James 2:20 says, “Faith without works is dead.”
Genesis 50:20 says, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” This is the statement of person whose life was changed dramatically because of God’s goodness. And of course, when you experience God, He is reflected in your life. You see a person based on the situation he is currently in. During this pandemic, it is difficult to live. The spirit of gentleness is being tested everyday. The life of Joseph shows several instances wherein he exhibited gentleness when he could have reacted in some other ways that do not exhibit God’s presence in his life.
Joseph experienced so many things that could have changed his person. He received death threats from his very own brothers and humiliated by them too. He was sold into slavery and was falsely accused of things he did not commit. Lastly, he was sent to prison because of those false claims. He was in a foreign land and his family forgot all about him. God probably wanted to tell him to calm down and exercise the fruit of the spirit.
The best time to exercise the spirit of gentleness is when you face people who have hurt you. Show kindness to those people. Serve them with a smile on your face. Love them like Jesus did. It is very difficult. But God wants you to obey the example of Christ. The spirit of gentleness is exercised when you do these things.
When Joseph was young, he had a dream and he told his family that one day, you will bow down before me. He was proud and foolish back then. But the process it took for him to finally get to his position as second in command to pharaoh was a very long and painful one. By the time Joseph met his brothers in Egypt, he was a changed man. He had the Spirit of God within him. If not, he could have let his brothers have a taste of what they had him go through. He was the second most powerful man in the land. There was nothing he could not do. But he forgave because he knew that his brothers meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.
How can you apply the spirit of gentleness? Firstly, you apply this under the presence of God. If you do not have this, everything will be out of control. Second, the spirit of gentleness can be applied with the word of God. When Joseph interpreted the dreams of the cupbearer and the pharaoh, he mentioned the name of God. Who is this God? The god of Jacob, isaac, Abraham - the God of Israel In a foreign land, how did Joseph come to this conclusion? The testimonies of his father, grandfather and his other ancestors sealed this fact. Third, the spirit of gentleness can be applied with God’s love. It says that the Lord was with Joseph, was kind to him and gave him favor. Joseph felt God’s love. When Joseph met his brothers for the first time in a very long time, he announced that he is their brother. He could have easily said he is their king and they are now his slaves. But no. He showed love by forgiving them. Lastly, you can apply the spirit of gentleness with God’s forgiveness. How many times did you have a headache because of your children or your neighbor? That does not compare to the number of times the Lord your God had a headache because of you. You received the forgiveness of God,. Give it away. You will be able to operate in the fruit of the spirit and become more gentle if you soak in the presence of God. You will be filled with His goodness and His character will flow in you. In God’s word, the more you humble yourself, the more you gain inner strength to control yourself and exercise gentleness.
You experience the love of God everyday. You can practice the spirit of gentleness under God’s presence, God’s word, God’s love and God’s forgiveness. Luke 2:52 says, “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man.” Jesus is God but He needed to be in the favor of God and man by studying His word, communicating with Him and embracing God’s love and forgiveness. His last words on the cross show this. The fruit of the spirit is resting in you, but you need to cooperate with the Spirit of God who is at work in your lives, changing you from glory to glory. It makes you become more like Jesus and you should live it under God’s presence,his words, love and forgiveness.