But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
How do we know when we are receiving God’s wisdom? The examples in the Bible give us a lot of options. Jesus famously turned the money changers out of the Temple, but he also reached out in love to Zacchaeus, the tax collector, and made a disciple of him.
So how do we know when to be loving and compassionate, and when to grab a whip and do some cleansing? How do we know when we’re doing what the Holy Spirit tells us to do, versus doing what we want to do? How do we know when we’re doing God’s will, and not just following our own will?
How do you know that the voice you hear speaking into your life is God’s?
I think you’ll know it because of the peace you’ll have when you’re sharing that wisdom. Have you seen people on their soapboxes sharing John 3:16, and they’re yelling? They’re actually sharing Jesus by telling people, “You’re going to go to hell if you don’t believe that God gave His only son for your sins!” There’s no way those people have peace in what they are doing.
I think they want to do the right thing, but they don’t know how. So they just yell it. Their faces are angry, and they spit it out. And then they say, “There, I got the Word of God out there. Now it’s not my fault if they don’t accept Christ.”
In this, we don’t see self-control. I’ve seen people challenge these soapbox guys, and when that happens, they yell even more. They don’t want to listen. All they do is repeat themselves. They just keep saying the same thing, over and over again. Someone challenges them, and they point their finger right in that person’s face, and go on yelling about John 3:16. I’ve seen it happen!
That’s not self-control. It’s chaos.
I think you have to ask God for wisdom all the time. There is a time for grabbing a whip and doing some cleansing, sure. But there are so many times in which wisdom tells us to be loving and compassionate. We don’t necessarily know which time is which, and that’s why we have to ask.
How will you know you’ve received God’s wisdom, and you’re not just acting on your own will?
You’ll know when you feel peace about what you’re doing. You’ll see the fruit of the Spirit. That’s how you’ll know.