Pruning Season: Gentleness

 

Galatians 5:16-26
 
16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery,[c]fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders,[d] drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

If we are going to walk in the spirit, we must live by the spirit.

Gentleness

1)A disposition to be gentle, soft spoken, kind, even-tempered, cultured, and refined in character and conduct.

2)To possess moral goodness; integrity.

It is not just in what we do, but also in who we are. It is apart of our character.

Ephesians 4:2
With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love.
Galatians 6:1
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.

Gentleness can be compared to grapes. There is so much more to grapes as you pick them.

Integrity

1. Adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.

2. The state of being whole, entire, or undiminished

Integrity is a solid trait. This is something we must strive for. It shows that there is a level of strength and character. Without it, we are vulnerable.

Proverbs 2:6-8
6 For the Lord grants wisdom!
    From his mouth come knowledge and understanding.

7 He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest.
    He is a shield to those who walk with integrity.

8 He guards the paths of the just
    and protects those who are faithful to him.

If there is a lack of integrity, it can compromise blessing God has set up for you and damage bonds. With integrity we have the shield of God that even though we may be in a situation that could really wreck us, he extends his mercy to help us through.

Chronicles 29:17
17 I know, my God, that you examine our hearts and rejoice when you find integrity there. You know I have done all this with good motives, and I have watched your people offer their gifts willingly and joyously.

We can never see our hearts but God looks at our heart and searches our hearts and when he finds integrity, he rejoices.  

 

David and Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11:1-27)

David was supposed to be at war but this particular Spring he sent his men to war. He was on the roof one night and saw Bethsheba wanted her. They came together and she became pregnant, but she was married to Uriah which was one of David's men at war. David tried to hide the fact that him and Bethsheba was having a baby together, so he called back Uriah from war to make a plan for the both of them to sleep together so that it can look as if they were having the baby together. When Uriah came home, he did not sleep with his wife because he wanted to be back at war helping his fellow soldiers. When David found out that his plan was not working, he had it set for Uriah to be killed in the front line at war. David compromised his integrity so much not only for sleeping with Bethsheba but also because he killed a man that was fighting for him and their country because he wanted to hide what he did. 

Ananias & Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11)

This is where the community was selling all their possession and giving according to their heart. They sold their things and kept a portion and presented a portion. The thing was they were not being honest, they were making it seem like the portion they presented was all they made. They were lying to God and they forgot that God knows all, there is nothing we do that he does not see or know. Peter asked Ananias about his portion he presented and gave him a chance to be honest and Ananias choose to still lie and in that moment of him lying to the holy spirit, he took his last breath. The men in the church took him out and then his wife Sapphira came in and Peter asked her also and she lied as well. In that moment she lost her life as well. They lost their lives because they were not being honest. We must be honest. Compromise will kill integrity. We have to be honest to strengthen our integrity. We have to develop our integrity and our gentleness. We do this by just being honest. Your dishonesty can bring you death.

There is a challenge to have integrity and being the individual he has called us to be. Integrity has lost it's way in society and in the church also. Everyone is doing what they want and not walking in the way of the spirit. He is calling us to walk worthy of the call he has called us to walk. We have to stop half stepping. If we dare to name the name of Christ we must have integrity. We have things in our lives that God wants to cut out and we must stop thinking that we can just pray about them but we must have integrity and allow God to cut it. We must analyze ourselves as a whole and if there is anything that is compromised or broken we must deal with it and come up to integrity.

Ecclesiastes 5:4
4. When you make a promise to God, don't delay in following through, for God takes no pleasure in fools. Keep all the promises you make to him.

Don't make a vow you won't keep. It is better to not make a vow than to make one and not keep it. If we make a vow we must hold true to it. When we don't hold true to it, we compromise our integrity. Let's stay true to our vows and enter a season of activation.