“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.”
This is the Greek pistis, and in this context it refers to the virtue of faithfulness, loyalty, courage, reliability. Like all of the fruit of the Spirit, pistis is a deep and powerful virtue. A person who is faithful follows through on their promises. You can count on them to do their job and fulfill their responsibilities.
God is faithful to us, his people, and he expects us to be faithful to him. Please note that all of the fruit of the Spirit follow this pattern. Each of the fruit of the Spirit are a virtue/characteristic of God himself, and we are to reflect and demonstrate those virtues of God in our life.
Faithfulness is no exception. Lamentations 3:22-23 provides a beautiful description of the Lord’s faithfulness: “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
The question is, how will we respond to God’s faithfulness to us? Will we be faithful and true to him as he is faithful to us? As we navigate through life, as we do our jobs every day, as we interact with our family, will we display the character and virtues of the God who created us, redeemed us, and calls us?
- Be faithful to your profession of faith in Christ. This is obedience.
- Be faithful to the important people in your life. This is love.
- Be faithful to the promises you make. This is reliability.
- Be faithful to the principles and standards of scripture.This is Christian character and holiness.
- Be faithful to the processes and practices of your work. This is competence and excellence on the job.
God calls us to be faithful people. He calls us to be people that others can trust. May the followers of Christ be salt and light in the midst of a disconnected world and demonstrate the faithfulness that comes from the indwelling Spirit of God.
“When the Son of Man comes, will he find faithfulness on earth?” (Luke 18.8)
This is the eighth fruit of the Spirit. Some translations call it “meekness.” Neither “gentleness” nor “meekness” do justice to the depth of what this word means. It is the Greek prautes, which carries the sense of “strength under control.” It’s the idea of perfectly combining strength and gentleness. It is strength properly focused and directed.
One writer describes it as a strong hand with a soft touch.
The bible sees prautes as the condition of being calm, self-controlled, focused, and wise. It is an essential spiritual virtue / discipline; it equips and empowers you to see and respond effectively to virtually any situation. It is a key discipline for applying E+R=O.
The history of this word is fascinating. Praus was a Greek military term used to define a horse trained for battle. Wild stallions were brought down from the mountains and broken for riding. Some were used to pull wagons, some were raced, and the best were trained for warfare when they became prautes. They retained their fierce spirit, courage, and power, but were disciplined to respond to the slightest nudge or pressure of the rider’s leg.
To be prautes was to be taken from a state of wild rebellion and trained to be focused, disciplined, calm, and highly effective. It is also to be taken from an atmosphere of fearfulness and made unflinching in the presence of danger.
What a powerful picture of authentic life in Christ! God calls us and takes us from a state of wild rebellion (our old nature) and seeks to train us to be disciplined, focused, calm, and highly effective (our new nature). He seeks to move us from fear to faith; he seeks to build courage into our hearts so that we are unflinching in the presence of difficulties and danger.
Prautes does not happen automatically; it is a key discipline, a spiritual virtue, that we must build into our lives. In order to be prautes, we must walk in the Spirit and be fully engaged in the process of spiritual growth and skill-building. Like the wild stallions from the mountains, we must be trained. As always, the strength to do this comes from the Lord; it is not self-generated. It is of the Spirit.
The value of building prautes into our lives is immeasurable. However, it is with great sadness that I observe many Christians who are saved, but not trained. They are not prautes because they have not committed to the process of building it into their lives. As a result, they lack focus and discipline. They are not strong. They are spiritually and emotionally fragile. In the face of danger they flinch. Therefore, they are not warrior-stallions. They can pull wagons, but they are of very little use in battle.
Walk by faith and submit to the training of the Spirit; trust God and do the work; build the virtue and discipline of prautes into your life.
The Lord is calling.