Have you noticed there are a lot of shortages lately?
Gasoline shortages are in the south. There’s shortages of lumber, shingles and building supplies. (A truck drove by me with a load of wood and I thought I will never be that rich!). Even Chick-fil-a says they have a sauce shortage (now this has gone too far! Speaking of Chick-fil-a, there is a shortage of their restaurants in Flint! We need fresh squeezed lemonade and waffle fries!).
As bad as some of those shortages are, there is a worse absence. There is a massive deficiency of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. The fruit of the spirit is missing.
Even before we couldn’t get Polynesian Sauce for our nuggets at Chick-fil-A (to be sure, that is a very upsetting circumstance) people were angry. You’ve seen it. Furious parents yelling obscenities at their children (I’ve seen this more times at Walmart than I can count). Fuming drivers roaring into road rage (I had a guy wave at me yesterday using only one finger. I don’t think he was telling me I was #1 in his book). People are so quick to spout off their disgust on social media and no one is exempt from the vitriol postings. Never in my life have I seen such disrespect and low regard for nearly everyone. “Accuse. Bash. Condemn” are our new A-B-C’s.
We can blame bad politics, injustices, pandemics, and any other societal ills for the pervasive angst. But the real problem is a shortage of the Spirit of God living and working in the hearts of women and men. The old timers would say, “We need a Holy Ghost revival.” They aren’t wrong. We need a massive movement of the Spirit of God.
But where do we begin? The anger and self-righteousness is so pervasive. Where does one start? How can a Holy Ghost movement sweep across the land? Should we pitch a tent on a vacant lot and start a revival meeting? Do we buy billboards in every city posting the slogan, “Got Spirit?” Do we start a massive phone spam campaign like those who are wanting us to buy car warranties? (does anyone ever buy a car warranty from those people?).
Let’s not do any of those things. Instead let’s pray this simple prayer:
“Lord, start the revival in me. In me, Lord, in me. Amen.”
That’s it. No tents, billboard or spam campaigns. Start the work in me. Make me into the vessel of your love. Fill me. Empower me. Use me. Let us be the fruition of Paul’s prayer for the Romans: May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13).
How will the shortage of Fruit of the Spirit be remedied? One Fruit-filled believer at a time. Start it in me, Lord, in me.