Fruit of the SpiritI wonder what kind of impact the Lord could have in our day and time if we were filled with the fruit of the Spirit?
The fruit of the Spirit is like a cornucopia in the Christian’s life. Simply put, Christ desires for us to demonstrate every quality listed as the fruit of the Spirit in order to serve Him effectively and faithfully. It was during the days of the disciples that Jesus empowered them and saw these fruits produced in their lives. If God is to use us for His Kingdom, we need to live holy lives and become completely surrendered to Him, which will make us effective workers.
What a portrait could be painted of two brothers, Thomas and William Blandy, who were filled with the Spirit, and who served alongside the Founder. Even though they came from a family of seven brothers, it was these two who surrendered their lives in service for the Lord. Both were discovered in the early days of the Christian Mission and became part of the newly formed Salvation Army. William was a prolific publisher, writing several hymns, his most well-known being “Where He Leads Me, I Will Follow,” and Thomas was a very effective evangelist.
As General Booth observed the fruit of the Spirit in the lives of these brothers and their spiritual growth, he prayed and sent both brothers with their spouses to serve in other appointments. In 1881, Thomas and his wife, Rachel, were appointed as officers in Glamorgan, Wales, then off to Tacoma, Washington, where they served as evangelists. William and his wife, Eliza, were sent to the United States in 1885 to serve as officers in New York. It was during their time in New York that they became workers in “Hell’s Kitchen,” where they often encountered and served gang members. I wonder what kind of impact the Lord could have in our day and time if we were filled with the fruit of the Spirit?
Captain Charles Smith is the Corps Officer in Jonesboro, AR. Photos by The Salvation Army National Archives and The Salvation Army International Heritage Centre