We saw previously in the Word that the source of power is the Holy Spirit. Now we will consider how this power is manifested in the Christian life. Moody titles this chapter “Power in Operation”. He says, “Power in operation is the action of the Spirit, or the fruit of the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:22-23) Moody focuses especially on love, joy, and peace. That God wants “above everything else that we possess, love, joy, and peace.” So if you ask what does the power of the Holy Spirit look like, the answer is it looks like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. If we are living in the power of the Holy Spirit we will see evidence of this fruit. They are not anything we can manufacture on our own, we can only possess these by receiving Jesus by faith; when Jesus comes into our lives by faith, then the Spirit is there, and if we have the Spirit, we can have the fruit.
“If the whole church of God could live as the Lord would have them live, Christianity would be the mightiest power this world has ever seen.” (Moody) If we live in our homes, go to our jobs, live with our neighbors, go to the nations; if we live day by day an uncompromising Christian life, we will have the power of God proceeding from us. A power that will certainly have an effect on those around us. But an uneven life, hot today and cold tomorrow, can only repel them. We know people are watching and it is not a good thing when the people we are trying to reach with the gospel see us in a cold, unfruitful state. That is not God’s intention and it is not to be the normal condition of the church. God desires that we would be constantly growing and producing fruit. That regardless of our external circumstances God desires for us to be growing in His love, joy and peace and to live with His love, joy, and peace flowing out of us.
People recognize the fruit of the Spirit, and I believe, whether they acknowledge it or not, they recognize that the man or woman who is living that kind of life is living a superior kind of life. The reason they take notice is that the world doesn’t satisfy them, and when they see someone living completely satisfied in Jesus, possessed by life giving love, joy unspeakable (1 Peter 1:8), and peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7) it has a powerful effect on them.
When I think of the life of the Apostle Paul what comes to mind first is not the miracles, but rather how he loved Jesus and his brothers and sisters in Christ. The peace that he lived with regardless of circumstance. And how he was constantly filled with joy in all situations. I believe those things were the manifestation of God’s power in Paul’s life and are meant to be the manifestation of God’s power in our lives.