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By Richard Gazowsky
Last week we dealt with the applications of the Holy Spirit that work inside of you, especially the fruit of the Spirit known as “long-suffering”. Of course this app’s real power is only realized if you have the companion applications running at the same time ~ which are love, joy, and peace. If you have these three powerful apps running over the app of long-suffering, you will produce sweet fruit and everybody around you will smell it’s incredible aroma. If you remember, I called this the cross pollination of the fruits of the Spirit, and it’s an important operation that occurs among people who are wise concerning the technology of the Holy Spirit.
The Apostle Paul talks about the fruit of long-suffering and it’s power in such a cool way: “A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything ~ or destroy it! It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony into chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell” (The Message Bible). This is why the application of long-suffering can protect you from such a devastating raging fire and, instead, cause your forest to grow into mature and highly strengthened trees that bear sweet and delicious fruit.
Years ago when I was starting a new business venture, many of the people that I had spent the early years with had grown into a strong forest of friendships. But then, unexpectedly, we experienced our first major crisis. In the middle of this crisis I had a very important friend come and ask me to do two small things (at least they appeared to be small to him). He asked me to give up my position as head of the company and give it to him, and then he asked me to fire my best friend from the company. This conversation was held in a small restaurant in San Francisco and though it was a small spark, I knew in just days it would rage into a firestorm that would literally destroy everything that God had built in our company structure for years. I also knew if I announced what this person had suggested to the rest of the company it would cause a fire among us that would also destroy valued relationships.
At that time, even though I intellectually did not know what to do, the Holy Spirit inside my tummy began to run the applications of love, joy, and peace ~ though I wasn’t aware of it. I tried to love the person who had spoken these words (I cannot repeat what they actually said because even today these words could start another fire) even though their words had hurt me deeply and had wounded some of those I love. Words are very powerful, and bad words can cause damage that can last a lifetime. This is why it is so important to run the applications of love, joy, and peace simultaneously as you are going through long-suffering.
The event I mentioned happened a long time ago, the smoke and fire that occurred way back then has long since disappeared, and the new growth that was a result of it is alive and well today. The people in that organization are stronger today in their friendships and relationships than ever before. This group of friends has literally become a mighty strong forest with ancient roots gathering from a deep water supply that is bearing fruits that remain. The application of the Holy Spirit, long-suffering, has been in operation the whole time and has caused us to reap incredible benefits from this fruit.
Today I experienced the sweet fruit of long-suffering in a different way. A friend of mine was riding in the car with my children and me to pick up something from the store. As we were leaving the store I felt the Lord tell me to speak to a person that was selling something on the sidewalk. My friend told me that they were cold and asked if they could borrow the keys and wait for me in the car. My conversation with this person selling something ended up being rather long, but I knew God was about to reveal something to me through our conversation. I soon realized that the person was a member of a cult that wanted to deliver food to people’s homes in the neighborhood so they could propagate their religion.
The Holy Spirit told me exactly what to say to the person, and after I said it everything changed and I knew my task was done. The cult member was witnessed to in a very gentle way that might lead to their eventual salvation. After this I went to my car but it was gone! My friend had decided to go and leave my children and me on the side of the street. I hugged my daughter and said, “This is so exciting because now we get to use the app operation of long-suffering. But we must also use the applications of love, joy and peace at the same time so the long-suffering becomes a sweet fruit.” As we began to walk home we immediately began praying blessings on the person who drove off with my car. We thought of all kinds of super blessings to put on them.
As we continued walking I suddenly saw a house that was being built that my wife, Sandy, had seen earlier and really liked. Carpenters were working on the house and one of them yelled out to my children and me, “I’m building the foundation of this home and it is secure.” I was rather surprised because it sounded exactly like he was building this house for my family and me. He then told us about all the new improvements he and the workers were putting into the house: energy-efficient windows, a state-of-the-art kitchen, the latest style in bathrooms ~ with every detail being upgraded to perfect elegance. Yet all of the old-world glory that Sandy loved was still being preserved. My children and I started laughing because it was almost a prophetic miracle that happened through the operation of the application of long-suffering.
See, when most people are forced to walk home because they suddenly don’t have their car, they call it suffering and their reaction is to complain and mulligrub. But since we have learned to turn on our Holy Ghost interface and let the Holy Ghost programming respond to every situation, it’s made even the worst experiences turn into a fun-filled life of vacation. As we got several blocks closer to our home, our friend suddenly pulled up and we all started laughing because we knew that the application of long-suffering had given us sweet fruit!
Come to find out, our friend had some errands they needed to do, and thought they could finish them quickly enough to be back before I was done speaking with the young man. But obviously God had a greater plan, and that was to give us sweet fruit that we could only enjoy if we were willing to taste the deep burn that comes with long-suffering. At first this fruit has a little “Ouch!” to it. But if you run the companion operations at the same time believe me, it will be sweet.