Producing Fruit: Flesh or Spirit

Producing Fruit: Flesh or Spirit

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.” (Galatians 5:16-17 NASB)

We all face difficult situations, difficult relationships and difficult people. When you do, how do you respond? Scripture tells us that the Holy Spirit dwells within each believer which means we have the ability through the power and strength of the Holy Spirit to respond in the Spirit. But most often we don’t; we respond according to the flesh because it’s familiar and easier. Because we live in a fallen, sinful world, it comes most naturally…protect self at any cost, put self and your desires first no matter what, do whatever you want whenever you want…self, self, self.

“Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these,…”  Galatians 5:19-21a NASB)

How do we know when we are operating in the flesh? We produce the fruit of the flesh, all those described above.  Yet the fruit of the Spirit looks very differently.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”(Galatians 5:22-23 NASB)

God’s desire is for us to produce the fruit of the Spirit, but there is a battle that occurs daily for us to do otherwise. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the powers, against the rulers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12 NASB)

Our difficult situations, relationships and people become more difficult and draw us away from God’s desire for us when we focus on them and on each other. And Satan does a dance every time our fruit is of the flesh! Remember who you’re truly battling and remember that our purpose on this earth is to bring glory to God. We do that when we demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit. When we do that, others are drawn to God and to faith. Now that’s the fruit God desires!

How do we produce that fruit? We spend time in God’s Word, we follow the example set for us by Jesus and we pray for His strength and Spirit to win the battle for us each and every day.

Tina Dorward About Tina Dorward

Tina Dorward is a fully-devoted follower of Christ who loves spending time with her husband and two sons and volunteering at her local church. In her free time she reads, writes, paints and cooks.


  1. So true, Tina. It’s funny that you bring up that Ephesians verse. I’ve seen that verse pop up in different places lately and have really taken notice of it. Isn’t it interesting when that happens? Good points, here. Bless you for sharing this!

  2. By our fruits we are known.

  3. Tina Dorward says:

    Thanks Cherie and Janet. And Cherie, I always know when God is trying to get my attention on something either for myself or someone I k ow because the same thing happens…see the verse, hear a song about the same verse, get a devotional in my email etc etc. God speaks, are we listening?!

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