Oh, I thought the Bible already listed the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23; love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. If you truly possess all these fruits, then anybody will certainly agree that you have a good Christian character.
However, let’s learn a few things from Master Jesus Himself. It’s important to mention that Jesus didn’t live as God on the earth, He lived as man. He overcame the difficulties and complexities that we go through on a daily basis. While thousands of people agreed with his beliefs, many others despised him and wanted him dead. So just because some people hate you doesn’t mean you don’t have a good Christian character.
In Revelations chapter 4, the bible reveals four characters that a person must possess in order to give perfect worship to God. Let’s see how scriptures put it:
6 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.
7 And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.
8 And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.
9 And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever.
Did you notice the characters in verse 7? Lion, calf, man, flying eagle; a person who must give perfect glory and worship to God should of necessity possess these characters. Your worship to God is incomplete if these four characters aren’t featured in your life. It’s going to require a book to explain them in detail, but for the sake of this question, let me touch a few vital points about these characters.
– THE CHARACTER OF A LION
The lion symbolizes dominion and authority. The lion knows that no matter what the challenge may be, it would always dominate it. Jesus needed this character to prevail over the devil. The bible says “the lion of the tribe of Judah has prevailed”. He was confident in the face of situations. Even when they told Him that Lazarus was dead, He still waited for 2 days to commence a journey that would also take 2 days. By the time He got there, Lazarus was already dead for four days. Still, the situation of Lazarus didn’t alter His dominion mentality . It must have felt like an insult on His dominion when Martha told Him that He came four days late. But Jesus simply showed them that the man in dominion is never late.
If we must complete our task in this world, then we must come to a point of understanding that every challenge is within the confine of our dominion. It’s absolutely wrong to give up at the appearance of a challenge; lions don’t do that. Lions stay and fight, and emerge victorious. Jesus was faced with a challenge to turn water into wine; and even though it wasn’t time for Him to perform miracles, He didn’t give up, He did it all the same.
We saw how He fed over 5000 people on two different occasions. Who would have thought that five loaves of bread and two fishes would feed over 5000 people? But it happened, because someone understood how to use His dominion and authority. If you can understand this character, challenges will never gain weight on you again.
Lions never worry, and they never turn away from a challenge. And that’s because no matter how intense the challenge may be, it’s still within their dominion.
The two virtues required to express this character are faith and a sense of responsibility. While faith is the victory that overcomes the world, a sense of responsibility keeps you on your toes – reminding you that you have a responsibility to your world.
Having mentioned that the character of the lion is a symbol of dominion and authority, it’s important to note that Jesus didn’t live all His life exercising dominion and authority. If He did, they wouldn’t have captured Him and nailed Him to the cross. And this is where the next character comes in.
– THE CHARACTER OF THE CALF
Jesus prevailed as the Lion of the tribe of Judah, but to die for the world, He had to become the lamb of God. Becoming a lamb was the only way He could take away the sin of the world, because nobody would have been able to capture Him as a lion. Becoming a lamb made God’s agenda come to pass. Many Christians will never fulfill God’s purpose until they drop the lion in them and become a calf.
While the face of the lion gives us a sense of authority and dominion, the face of a calf gives us a sense of service. Though we are redeemed as kings, but when we meet with the King of kings, we cast our crowns and serve Him. Our dominion and authority is for service. If God has given you the privilege to master any art, then it’s because He wants you to serve Him with it. Jesus expressed His authority in different dimensions, but when it was time to wash His disciple’s feet, He dropped that authority and washed their feet.
Two virtues that will help you reflect this character are humility and honour. Research shows that one of the things that kills a lion is hunger, and that’s if it doesn’t find a prey. You must know when to switch from the character of a lion to that of a sheep, so that you can be led by your Shepherd. You must know when to be humble enough to seek God’s guidance.
But there’s also a side effect of remaining a calf. You may be abused, you may lose balance, you may be attacked, influenced, beaten, and heart broken. Service naturally attracts conflict, and that’s why the next character is important.
– THE CHARACTER OF A MAN
So while Jesus displayed the face of a lion and a lamb, He didn’t deny the fact that He was also a man. He wept, He was hungry, He slept. God never sleeps nor slumbers, but the man Jesus did. This has been the undoing of many believers, they cease their tears when they really should cry out, they starve themselves when they really should eat, they go for vigils when they really should rest. They forget that the body requires maintenance. And this is why many believers fall sick.
Man can be sacked from work, man can fail an exam, man can be unemployed. So don’t go about questioning God on why certain things are happening to you, it’s obviously because you’re a man. Man can sin; that’s why God doesn’t condemn us over our sins. That’s why He still sent Jesus to die for us despite our sins. Don’t kill yourself over the negative things that happen to you, you’re a man!
Many believers hide themselves in a closet to take medication, all because they’ve told their friends that they are Christian’s and Christ has taken our sicknesses and diseases. Don’t do that! If we keep pressing in getting more of God, we’d all get to a point of perfection. But while we are on it, don’t pretend to know God. They that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits; if your case is far from strong and exploits, then there is a part of God you’ve not known.
Who told you that you shouldn’t cry when you’re in pain? If you see Jesus, ask Him if He didn’t cry on the cross. You’ve not gotten a job after five years of searching and you think it’s not worth crying about? My dear, lock yourself in your room and cry before your God. Have you seen how a father responds when his child cries to him. He suspends everything else and attends to the message in that cry. Your tears is a message to God, it tells Him that you depend on Him.
However, there is a side effect of remaining a man, it’s called carnality. That’s why the bible says “Shall we continue to sin that grace may abound, God forbid!”. This is why the fourth character was introduced.
– THE CHARACTER OF THE FLYING EAGLE
This character is simply the anointing of the Holy Spirit. That’s why Jesus could still escape the fire of hell despite the fact that He carried the sin of the world. That’s why He could complete His assignment despite the torments and torture that was given to Him.
That’s why a believer could get a job in the midst of thousands that were interviewed. That’s why you still passed that exam you were supposed to fail. That’s why a sickness that should have killed a person announces the person. This anointing takes you up in the midst of crisis and puts you where Christ is. A challenge may appear humanly impossible to overcome, but with the anointing, nothing shall be impossible.
So you can cry before your God, then after crying, dry your tears, pick up your Bible, discover the truth, and push it in prayer till it delivers. Hannah cried until a prophet came and told her the truth. As she applied the truth, her desire came to pass. You may have been turned down several times, that’s okay; just get more anointing. The anointing is a yoke breaker. If the yoke has not been destroyed, then the anointing isn’t enough. The yoke will only be destroyed because of the anointing.
I’m sorry today’s article is so long, but I hope this has brought enlightenment to someone.
Remain ever blessed, in Jesus precious name!