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I think I’m still in denial that it’s almost May. I’m excited to come home, but I just cannot believe that my time at New Tribes Bible Institute is almost half over. I often find myself in awe of the opportunity God has given me here. Studying His Word has been incredible and often quite earth-shaking.

For a long time my view of myself has been that of a fairly strong, confident, Christian young woman. God has been faithful to break that self image down over these last few months. My definition of maturity has had to change. Possessing knowledge in principle is not the same thing has possessing knowledge experientially. Biblical knowledge can only translate into maturity when it is tested by time and trial. I’ve learned many truths in principle at NTBI. As I walk with Him through time and trial, He will grow me. We don’t get to define maturity, God does.

What a fantastic truth to rest in. He is faithful to grow us. He simply asks us to walk day by day, moment by moment, decision by decision, according to the truths revealed in His Word. Philippians 1:6 says, “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” His faithfulness abounds.

For so long I’ve worried if spiritual fruit was being displayed in my life. As I’ve begun to understand the depravity of my own heart, I know that my flesh has tried to display its own ‘fruit’ to make myself feel better, to affirm my own actions, and to fuel my own pride. I’ve loved, shown joy, displayed peacefulness, and been kind to others purely for my own self gain. ‘Fruit’ of the flesh does not bless anyone but myself; it does not satisfy the soul like true fruit of the Spirit does. I pray that God continues to remind me that apart from Him I am detestable. I can stop worrying about fruit! His simple instruction for me is to walk humbly with Him, in accordance with His Word. Fruit of the Spirit is a natural, organic outflow of thriving in His truths as we live each day.

In Romans 12:1-2 Paul says, “I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” My inadequacy is overwhelming, but God is faithful to change our broken thinking. Good thing, because my thinking is very broken!

God bless,
Abbey Smith