We are beset in our culture with thoughts as to how to live ‘the good life’. Fitness,
health, a new or renovated home, travel and so on. These are in and of themselves good
external things to have or enjoy, but they are not the end of the story, or even the main
story. There are many times when some or all of such things are unobtainable, either for
a time, or for the remainder of our time on earth.
What happens then? What is the good life then?
The real ‘good life’ has never been about these things. It is about the grace of Jesus
being a real and abiding presence with us. It is about the Lord being our Shepherd, and
the knowledge that in Him we lack nothing. (Psalm 23:1). It is about knowing that as we
trust in Jesus we have passed from death to life and have found in Him eternal
salvation (John 5:24).
But also the true ‘good life’ is not just a one time faith event whereby we are saved.
It is also the outworking of God’s grace in our life. The apostle Paul exhorts us to ‘walk’
or live by the Spirit (Galatians 5:16). The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control; (Gal. 5:22).
How can these attributes flourish in the life of the Christian?
Certainly by knowing what they are and aiming for them as the apostle exhorts. But they
come about chiefly by being ‘led by the Spirit’ (v18). The great work of the Holy Spirit is
not only to bring life to sinners, but to help us call to mind the words of Jesus
(John 14:26), the love of Jesus and the peace that is available through Him. And it is the
Spirit who testifies as to the true identity of Jesus as the Christ, who has been with God
from the beginning (John 15:26,27).
It is as we become more aware and awestruck as to who it is that we actually serve that
we are inclined to live by the Spirit. When we realise the sheer majesty of the power and
grace of Jesus, we know that our very best life is to seek Him daily. And it is then that we
find the desire and power to experience in some measure the fruit of the Spirit and to
know what is the only genuine ‘good life’ available to us.