Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | July 24, 2011


My printer is an important part of my computer set up; I’ve noticed when it is turned on it always performs a self-test. I’ve always found that interesting in its potential application to life. It might be helpful if we think in terms of a test that would suggest some reference standards against which our results would be measured.

The printer’s manufacturer designed into the equipment certain performance characteristics which were intended to serve as a norm for the printer’s operation. When the printer performs the self-test it is comparing its present condition against the design norms. Could it be that our Creator has done likewise, are there a set of norms for us as believers? I believe the answer to that is a resounding yes.

As children of God we were given design parameters when we were saved which should characterize our performance; I believe these are detailed in Galatians 5:22-26 and are called “the fruit of the Spirit.” Notice the singular fruit, this is a package deal from God; we either have it all or we don’t have any. It is important to note that the fruit of the Spirit is not reserved only for the giants of the faith but is the rightful possession of every child of God. We have the fruit of the Spirit when we are living a Spirit led life; the Spirit in control and our sin nature quenched.

Now back to the self-test line of thought and keep in mind this is a private test between you and God, no one else. Ask yourself how you are measuring up against God’s standard for you keeping in mind that this has to do with quality of life and service, not salvation.

As a believer in Jesus Christ as Savior your eternal destiny is secured by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ and is absolutely secure. All we’re talking about is how well is your life working in comparison with God’s design standard for you?

I’ve mentioned my experiences as an usher in church to many of the classes I’ve taught; how so many of the people walking into church on Sunday mornings seemed to be carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders. This is not God’s plan for their lives.

I’m absolutely convinced that the Lord wants the very best for His children and has made all necessary provisions for a blessed, happy life. It saddens me when I see so many of His children appearing to miss out on His blessings.

I am not the only one to refer to the Bible as “the manufacturers assembly instructions;” life comes with a great deal of assembly required and in too many cases we may be inclined to consult the manufacturer’s assembly instructions only as a last resort, if at all.

The sooner in life we start to utilize the assembly instructions from the manufacturer the less likely we’ll need massive help to correct all of the mistakes we will otherwise surely make.

Do it God’s way early and always and may your self-test always measure up to God’s design standard for you.


  1. In past very few years, the fruit of the spirit was clarified to me. What a bummer! Some of that fruit is a lot tastier than others. Joy is one of the hardest for me. This morning as I strolled into church thinking of all the horrible events of past few days joy was a bit lacking. I passed a few people walking in lot as I drove in and I agree that joy was not obvious on their faces. I found joy in worship today but If I am honest joy is lacking a lot of the rest of the time, happy yes, but joy down deep joy is definitely a work in progress.


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