THE FRUIT OF SELF-CONTROL
Dear brothers and sisters,
Let’s look at: Gal. 5:22-23
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” KJV
Last week, we began discussing the fruit of self-control. In our opening Scripture above, the Word temperance means self-control or continence. Amplified Bible also uses the words self-restraint and continence. The word temperance is derived from another word, which means strength – inner strength. Brethren, how much inner strength or self-control do you have?That is a question only you can answer as we look at the functions of self-control and the way you can develop in it.
The fruit of self–control enables us to crucify the fleshand thereby fulfill Gal. 5:24 which says that those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. God never intended for His children to overcome the flesh by mere strong will. He provided us with a supernatural seed of strength called self-control. This power will surpass all previous unsuccessful attempts at self-improvement. It will overcome any area of lust in the lives of those who apply it.
Again, we develop self-control by strengthening our inner man (spirit and soul.) Developing your human spirit is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Many people invest a lot of time and money to develop their intellect, but most people invest very little into the development of their human spirit.
You are strengthened in the inner man as you diligently study and meditate on the Word of God and as you fellowship with Jesus the Bread of Life. The Word is your bread. If you don’t read yourBible, you will have a weak spirit. A steady prayerful diet of the Word of God is essential to your spiritual development. You can also be strengthened through prayer, especially praying in the spirit (in other tongues.) When you pray in other tongues 1 Cor.14:4 tells us that you become edified.To edify means to build up or to charge. How much do you take time as a believer to pray in other tongues and to praise and worship the Lord? Did you know you can also build your inner man through praise(see Ps. 8:2) which is a type of fellowship with God? Yes you can gain strength against the enemy through praising God. Also, when you humble yourself and pray, you obtain grace to help you overcome temptation.
The apostle Paul compared self-control to the kind of discipline a professional athlete applies in his/her life. He said in 1 Cor. 9:24-26:“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. 25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate (self-controlled) in all things…”
We’ll continue to look at other ways we can develop in this vital fruit of self-control.