THE FRUIT OF SELF-CONTROL
Dearest Brothers and sisters,
Last week we talked about sanctification. I believe to consistently live a sanctified life, one must purposely desire to develop in the fruit of the spirit and totally desire demonstrate Godly character.
We have previously studied that we are a three part being, i.e. we are spirit, we have a soul and we live in a physical body.
If you build up your spirit, you will be able to control your soul (mind, will and emotions) and your body (five physical senses.) If you do not build up your spirit, then your soul and body will dominate your life. You soul and body will then convince you to do what feels good at the moment or what looks easy and convenient.
Let’s for now look at the fruit of self-control. In order to walk in the spirit and be like Jesus, we will have to exercise self-control. We will have to learn to say “no” to that which pulls our flesh and emotions to sin.
The Bible tells us that the passions of our flesh war against our soul; which is part of our inner man (spirit and soul.)
1 Peter 2:11 Beloved, I implore you as aliens and strangers and exiles [in this world] to abstain from the sensual urges (the evil desires, the passions of the flesh, your lower nature) that wage war against the soul. AMP
Our Lord Jesus, who is our perfect example experienced having to have self-restraint or self control. Scripture tells us in Hebrews 4:15
Heb. 4:15-16 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. NKJV
You’ll recall Jesus was led by the Spirit of God to the wilderness to fast and pray. While there He was tested of the devil. One of the temptations had to do with His need for food. Satan actually came with the same temptations he tempted Adam and Eve with: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.
The enemy is very strategic with his temptations. However the Bible shows us that all of them are common to man (1 Cor. 10:13) and he has nothing new he has come up with. With every temptation, God has already provided a way of escape.
Jesus overcame each temptation with the spoken Word. Each time He said: “It is written.” By speaking the Word, Jesus resisted Satan and overcame him. He gave us that spiritual key for overcoming temptation.
Brethren, if you have made up your mind ahead of time or pre-determined that you will NOT go against the written Word of God, and that you will stay “prayed up” for watchfulness and spiritual sensitivity, you will successfully resist temptation.Jesus told Hisdisciples to “watch and pray” so that they don’t enter into temptation. Praying and speaking the Word of God are foundational to having self-control in your life.