We have reached the last of the fruit of the Spirit. I have been enjoying this series and kinda don’t want it to end but I am sure the next series will be just as fun if not more so! We’ll start with our key verse, Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”
I encourage you to read the scripture each time. I know we have been doing this series for a few weeks but get the scripture in your spirit. Meditate on it. Ask God what He wants to say to you through it. There is so much that can be said on each fruit and its application that cannot fit into a one page blog. The great thing about Christianity is that we can all hear from God for ourselves. So practice that by meditating on (that means thinking about and saying out loud) the scriptures we go through and pray about them and ask God to speak to you through them.
Ok, back to today’s post 🙂 I am so glad we talked about waiting on God last week and being still in His Presence because it sets us up nicely for this week. I honestly am not that coordinated, so, thank You Jesus!
2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God will never give you the spirit of fear, but the Holy Spirit who gives you mighty power, love, and self-control.” The Holy Spirt gives us self-control. What does this mean? Last week, we were talking about not forcing our way through life and waiting on God. Being sensitive to God so we can follow the leading of His voice. John 10:27 says, “My own sheep will hear my voice and I know each one, and they will follow me.” This verse tells us that as children of God we have the ability to hear His voice and follow Him.
Self-control is about not doing things out of fear or selfish motives. God will never use fear to “control” us. God does not want us making decisions that are driven by fear. My pastors always say this, “The Holy Spirit leads and the devil drives.” Meaning, God will never push you to do something like it’s now or never. “Do it, do it, do it and do it right now. Don’t even think about it just do it.” That’s not God. That’s the devil. That is fear based and not faith based. God is more like, “Hey, how about you do this.” The choice is always yours to make. You can choose to do it or not to do it. There will be consequences either way, but God will never force you or rush you into something or use fear. You can wait in His Presence until you have His peace over the direction He has given you.
Last week we talked about waiting on God. To me that takes self-control because sometimes we want to do something. If any of you are like me, you feel better when you are doing something about your problems but that is not always the best because we run the risk of running around like a headless chicken. First thing we must do is to come before God, pray about it, be still in His Presence and listen for His voice. It takes self-control to not be reactive and jump into action but to be submitted so you can hear from God and do what He says to do.
Now depending on the situation this process can take minutes or months. Sometimes as soon as you start praying God starts speaking and you know what to do. Other times He is quiet, so you let His peace guide you and you go to the Bible. What does the Word say about this? If your question was, “God this person has made me angry, can I punch them in the throat?” You know the Bible tells us to forgive those who hurt us.
So even if you do not hear anything from God, allow His peace to infiltrate your soul and read scriptures on forgiveness. We know that Jesus is the word, so reading the word is a form of hearing from God. God can make the scriptures come alive to you in a way they never have before especially when you read with the intention of hearing from God. Don’t go reading the scriptures on war when you are thinking about punching throats, lol. Be Holy Spirit led in all you do.
I like how the Scriptures call it self-control. It is not God trying to control you. It is you choosing to come under submission to God and choosing to do things God’s way. We know that Jesus’ commandment is that we love one another as He has loved us, John 15:12. That is a great ask. Jesus loved us enough to die for us. His love for us is immeasurable. He asks us to love each other with the same intensity and same selflessness as He loves us. Jesus also asked us to seek the Kingdom of God above all else and live righteously, Matthew 6:33.
That means when we are tempted to do something that is likely going to hurt someone else, we exercise our self-control, so we do not do it. When we are tempted to do something that puts our will above God’s will, we lean on the Holy Spirit to give us the self-control not to do it. When we want to do something that gets in the way of our obedience to God, we use our self-control to say no to it. Everyone gets tempted with something. The temptation by itself is not sin. Jesus was tempted yet He was sinless. So, what you do with the temptation is what will determine whether you are living righteously or entering into sin. Choose self-control.
The Holy Spirit living within us is always ready to give us self-control right when we need it. We just need to lean on Him and ask. Ask and you will receive, Matthew 7:7. “God I am struggling in this area and I need your help.” In our own strength we will face failure and defeat over and over again but with God, we will come out victorious each time. Say the Scripture out loud for yourself if you need to and know that with the Holy Spirit living in you, you have more than enough self-control to overcome what you need to overcome.
I will leave you with this; Ephesians 3:20 says, “Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for his miraculous power constantly energizes you.” You’ve got this.
Love and blessings