Friends. This is the final installment of the fruits of the Spirit. I have TRULY loved researching and praying and writing on this. In 2019 my goal is to see MORE of the Spirit in my life, and less of myself. He must increase, I must decrease. I hope this has blessed you in the same way!
Today (sorry this is rolling in at 10PM - it was a big day!!!) we focus on the fruit of the Spirit self-control. Self-Control is the feminine noun egkrateia. It means temperance, or the virtue of having mastery over your passions and desires.
Certainly, this isn’t the most sexy of the fruits of the Spirit. But it is the FINAL fruit, the one that has the last word. It’s almost as if self-control ties all the other fruits together. It binds them. Enables them. Finishes them.
After all, how can you have patience without self-control?
How can we have gentleness without self-control?
Without self-control our lives, ambitions, and goals are awash. Self-control may be the pinnacle of the fruits.
This summer I set out on an ambition of mastering my tongue. The author of James compares our tongue to a rudder on a ship - that it directs a gigantic vessel, small though it is. Our mouths are the same. James writes:
We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.
I knew I have gotten off track with my mouth. I was lazy with it, would engage in what the bible calls idle talk, and yes… I cursed sometimes. (Don’t tell grandma.)
I committed this to God. I asked God to enable me, give me power, grace, to MASTER my mouth.
And honestly? I was amazed. My mouth and tongue really did change. I spoke less (I STILL need to speak even less - Jesus take the wheel), listened more, was more thoughtful about what I said.
My belief about this is not that I’m super spiritual. To be sure, I KNOW I have less self-control than most nearly everyone I meet. But, I believe God WANTS to transform us. One of the chief works OF the Holy Spirit is to liken us to the image of Jesus. To change us. Completely.
I have a long way to go, but it’s encouraging to see God working things out in us. Molding us.
God’s goal for us, is that we wouldn’t be mastered by anything, but rather be master OVER all things. Our souls included. In 2019, I’m asking God to help conform me in ALL the fruits of the Spirit, by his grace, and power.
So what about you? What needs to (NEEDS TO) change in 2019?
Maybe its your anger.
Maybe its your mouth.
Maybe its the fact that need one less IPA on a Friday night.
But God doesn’t just want self-control in abstinence from unfruitful things. He wants self-control for you as you pursue the things and callings of GOD on your life.
Years ago I read The Final Quest by Rick Joyner. It’s a prophetic vision, about the battle between light and darkness and honestly I loved it. One line stood out to me and struck my Spirit completely. It said that the armies of God “marched with a tempered passion”.
A passion that had been mastered.
How powerful, I thought.
This is how God wants us to build his kingdom with Him. With a tempered passion. A matured zeal. A mastered vision. These are the kinds of people that start revivals, heal communities, change the world. Those with self-control.
May your 2019 be your most glorious yet. May your transformation begin inward, and move powerfully outward into a world that so desperately needs to see the LIGHT and power of the living God.
Believing so much for you. So grateful to have walked the last 9 days with you! God can do immeasurably more. By the Spirit.
1 Peter 1:5-7
1 Corinthians 10:13