This week is the final devotion on my Fruit of the Spirit Series! It has been a fun, yet sometimes hard, journey doing my first blog series and I hope to do many more! Now on to this week’s subject, self-control!
The Bible wants us to control ourselves, our human desires and to do as the Spirit inside us wants us to do so that we can glorify God. We have to ‘let the Spirit direct [our] lives’ (Gal. 5:16) so we will do only the good things that God wants us to do. It’s difficult to do this, however, without the help of God’s Spirit. We must use His help to control our fleshly desires because our flesh and God’s Spirit are always going to be against each other. ‘For what our human nature wants is opposed to what the Spirit wants, and what the Spirit wants is opposed to what our human nature wants. These two are enemies, and this means that you cannot do what you want to do.’-Gal. 5:17. Since Jesus is our Savior, we must allow His Spirit to control our lives. (Gal. 5:25)
We must ‘keep [ourselves] in training for a godly life’ (1 Tim. 4:7). Titus 2:2-6 tells both older and younger men and women to be self-controlled. Because of God’s grace, we should ‘give up ungodly living and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in this world’ (Titus 2:11-12) to show that we are God’s children through Jesus’ death on the cross and our belief and salvation in Him. We must let ‘God transform [us] inwardly by a complete change’ (Rom. 12:2) so that our flesh cannot rule over us. We need to let God’s Spirit rule over us and every decision we make is to be made on the wisdom of God’s Spirit in us, not on the desires of our human nature. Our minds and thoughts should always be filled ‘with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honorable.’ (Phil. 4:8) 1 Corinthians 6:18 tells us to ‘avoid immorality’ because it is a sin ‘against [our] own bod[ies]’
Paul tells the Corinthians in his first letter that we should be like athletes and runners who strive for the prize. They keep their bodies and desires in check so that they can compete and win the prize. ‘I harden my body with blows and bring it under complete control, to keep myself from being disqualified after having called others to the contest.’ (1 Cor. 9:24-27) If we don’t keep our flesh in line with the Spirit, all of our work here on earth for the Kingdom of God may come to nothing because we didn’t listen to God when He told us to ‘let the Spirit direct’ us. We need to listen to God and His will, which ‘is good and is pleasing to him and is perfect’ (Rom. 12:2). ‘Run, then, in such a way as to win the prize.’ (1 Cor. 9:24) The greatest prize of them all: entering the Kingdom of God, having eternal life with our Father, and being crowned with ‘the glorious crown which will never lose its brightness.’ (1 Peter 4:5)
“The end of all things is near. You must be self-controlled and alert, to be able to pray.” 1 Peter 4:7
P.S. Did you enjoy this series? Did it help you in your journey with the Lord? Let me know what you think in the comments!