In your life, having self-control will be the difference between victory and defeat, peace and turmoil, maturity and stagnation. Having self-control is of such great importance that it should be at the forefront of every Christian’s goal in order to live a life pleasing to the Lord.
Do not focus on the problem outside you but the deficiency it reveals within you. Every problem in your life reveals which fruit of the Spirit has not yet ripened in your life. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…” (Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV).
The problem we have is we read the word “self” in self-control and then put it on ourselves to achieve this ability. You may gain some ground and, on occasion, find success. But on your own, you’ll always be lacking. We were never meant to achieve a fullness of self-control on our own power.
You cannot overcome yourself by your own power because it is you against you, checkmate. “For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13 NKJV).
God knows your shortcomings. He will not sit back and scold you in your weakness, but He will give you everything you need to go ever higher. Self-control is something that comes out of oneself but cannot be achieved by oneself. We need God to do in us that which we cannot ever do on our own.
Divine power flows in natural weakness. Jesus told the apostle Paul, “My grace is enough for you, for my power is brought to perfection in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9 CJB).
Self-control is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. It is by the Lord that you will gain self-control, and it is by the Lord that you will keep it. Self-control does not come to those who deserve it but to those who yield to the Holy Spirit who gives it. The Holy Spirit can change you once you’re willing.
Jesus never said you would discern others by their gifts but by their fruits. “…by their fruits you will know them” (Matthew 7:20 NKJV). “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: …self-control…” (Galatians 5:22-23 NLT).
Self-control will help you in every area of your life. It will help you to battle against the temptations that draw you into sin. It will help you to live a healthier lifestyle that honors God with how you care for your body, soul, and spirit. It helps you relationally in how you treat and respond to everyone around you.
Whenever we’re not strong in a spiritual gift, it’s because we’re not weak before God. “As you yield freely and fully to the dynamic life and power of the Holy Spirit, you will abandon the cravings of your self-life” (Galatians 5:16 TPT).
Self-control moves you from the human weakness you wallow in over to the heavenly spiritual power you were meant to walk in. The fruit of the Holy Spirit will grow out of the life that is firmly rooted in good ground. That good ground is a life of surrender to the Lord Jesus.
You won’t trip over natural things when you’re walking in the Spirit. “But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God)” (Galatians 5:16 AMPC).
The secret to gaining ground is relinquishing ground which is the selfish life we all live in. Perhaps you have surrendered a parcel or two of the life you live. But so long as you stand on one parcel of ground in your life and say, “mine,” then the Holy Spirit won’t give you power in that area.
You can’t be filled with the Spirit of God and continue as you were before. “For the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set controlled by the Spirit finds life and peace” (Romans 8:6 TPT).
Self-control is a superpower as it comes from the supernatural presence of the Holy Spirit working within you. There is no limit to what God can accomplish in your life other than the limits you have created in yourself. The harder you resist God, the less He can do with you.
Restraint on earth is a superpower from heaven. “But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23 AMP).
Stop thinking you can’t change. Start letting the Lord change you. Ask Him to help you surrender. Ask Him to reveal those things you have yet to relinquish. Allow Holy Spirit to reign over all your life. Let Him in and don’t ever ask Him to leave, and your life will be forever blessed by His presence.
To the degree that you control your life, the Lord does not. “But you are not living the life of the flesh, you are living the life of the Spirit, if the [Holy] Spirit of God [really] dwells within you [directs and controls you].” (Romans 8:9 AMPC).
Can you imagine having temptations literally bounce off you? Can you see yourself not responding inappropriately to those who come against you? Can you picture your life having the discipline to care for your body, soul, and spirit? Let the Holy Spirit help you and then He will.
It takes a greater strength to restrain oneself than it does to respond in anger. “For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age” (Titus 2:11-12 NIV).
Blessings to you,