Congratulations! You’ve made it to the final week of our fruit challenge. I pray you’ve journeyed with us throughout this challenge as we challenged ourselves to allow the Holy Spirit to work through us all the fruits of the Spirit. As always the choice is ours, whether to yield to the leading of the Holy Spirit and get fruit or continue in our own efforts and get works. Let’s yield to the Holy Spirit for the fruits of the Spirit.
This week we will challenge ourselves in the fruit of Temperance. Temperance is self-control or discipline. It’s important for every believer to have self-control because it builds character in us, without it we are all out of control. Temperance takes into consideration the sacrifice each of must pay to fulfill our God given destinies. Here what Paul says in I Corinthians 9:25, “Now every athlete who goes into training conducts himself temperately and restricts himself in all things. They do it to win a wreath that will soon wither, but we [do it to receive a crown of eternal blessedness] that cannot wither.” Notice Paul says “restricts himself in all things.” This denotes a lifestyle not a once in awhile thing. If we are to fulfill our God given destinies we must live a life of discipline and self-control in all things if not, the things we don’t control will ultimately control us. Romans 8:13 says, “For if you live according to [the dictates of] the flesh, you will surely die. But if through the power of the [Holy] Spirit you are [habitually] putting to death (making extinct, deadening) the [evil] deeds prompted by the body, you shall [really and genuinely] live forever.” God has given us His Spirit to control our flesh all we have to do is use what God has given us.
Jesus told satan in the wilderness “…It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4). He also said in John 6:63, “It is the Spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing, the words that I speak unto you they are Spirit and they are life.” Therefore, we can use the word of God to control the dictates of the flesh because the flesh is control by the Spirit. It’s through the Spirit that we put to death the evil deeds prompted by the body and it’s through the Spirit that we live a life that’s full of discipline and self-control in all things.
However, no discipline feels good at the time it’s being exercised. It might not feel good to wake up an hour earlier to pray or to put down those extra cookies but if we allow it we will reap the fruit of what it brings. We will fulfill our destinies and receive a crown of eternal blessedness that cannot wither.
Therefore, I challenge you this week to allow the Holy Spirit to search out those areas in your life that you need to exercise discipline and self-control in and then let Him work through you to bring all things under His control.