A devotional by Allison M. Wilson
Key Scripture: Galatians 5:22-23 and Proverbs 25:3 (NASB)
I’ve really struggled with this last fruit of the Spirit. Not only in application in my life, but in writing this blog post. I have this deep sense that self-control means much more than we realize on the surface, yet, I must not be at a point where God’s ready to reveal it.
I’ve been praying about this fruit for some time. The other blogs have flowed pretty well, with lots of thoughts and ideas swirling around before I sit down to write. This one, however, has just sat in my mind…self-control.
The other fruit have shown us that we can not manifest them through fleshly initiative for long. They are all part of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. They are a result of a surrendered life. Self-control must be the same, right? So, if all of the fruit are a result, how does self come into this? How can my flesh, or self, gain any kind of real control?
Proverbs 25:3 tells us that it’s to God’s glory to conceal a matter and to the glory of kings to seek it out. God doesn’t play hide and seek to be malicious or sly. He wants to know we are desiring to hear more from Him, to go more deeply. That requires a seeking out on our parts.
A quick search of the Scriptures says that the word “self-control” isn’t used in the Old Testament, only in the New Testament. Interesting! Another piece of information is that the word is only used from Acts on. I think we’re getting somewhere!
With the knowledge that self-control was talked about in the Word only after the Holy Spirit was given to believers, there’s definitely a connection. My question about how self plays into this still remains, but a thought is starting to form.
We see Jesus in the wilderness being tempted. It’s a relatively short story in the Scriptures, with enormous ramifications. Until recently, I really didn’t think about what it was like for Him to have the enemy tempt Him with food, though I think that was likely the hardest to resist. He had been without food for 40 days. I know someone who has been called to a 40 day fast several times in his life. He’s told me that it is the most difficult thing he’s ever done, and when he is able to eat, his mind wants to eat everything in sight! That’s the point to which Jesus had gotten when He was told to make a stone into bread, which is something that is incredibly simple for the Creator to do.
Gethsemane is another place we see the Lord suffering under stress to the point of sweating out blood. So much was going on with His flesh, that it was pushing blood out of His pores. That’s something few people can say they have experienced.
During both of these overwhelming trials, Jesus did not sin. He did not give in to what His flesh, self, wanted, though it was a severe struggle. He exhibited the self-control that I believe the Scriptures may be talking about in Galatians. The wrestling with what I want, versus what I know the Spirit wants. The surrender of my will to One who has done the same to His Father. Giving up my right to be right, in order to be right with Him.
Perhaps I’m getting to the point of God illuminating this more for me. I’ll just have to seek it out. Are you willing to do the same?
Let's Pray: Dear Daddy (Father God in Heaven), You have redefined so many words as You have conformed my thoughts to those of You. This word is no different. Show me what You want me to see about myself and my walk with You, as Your Spirit guides me into all truth. In Jesus’s Name, I pray, Amen.
A very early reader and lover of the written word, Allison M. Wilson has been writing since the age of eight with the heart to impart stories and God's truth.
She has judged countless contests for the last 25 years, reviewed for several online publications, professionally edited, and written articles and devotionals.
Wife, mother, writer, editor, teacher, mentor, and mompreneur, God keeps her busy while living in east central Florida with her family.
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