Yesterday I watched a video on YouTube about a young entrepreneur who has had his own restaurant for 5 years. In his video, he talks about his struggles and his achievements and he says that the one thing that has helped him was finding out the power of self-control. He described how he had to deal with difficult customers when he first started and he lost his cool a few times. One he realized that self-control was a must, he was able to deal with many situations and overcome the emotions that had basically ruined his day so many times. Self-control is one of the fruits of the Spirit. It is not something I usually talk about but I know it is something I need to focus on more and develop in my life. I don’t lose control often but just like anyone else I go through phases.
The Holy Spirit produces fruit in our lives if we let Him. He produces love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Self-control is last on the list but it doesn’t mean it is not important. Self-control is defined as the ability to control oneself, in particular one’s emotions and desires, usually in difficult situations. God wants us to have self-control because He wants our emotions to be kept in check and our desires to align with His. Do you lack self-control? God has the power of self-control at His disposal and He wants you to tap into it. Don’t let your emotions get the best of you. Don’t let the desires that are against God’s will dominate you. The Holy Spirit will produce good fruit in Him. Leave it to God to do something great in you.
The fruit of the Spirit has to do with what is inside of us. It touches parts of us that are unseen at first. It affects our emotions, our feelings and even our thinking. The fruit of the Spirit is powerful. It starts with love. With God, everything starts with love. Love is the foundation and the base we should always operate from. We should also think of God as the God of love and know that all He does is out of love. When we have that mindset, we can get to know God better and we are definitely on the right track. God has love for every single one of us and because of His love, we are worthy of having a relationship with Him and of receiving from Him. You and I are entitled to receiving the fruit of the Spirit.
First we have to acknowledge the Lord in all our ways and embrace His Spirit and the fruit He can grow in us. Submission is key. Submit to the Spirit of God and the fruit will grow. There is no way you can yield to the Holy Spirit and not experience the power of His traits in your life. He will always rub off on you when you seek Him and accept Him. A yielded spirit is a spirit that can receive from God and that can have the wonderful fruit of His Spirit on the inside and on display. People will notice the fruit of the Spirit in your life and it will be a blessing to them as well. Self-control is a great blessing that promotes peace and serenity. It will give you the power to conquer anger and frustration among other emotions.
I remember a time when I was getting very upset with my students. I can’t recall exactly what they did or what they said but I know I felt anger rising inside of me. I was going to let them have it. I am not the kind of person who loses his temper easily but that day I was getting very mad. All of a sudden I felt something pressing down the anger and repressing it. It wasn’t so much that it was getting repressed. It appeared that something was pushing it down and destroying it inside of me. There was no doubt that the Holy Spirit was doing something in me. I had been praying a lot and spending a lot of time in communion with the Spirit of God. His fruit was ripening in my life and that experience showed me how self-control can take over when we are yielded to the Spirit. It was as if my mind were getting mad but my spirit was telling my mind to calm down and the Spirit of God won that battle easily.
It takes submission like I said and continued engagement with God and with His Spirit. This manifestation of the Spirit of God happens a lot when we are in constant touch with God and we let Him be our priority. We need to be filled with His Spirit and get lots of refills along the way. One dose of the Spirit of God can only last for so long. You can have self-control, friend. Be in communion with the Lord on a regular basis and don’t resist His Spirit. Give Him free rein in your heart and in your mind. He will give you amazing fruit. The power of self-control will help you every day and you will be able to overcome strong emotions. Resist the devil and he will flee. Self-control from God is how you can resist the enemy. Stay strong in the Lord! May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!
Suggested reading: Proverbs 25:27-28; Galatians 5:22-23; 1 Timothy 3:2-3