Control has a bad reputation, doesn’t it? Perhaps you’ve heard people say things like, “That person needs to stop being so controlling.” “He destroyed his relationship with her because he was too controlling.” “I have a problem with being controlling.” There is most assuredly a negative form of control that is sin against God because our flesh tries to exert control over others instead of submitting ourselves to God and loving and serving others instead. But there is a vitally important type of control we are called to bear called “self-control.” Please note we are to BEAR this fruit of the Holy Spirit who lives inside His children. We don’t produce it on our own of our flesh. We bear the fruit of Christ’s very Spirit inside us!
What does self-control look like? We were created to love, worship, serve, obey, and glorify the Lord Jesus Christ and in so doing to deny self, take up our crosses, and follow Jesus as Lord.
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Matthew 16:24
We are to take control of our thoughts, words, and actions and submit them to the lordship, sovereignty, power, control, and leading of Christ. We are to say NO to our flesh when it cries out for us to think, say, or do anything that displeases and dishonors and disobeys God! We are to say YES to the Spirit of Christ as He lives in and through us and bears fruit through us!
We need to line up our thoughts, words, and actions with the will of God as He reveals it to us in the Bible and speaks it to us personally and individually to our hearts. We are to take control of anything that does not line up with His will and get rid of it.
When we have judgmental, critical, and mean thoughts about someone, when we are tempted to lash out with our mouths at someone who has hurt us, when we want to demand something of someone because we don’t like how we are being treated, when we are tempted to lose our temper at someone who has hurt us over and again, when we want to rebel against God and run in the opposite direction of His will for us, when we want to disobey God in any way, shape, or form in our actions, when we long to make decisions based on our emotions that run contrary to God, when we are tempted to sit around all day thinking about things God doesn’t want us thinking about, etc., we are to take control of ourselves and yield ourselves to Christ. Self-control we must have in loving and serving the Lord with all our hearts and being His good and faithful children and servants!
Where do you stand when it comes to self-control? I was delightedly surprised not long ago to realize I had finally begun to bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit of self-control. Only by God’s grace, all for God’s glory. I know full well I can stumble and fall along the way, and repentance is crucial for me as it must be for you also as I learn to practice self-control in loving and serving the Lord with every ounce of my heart!
May you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, may you follow the Lord Jesus Christ, may you bear the fruit of the Spirit of Christ, and may self-control be among the fruit borne of Christ in you and Christ through you, Hallelujah, glory to the Lord, AMEN!
Please dig into and meditate on the verses below! Please note in these verses that self-control comes from the Holy Spirit!
“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance [also “self-control” per Strong’s concordance]: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” Galatians 5:19-25
Please note in the verses below that self-control is from God!
“Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind [also “self-control” per Strong’s concordance].” 2 Timothy 1:6-7