From The Heart

Publish date: 05/14/2000

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23 KJV


The Greek word “temperance” means self-control, self-restraint and self-discipline.


For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.  2 Timothy 1:7 NIV


For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.

2 Timothy 1:7 AMP


So many people blame the devil for their sin and their problems, but the devil can’t make you do anything that you don’t want to do. He only makes suggestions and tells lies -– we choose whether to yield to him or not. We are in control. The Spirit of God gives us the ability and the power to resist. Satan may try to tempt you, but if the Spirit of God lives in you, then you can resist him. You must submit yourself to God and then you can resist the devil. James 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” 


Your flesh may feel weak, but you have the Word of God and the Spirit of God to help you and to give you the ability to yield to the Spirit rather than the flesh and the devil. These are choices you make. You choose to put your flesh under and to display self-control. You choose to serve the spirit instead of the flesh.


The devil tries control you through fear -– he tries to bring fear into your life and make you fearful of all kinds of things and in all kinds of situations -- but the self-control and self-discipline that God gives you allows you to control the fear and to defeat the devil.


If you know the Word and if you believe the Word, then you will have a calm, well-balanced mind and the devil will not have an easy time selling you on his lies. If you have a calm, well-balanced mind then the devil cannot confuse you or harass you. You will harass him!


You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.  Isaiah 26:3 NKJ


Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 1:2-8 NKJ


As you grow in the Word and allow the Lord to do a work in you, fruit comes forth in your life and godly character is developed in you. There is an order to the godly character that is formed in your life. You begin with faith in God and add virtue (moral goodness), knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and then love. When you have faith in God, moral goodness and knowledge of the Word, then with God’s help you can develop self-control.


Self-control is very important to your Christian walk. Self-control makes it possible for you to walk in patience, perseverance and constancy. Self-control causes you to be able to put your flesh under and walk in the Spirit. If you yield to your flesh you will reap a bitter harvest, but if you yield to the Spirit then you will reap life everlasting. Jesus’ divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness as we grow in our knowledge of Him. We have been given exceedingly great and precious promises, but we have to have patience and self-control in order to receive them.

The Lord has so much in store for us and we can have it all if we have the self-control to patiently stand on God’s Word and receive His promises.