Summary: Man cannot control himself. anything uncontrolled has the potential to harm us. Self-control is not self-help. For a Christian, self-control means that He/She will allow the Lord to control their lives by the power of the Holy Spirit.
God, Take the wheel
We have been in the study of the Fruit of the Spirit for several weeks.
I hope that you have been able to be with us for the whole series as we looked at the characteristics of God, and His desire to have these characteristics active in our lives.
Our text says it all Galatians chapter 5:22
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
Today, we will look at self-control. I’ve tried to control myself because it is so exciting to talk to you about self-control.
Each one of these characteristics of the Spirit focuses on how we respond to God and how we treat other people.
Joy and faithfulness are expressed vertically; our relationship with God.
Love, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, on how we react to others.
Self-control to me is an oxy-moron. Two words that should not be put together. Why? Because we cannot control ourselves. We struggle to control ourselves. We can put limits, we can at times do better than we did before, but we cannot control ourselves without the Spirit of God doing it.
If we are to define self-control, it would have to be more than occasionally winning an internal battle and being miserable inside because of the frequent failure we experience when we try to control something that is bigger than we are.
The meaning of self-control is “to grip, or take a hold of.”
The ability to keep yourself under control, to keep yourself in check. Most people do not do a good job with that.
The ability to tell your body and mind that it has to be in submission to the things that we know pleases God.
It is having victories over selfish desires.
Self-control may be a good translation of the Greek word, but we know that we cannot control ourselves simply through will power, or self-determination.
Self-control is more than self help.
What I have learned is that anything uncontrolled can be harmful to you.
Uncontrolled dog can harm you
Uncontrolled fun can destroy you
Uncontrolled relationship can become obsession.
Romans chapter 7:18
“I know that nothing good lives in me, that is , in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do good, but I cannot carry it out.”
“In reading about the lives of great people, I found that the first victory they won was over themselves.”
“If you could kick the person responsible for most of your troubles, you would not be able to sit for a week.”
We are our own worst enemy and we cannot fix it!
We blame others for all our troubles.
Peter tells us, that we cannot do it ourselves. God has given us precious promises to hang unto, so we can beat the Sin Nature. We have to depend on the Devine Nature of God.
Did you get that? You build on the characteristics of God working in your life, and you give God permission to do it.
Faith on top of goodness, on top of knowledge, on top of perseverance, on top of God’s love produces self-control and a life pleasing to God.
(8) “For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Marks of a self-controlled life
I. A life lived with purpose and a goal- God is in charge of.
II. A life that is lived with discipline- God is in charge of.
III. A life that is submissive to God.
Areas of our lives that God has to have control of
I. Anger (The A Word)
“Be ye angry and sin not, let not the sun go down upon your wrath, neither give place to the devil.”
Quick tempered, uncontrolled frustration= miserable lives.
Some people live their lives with their finger on the trigger. Just give me a reason! Go ahead! Make my Day!
“People who fly into a rage, seldom make a good landing.”
How do you control anger?
1. Recognize it- “I have a problem Lord.” Accept responsibility and stop blaming other people for making you angry.
2. Repent- Ask God to help you! Confess it to Him and draw close to Him, and not away from Him. Turn away from it.
3. Rely on the Holy Spirit
Realize that the Holy Spirit of God has to direct you, guide you, change things that need to be changed. If He is not involved, you are limited to your own strength and wisdom, which is what brought you to this spot already.
II. the second area that God has to get control of is your tongue.
“ The tongue is a fire. A world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.”