Summary: If anyone has ever observed a reckless driver they know the destructiveness that can effect the lives of thousands because of one out of control individual. Here are twelve ways the Holy Spirit and the word of God will help you practice greater self-contr

Let the Holy Spirit Help You Practice Temperance in All Things

Gal 5:22 - The fruit of the Spirit is self-control.

We live in an age of moral relativism where people want to be free to do whatever they feel like doing. Millions struggle to control their feelings, finances, speech, lusts, behaviors, worries, and relationships. However, if anyone has ever observed a reckless driver they know the destructiveness that can effect the lives of thousands because of one out of control individual. Without the Spirit’s fruit of self-control producing a greater level of agape love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and self-control we are prisoners to the sinful nature’s tendencies of the flesh: "The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God." (Gal. 5:19-21) We need the Spirit’s empowering to experience full victory over the temptations of the world, the flesh and the devil. Here are twelve ways the Holy Spirit and the word of God will help you practice greater self-control:

1. The Holy Spirit gives us the self-control to practice a self-restraint so that we are able to exhibit moderation in all our relationships, ministries and personal habits. Paul wrote, "The fruit of the Spirit is...self-control." (Gal. 5:23) Ask the Lord to give you an increasing ability to practice a self-restraint in your personal lifestyle, interpersonal interactions and ministry activities. This will include asking God for help in fleeing from youthful lusts and pursuing righteousness, godliness, faith, love and peace with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart." (2 Tim. 2:22-24)

2. The Holy Spirit grants us the grace to exercise self-discipline enabling us to finish the ministry projects we begin. Paul wrote, "Run in such a way as to get the prize...Therefore, I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize." (I Cor. 9:24-27) Ask the Lord to help you practice temperance by exhibiting Godly self-discipline enabling you to successfully complete the ministries that God has led you to undertake. Just as an athlete trains himself for the Olympics so we discipline ourselves for the purpose of godliness knowing that it is profitable not only in the this life but also in the age to come. (I Tim. 4:7,8)

3. The Holy Spirit gives you the knowledge and wisdom to realize that Godly balance is better than extremism. Paul wrote, "Everything is permissible - but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible - but not everything is constructive." (I Cor. 10:23) Ask the Lord to give you greater knowledge and wisdom to help you practice a Godly balanced approach that avoids any extremist’s approaches - I.E. Legalism, judgmentalism, Intellectualism, Spiritism, Humanism, Traditionalism, etc. Ask the Lord to fill you with an ever increasing level of His knowledge, understanding, counsel, power, knowledge and the fear of the Lord so you do not have to judge by merely what you see but by the Spirit’s enlightenment. (Isa. 9:6)

4. The Holy Spirit enables you to do everything that God asks you to do with the help of Christ who gives you the strength and power. (Phil. 4:13 - Living Bible) Ask the Lord to help you to know when to pull back from harmful relationships, personal efforts and ministries. Trust the Lord to indicate to you when you are serving more in the power of the flesh than in the Spirit. It is not by power or by might but by God’s Spirit that he mountains of our life will be removed. He will make a way through the wilderness of life if we cry out to the Lord to bring down the mountains and make a stream in the desert of our life’s experiences. He gives us supernatural capabilities, competencies and conquering capacities through the Spirit of Jesus Christ. (Zech. 4:6-10)

5. The Holy Spirit guides us in how to get out of our ruts, complacency or apathetic attitudes when we are becoming too lax toward our responsibilities. The writer of Hebrews wrote, "God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness." (Heb. 12:10) Ask the Lord to chasten you whenever you need to climb out of your ruts of complacency or apathetic attitudes or regimented thinking. Sometimes God uses storms, set-backs and loss in order to bring about a better long-term result in godliness, love and the fulfillment of His will. Be open to the fact that the Lord may sometimes let things get worse in order for His glory, will and purpose to be fulfilled for His greater good and plan. (Jer. 29:11)

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