Galatians 5:22-23 MSG
But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.
Here we are week number nine in our study on the fruits of the spirit. All of the fruits of the spirit have a common thread that bind them together and that is commitment.
As I’ve said before the gifts of the spirit are what we possess inwardly and the fruit of the spirit is what everyone else is suppose to see.
Self discipline or self control Paul listed as the ninth fruit of the spirit not by accident. Because all of the gifts require discipline, but listing the final fruit of the spirit was genius. The old saying, “practice makes perfect” Paul used well.
I read recently, that to become great at something it requires 10,000 hours of practice.
Paul knew to achieve all of the fruits of the spirit, it would require lots of practice.
I’m not sure how many diets have been created to help us watch what goes into our mouth and into our bodies. But the Lord instructed Paul to be mindful of what we let come out into our world and the world around us.
A wise man once told me, “ It is better to remain ignorant and not speak, then to speak and remove all doubt!”
Proverbs 29:11 NKJ
A fool vents all his feelings,[c]
But a wise man holds them back.
From the book a life beyond amazing,
Self-discipline is choosing to do what’s right when you feel like doing what’s wrong. It’s knowing you can, but decide and you won’t. It is the ability to maintain progress forward towards a goal even when you’re not in the mood, don’t feel like making the effort, would momentarily find something else to do more enjoyable, or finding it just downright unpleasant.
TBS.(the Bible says) in Mark 6:34 NKJ
34. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Have you ever heard the old saying, never put off till tomorrow what you can do today?
Clearly whoever coined that phrase, wasn’t thinking in spiritual terms were they?
If your truly trusting God this morning as your one true source, you shouldn’t be concerned, about the what ifs the accuser continually throws at you!
Do you believe, God’s Grace is greater than any problem we will ever face? If your answer is yes, then how can you give into fear or worry?
So your saying to not fear or worry at all, ever? Yes, but more importantly, God’s word says it over and over! Pastor Rick Warren says the words do not fear appear 365 times, do you suppose that’s merely a coincidence?
Then tell me why do so many people, let so much stuff get to them all the time?
Because we’re not focused on the benefits our relationship with Jesus, provides to us!
We try to make it about everything else but our dependency on our relationship with Jesus.
Mark 6:31-33 NKJ
31. “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
32. For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
33. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
The answer to stress free, worry free living, is to seek God, seek out what He wants for you. Have you ever tried it? You might be shocked to find out, what God wants for you!
One word from God is all you need! If you will let Him, if you will give Him a chance, He will show you His capabilities.
A lot of people receive instruction, or a word from God and let it slip through their fingers, without ever having achieved the promise. It’s too hard, it’s to this, it’s to that, I could never be that person.
Achieving a word and promise from God takes faith, trust and the self discipline to keep having faith and trusting God until. Until what you ask? Until the promise comes to fruition!
Why do some people seem to have more in, from and through their relationship with God? Because they trust in God’s capabilities more than their capabilities and they practice the faith and the self discipline of the word until!
The pillow guy Mike Lindell, God gave a word in the form of a dream. God showed him how to build the perfect pillow. We all seen him on TV doing commercials and God has blessed the word and dream He put in Mikes heart.
Thing is and Mike would tell you He was a crackhead when God gave him the ideas we all see on TV and he didn’t stop doing drugs until 2009. You and I probably would have never gave Mike a second look, because we would have saw him where he was at.
God didn’t see him for where he was at, God saw him for where he would go and for he what he would do with the opportunity when he got there. And today, every chance Mike gets he gives God 100% of the glory and credit!
Gods capabilities, no matter where a person is in life, will take you places you never dreamed of! A word from God is more enough to exceed every need and raise anyone willing to believe above their circumstances!
If you will seek God, He will also supply you a Word and exceed your need. One Word from God, changes Lives! And do you know what God likes to do for us in our lives, when we untie His hands with our faith? Everything He can!
If it were possible I would tell you to ask David. David was a young boy, a Shepard boy taking care of his fathers sheep when the Prophet Samuel told him and his family, he would become a King.
I’m sure they were all scratching their heads, especially David’s brothers! If anyone could’ve ever said or thought, “now that would certainly be a stretch or an impossibility!” David could’ve said that and his family would’ve agreed.
1st Samuel 16:10-12 MSG
10 Jesse presented his seven sons to Samuel. Samuel was blunt with Jesse, “God hasn’t chosen any of these.”
11 Then he asked Jesse, “Is this it? Are there no more sons?”
“Well, yes, there’s the runt. But he’s out tending the sheep.”
Samuel ordered Jesse, “Go get him. We’re not moving from this spot until he’s here.”
12 Jesse sent for him. He was brought in, the very picture of health—bright-eyed, good-looking.
God said, “Up on your feet! Anoint him! This is the one.”
David’s family would’ve never considered David as kingly material, but God saw something that they couldn’t see, God saw someone willing with a servants heart!
13 Samuel took his flask of oil and anointed him, with his brothers standing around watching. The Spirit of God entered David like a rush of wind, God vitally empowering him for the rest of his life.
Samuel left and went home to Ramah.
Many would say, yah but that was David the giant killer and great warrior. I would argue, many have had God’s shoes of opportunity placed before them and never stepped into them!
Although all of the great heroic acts God had awaiting David in his life ready to take place. David still first had to take the step of faith into the journey that awaited him and the self discipline to keep quiet until Gods promise came to fruition.
14 At that very moment the Spirit of God left Saul and in its place a black mood sent by God settled on him. He was terrified.
15-16 Saul’s advisors said, “This awful tormenting depression from God is making your life miserable. O Master, let us help. Let us look for someone who can play the harp. When the black mood from God moves in, he’ll play his music and you’ll feel better.”
17 Saul told his servants, “Go ahead. Find me someone who can play well and bring him to me.”
18 One of the young men spoke up, “I know someone. I’ve seen him myself: the son of Jesse of Bethlehem, an excellent musician. He’s also courageous, of age, well-spoken, and good-looking. And God is with him.”
19 So Saul sent messengers to Jesse requesting, “Send your son David to me, the one who tends the sheep.”
20-21 Jesse took a donkey, loaded it with a couple of loaves of bread, a flask of wine, and a young goat, and sent his son David with it to Saul. David came to Saul and stood before him. Saul liked him immediately and made him his right-hand man.
One word from God, can take you from the pasture and occupation of Shepard boy, to being the right hand man in the palace of the king.
Illus. By Charles Swindoll
A young man had been promoted to an important position in his company. He’d never dreamed he’d be in such a position, much less at such a young age. So he went to see the venerable old timer in the company, and said, "Sir, I was wondering if you could give me some ADVICE." The old timer came back with just two words: "Right decisions!" The young man had hoped for a bit more than this, so he said, "Thank you, that’s really helpful, and I appreciate it, but could you be a little more SPECIFIC? HOW do I make right decisions?"
The old man responded: "Experience." The young man said, "Well, that’s just the point of my being here. I don’t have the kind of experience I need. How do I GET it?" The old man replied: "WRONG decisions!"
David was faced with the same situation. He would have to make his decisions wisely and all of them would require the discipline of self control.
The ability and wisdom to know when to say yes to the opportunities like defending his nation against Goliath sized request, and no to the temptation of revealing Gods promise before Gods timing.
With each day that passed David’s rise to be a King became more prevalent and Sauls demise from power became more and more evident. There many times David could’ve let the cat out of the bag, but he didn’t. David’s self discipline would be challenged many times along his path to the throne.
He eventually fled from the palace for his life and went on the run, eluding attempt after attempt on his life as ordered by King Saul.
1st Samuel 24:1-7 MSG
When Saul came back after dealing with the Philistines, he was told, “David is now in the wilderness of En Gedi.” Saul took three companies—the best he could find in all Israel—and set out in search of David and his men in the region of Wild Goat Rocks. He came to some sheep pens along the road. There was a cave there and Saul went in to relieve himself. David and his men were huddled far back in the same cave. David’s men whispered to him, “Can you believe it? This is the day God was talking about when he said, ‘I’ll put your enemy in your hands. You can do whatever you want with him.’” Quiet as a cat, David crept up and cut off a piece of Saul’s royal robe.
5-7 Immediately, he felt guilty. He said to his men, “God forbid that I should have done this to my master, God’s anointed, that I should so much as raise a finger against him. He’s God’s anointed!” David held his men in check with these words and wouldn’t let them pounce on Saul. Saul got up, left the cave, and went on down the road.
David held fast to the promise God had made him and the faith and self discipline not to do what he might have felt, or was certainly encouraged to do, but to do the right thing! And David was greatly rewarded for the diligence of his trust in God’s ability instead of his own.
In this modern day and age in which we live, God would still have me tell you that you are no different than David. David’s circumstances are no different then your circumstances.
God is not a respecter of persons, nor circumstances. If God makes a promise, He is well able to deliver His promise. God’s able to propel anyone who is willing to believe, have faith and to exercise self control and discipline until the timing is right for God to deliver His promise!
Ephesians 3:20,21 MSG
God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.
Glory to God in the church!
Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus!
Glory down all the generations!
Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes!
Thank you Lord for the commitment of Your Holy Spirit in our lives!
Let our prayer be that the Fruit of the spirit flows on us, through us and out of us as walk in relationship with God, knowing anything and everything is possible on the journey to the destiny He has for us!