Summary: The Holy Spirit motivates us to serve with love from a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith by helping us to control our thoughts, emotions, and choices.

Thirteen Ways the Spirit Helps us Exhibit Self-Control

Gal 5:23 - "The fruit of the Spirit is self-control."

Illustration: A man from Michigan had an idea for removing a tree stump from the yard of a friend. He decided to use some dynamite he had stored away in his house. It did the trick. The explosion turned the stump into an airborne missile that traveled 163 feet downrange before crashing through a neighbor’s roof. The stump opened a 3-foot hole in the roof, split the rafters, and pushed through the ceiling of the dining room.

If we are honest, we can see ourselves in the actions of the dynamite user. We have used explosive words and actions to try to solve problems, which only made things worse. We get action, but we leave much damage in our wake.

We are not the first to let anger make trouble for us. It happened to people in the Bible too. Moses, for instance, became extremely frustrated with his murmuring followers (Numbers 20:10). So, instead of speaking to the rock to get water, as the Lord had instructed him, he angrily struck it twice (v.11). He did get water from the rock, but there was a problem—Moses had disobeyed God. Because of this, God told him he could not enter the Promised Land (v.12).

Anger, like dynamite, is explosive. Unless it is handled with wisdom and self-control, it can do great damage (Our Daily Bread)

1. The Holy Spirit motivates us to serve with love from a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith by helping us to control our thoughts, emotions, and choices. Paul wrote, "The object and purpose of our instruction and charge is love, which springs from a pure heart and a good (clear) conscience and a sincere (unfeigned) faith." (I Tim. 1:5) Ask the Lord to help you discipline yourself for the purpose of greater godliness in all aspects of your personal life, your relationships and your ministries.

2. The Holy Spirit helps us focus our emotional, mental, and spiritual energies on following Jesus Christ in all areas of our life. The writer of Hebrews wrote, "Looking away from all that will distract us, let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith." (Heb. 12:1,2) Only the Spirit of God can keep you from getting distracted by the worries, riches or pleasures of this life. Ask the Lord to help you concentrate all of your resources on loving Jesus Christ and obeying His will.

3. The Holy Spirit helps renew, refresh and restore our willingness to do God’s will as we pray and study God’s word. David wrote, "As the deer pants for the water, so my soul cries out for you Oh God." (Psa. 42:1) Ask the Lord to help you spend at least thirty minutes alone with the Lord every morning to allow Him to replenish your willingness to do ALL of His will.

4. The Holy Spirit helps us resist the temptation to lash back at people who criticize us or our ideas. The Spirit of God has a way of helping us not taking accusations personally. Jesus said, "If they reject you, they are rejecting me." (Luke 10:16) Ask the Lord to help you to avoid allowing fault finders to get to you emotionally, mentally or spiritually.

5. The Holy Spirit helps us remember that God can work all things together for good when we feel overwhelmed by problems. The Spirit of God is able to take all adverse factors and synergistically blend them together to create in us a greater Godly character, a wiser mind a more fruitful long term outcome. Ask God to help you remember that He can use everything for your best interests when you feel like quitting.

6. The Holy Spirit brings to mind important scriptural truths that remind us that our own lack of self-control is our chief obstacle to success. (James 4:1-4) Ask the Lord to help you remember that it is not what is on the outside of a person that defiles them, but what comes out of a person’s heart and mind.

7. The Holy Spirit helps us concentrate our efforts on pleasing the Lord rather than trying to please people or our own selfish desires. Paul wrote, "Work wholeheartedly as to the Lord and not to please men (including yourself)." (Col. 3:23) Ask the Lord to help you direct all of your attention to pleasing God instead of people or yourself.

8. The Holy Spirit helps us associate with Godly people who can encourage us to discipline ourselves for the purpose of Godliness. Solomon wrote, "He who walks with wise men, will be wise. But the companion of fools will suffer harm." Ask the Lord to help you consistently associate with Godly people who can help you practice self-control in your speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity of life. Trust the Lord to help you avoid spending a lot of time with people who are undisciplined, lazy or prone to anger or fearful reactions.

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David Parr

commented on Dec 5, 2006

One of my greatest downfalls is my lack of self control.This helped me understand more about how the Holy Spirit can guide me in this area.If any one has more info in this area please send it to me. My desire for a new and different life is oh so real. I have lost soo much and hurt so many due to my lack of self control. I know only God can change me. This sermon has enlightened me,and I would love to learn more on this,and more.

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