Galatians 5:22-23 – The fruit of the Spirit is self-control; against such things there is no law.

The last attribute Paul mentions to the Galatians is self-control.  The word temperance used in KJV is translated self-control in the NASB.  Paul shared Christ with Felix in Acts 24:25. He discussed righteousness, self-control, and judgment.  God’s desire for every believer is self-government.  That was God’s plan in the beginning for Adam and Eve. Out of a relationship with God, Adam was expected to govern his own life within the surroundings where the Lord had placed him.  Jesus, whom Paul calls “the last Adam, who is a life giving spirit” (1 Corinthians 15:45), governed Himself out of His relationship with the Father through the Holy Spirit.  It is possible for each believer to be self-governing if one is fully surrendered to the Spirit of God.

Self-control is very important in the marriage bond.  Consider Paul’s instruction to “Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again lest Satan tempt you because of your lack of self-control” (1 Corinthians 7:5-6).  Paul also gave instructions concerning the unmarried.  “If they do not have self-control, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn” (1 Corinthians 7:9-10).  Peter also dealt with the subject of self-control by writing, “in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance” (2 Peter 1:6).  Peter gave his own list of disciplines for the Christian life, and self-control is right in the center.  Are there areas in your life that are out of control and need the power of this attribute?  Can you list areas in your life in which self-control operates freely?

I want to be clear that I am not speaking about a person by their own strength or effort living a life of self-control.  I am addressing an attribute of the Holy Spirit.  We can live a life of self-control by surrendering our lives to the Lord Jesus Christ, through the power of His Spirit.

Father, I ask for the Holy Spirit to show me areas of my life needing Your power for self-control. I ask for the Spirit to strengthen me with this attribute in specific areas in which You make me aware.  Lord, I want to live under Your governmental rule and demonstrate a lifestyle of self-control in all I do.  Thank you, Holy Spirit, for this part of Your nature in me!