“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
What an incredible Bible study this 10 week look at Galatians 5:22-23 has been! Beth Moore’s insights and teaching are such a blessing and if you have not read or participated in this study I strongly encourage you to do so. It is life changing.
(If you would like to read my other posts on the study you can find them here or scroll down to the Bible Study category.)
This week, we concluded our study with the final fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:23 – self-control.
I was so excited for this chapter because I needed a strong lesson in self-control this week. (Every week the lessons have hit me so powerfully, right where I needed it. It is incredible actually.)
This week I have succumbed to fear and anxiety. I have mentioned to you my troubles with anxiety, but this week in particular I allowed my mind to indulge in fearful, terrifying thoughts.
It started Tuesday afternoon. I was watching the Oprah Winfrey show – which I haven’t watched in probably a year or more. But my son was at Julia’s playing and my husband needed my computer, so I decided to turn on the TV while I fixed dinner. The show was on the Avian Flu and the growing risk for global pandemic. Well, ladies, I am afraid of the stomach flu, never mind a pandemic! I have worried about pandemic concerns off and on for the last six months or so, watching the news carefully. But somehow, this show triggered my panic and this entire week I have allowed my mind to delve into the dark horrible images of death, suffering and chaos.
In fact, I didn’t even do my study all week because I was so lost in my anxiety that I couldn’t concentrate on anything. So today, with the deadline looming, I sat down for a much needed (and wanted) crash course in self-control.
You see, while I have been learning so much about the fruit of the Spirit, I need self control to allow the Holy Spirit to do its work in me. As we have learned, each aspect of the fruit of the Spirit is critical – and I have learned first hand that I need self-control to live in the Spirit.
Beth says it so well:
“The key to self-control is the refusal to allow our enemies (the flesh, the world, or Satan) to rule or hold us captive in any way. What does “self” have to do with the issue of “control”? Christ has given us the victory over our flesh, our world, and our accuser. Only self can re-extend authority to one of these three enemies. They cannot presume authority over us. In the life of a believer, they can rule only where they are invited.”
The Spirit’s power is there for me, but every day I have a choice about whether to take it. It is a matter of self-control. Beth likens it to the walls of protection around an ancient city. Without those walls we are in for total destruction.
To quote Beth again:
“We are the temple of God…and self-control is our wall of protection! It fortifies all that is within. The quality of self-control is that which secures our freedom to love, to experience joy, to know peace, to respond with patience, to have a kind disposition, to act out of goodness, to step out in faithfulness, and to agree with gentleness. How? Because self-control is the ability to make choices which invite and enhance the authority and filling of the Holy Spirit. Self-control is the decision to remain within the boundaries of victory!”
Yes – I need self-control in many areas of my life. And Beth covered some of them in the rest of this week’s study. But today the message for me was self-control of the mind and of making the choice to invite the authority and the filling of the Holy Spirit to rule in my life. While I do have a medical condition that makes me susceptible to these terrible times of panic and anxiety, I also have the living power of the Holy Spirit to work in me. I need to have self-control to call on the power and victory of Christ to face the fears and challenges of the world. Through the gift of the Holy Spirit, I can be filled with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
You know my weaknesses and my fears. And you have been so generous and merciful with me. I thank you Lord for your gifts, provisions and protection. Lord I ask you for the power to build strong my walls of self-control and protect my mind from my enemies. I invite the authority and the filling of the Holy Spirit in to my life today. May I wake each morning and begin each day with the self-control to choose You and refuse to allow my enemies any authority in my mind or my life. Thank you God, for your forgiveness, mercy and for answering my prayers. Thank you.
This is a list of the women participating in the study and the links
to their blogs. New postings on the study will be published for
the next ten weeks, between Friday 8pm – Saturday 8am.
Please feel free to visit each of us and comment. Everyone is
welcome to participate in this discussion as we seek to live
beyond ourselves. May God bless you richly from the hearing of