Learn => Reflect => Identify & Adjust => Integrate => ACT
The fruits of the Spirit: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and gentleness are all ignited into action through the last fruit of the spirit: self-control. It is the Caboose of the fruits that keep the first 7 on track. Without self-control our ability to respond with love and forgiveness over hatred and judgment is blocked.
“For God did not give us a spirit of fear but of POWER, Love & Self-Control.” 1 Timothy 1:7
“Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:1
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Philippians 4:8
‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.” Zechariah 4:6
Reflect/Identify & Adjust:
One of my favorite reminders of who I am in this world comes from the above verse in 1 Timothy 1:7. Let’s dismantle this a little to give it more clarity of focus thus increasing our ability to put it into daily action.
First of all, know what you are and what you are not. This releases inner anxiety instantly:
You are a child of God, possessing the blue print of the creator of the universe flowing through your spirit that is beyond all momentary troubles and tribulations. Your spirit knows itself to be enough, capable and victorious at all times even in the eye of the storm. Simply put, you are first and foremast a spiritual being having a physical experience, as proclaimed by the Christian mystics throughout history.
You are not your circumstance; judgments from yourself and others; traumatic situations; rejection; fear; doubt or worry…unless you choose to believe you are in which case the spirit of fear will twist the reality of who you are as created in the image AND likeness of God.
For God did not give us a spirit of fear but of POWER, Love & Self-Control. You have a spirit that moves with self-control: the ability to choose a certain response to life that serves your well-being and the well being of all concerned. We do not use the spirit of self-control enough in our daily life as we play victim to our circumstances: “If I don’t get this certain outcome I won’t be able to handle it”…”life is a struggle”…”I can’t do that”, “Nothing ever works out for me” “I don’t understand why they did that, said that, didn’t do that…why things work out for other people and not for me.”
In order to experience the POWER and the LOVE contained at the heart of our spirit which fuels our ability to create, self-control needs to be resurrected to the front lines of our responses to people, things and circumstances.
This week practice self-control…step back from your quick responses to life, often fueled by emotional flare-ups of unbridled ambition and seek the wisdom that flows from the Holy Spirit, known as the Counselor: “Give me the words to speak that are in my best interest and reflect the higher good I am created for, or the silence needed for even greater wisdom and guidance.” Remember, true greatness comes through the archway of temperance, humility and love. The gap, which allows wisdom to drop in between what happens around you and your response to it, grows bigger with each act of self-control.
Dear God, I give you permission to resurrect within me the spirit that is my birth right as your child on earth: A spirit of POWER, LOVE and SELF-CONTROL. In order for me to experience the power of your love through my thoughts, words and responses to the life in front of my face I need the grace of faith in action manifested through self-control. Help me to remember who I am this week, why I do what I do and the bigger picture in life. Expand my ability to control my thoughts of self defeat, judgment of self and others that render me incapable of accessing the strength and power of my spirit to overcome and powerfully witness to the successful creative nature that manifests a greater good on earth, which I am willing to consider I will focus on at the sunset of this life. Help me to live my life backwards…doing, saying, creating those things that at my last breath, as I reflect on how I showed up each day, will cause me to hear the sweet words of ultimate success in life: “well done, my good and faithful servant, you remembered who you are, what you are capable of & why, with the gift of each new dawn your heart continued to beat.”
Questions for Growth:
What specific area of your life would you like to practice more self-control this week in order to bring Glory to God?
What could you do today that would help you think about what is good and admirable?
When is it easy to let the Holy Spirit guide your actions? When is it difficult?
Our Next Virtual Bible Study will be October 28th at 9:30 am EST/7:30 am MT/6:30 am PST
Because of His Love,