But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, (23) gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)
One of the greatest examples of self-control in the Bible was the period when Jesus was tempted in the wilderness. Jesus, fully human, had been fasting for forty days and nights as He arrived on the scene, where the enemy awaited. Satan wasted no time in enticing the Son of God to participate in three different temptation moments. Yet, even though Jesus was weak from abstaining from food for a period of time, He stood ready and willing to combat the enemy’s threats with the word of God.
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.’”
Then the devil took Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, ‘He will command His angels concerning You’; and ‘On their hands they will bear You up, So that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.’”
Jesus said to him, “On the other hand, it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’” Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him. Matthew 4:1-11
Jesus always exercised self-control. His life was one of complete surrender, yielding every area of His being to the Spirit’s influence. As a result, the fruit of the Spirit was not only evident in His life, but implemented daily.
Numerous individuals today are attempting to workout self-control through their own concentrated effort. However, when a person sets out to accomplish such a task on her own, she will become distraught, quickly. In surrendering to the Spirit’s control, along with obedience, the Spirit is allowed to work unhindered—producing a harvest of fruit. Remember, self-control is a work of the Spirit and never manufactured through one’s own strength.
About the Writer:
Shea is the mother of two and Nana of four and enjoys both roles tremendously. She also loves the opportunity to serve through ministry and share through speaking and blogging. A member of First Baptist Church, Dallas, Shea serves with the church’s First Impressions ministry and teaches the Strong & Courageous Sunday School class for single moms. She also speaks to women’s groups, assists with biblical counseling when opportunities arise and is constantly working to develop women’s Bible studies. Shea received her bachelor’s degree in Christian Ministry from Blue Mountain College in Blue Mountain, Mississippi; her master’s degree in Biblical Counseling from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas; and will begin her doctoral work at Southwestern in family ministries in the fall.