But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Messiah Yeshua have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-25)
The evidence of a spirit-filled life is made manifest in the fruit of the believer. Sadly, in western society, we have begun to walk by feeling; we do what makes us feel good, and not necessarily what is best for us and/or our spiritual growth. We take the verse in 1 Corinthians and make it into an excuse to do whatever feels right, whatever seems good in our own eyes.
“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. (1 Corinthians 6:12)
But when we look more closely at the context, Paul is speaking about having temperance or self-control over our flesh’s appetites. Our flesh desires things that will keep our bodies alive and satiated; the four main appetites are food, shelter, sex, and relationship. These things are good and permissible and even needful for sustaining life, BUT when left unchecked, we inevitably open the door to become every ungodly thing that Paul lists in 1 Corinthians 6:9,10. By this, we can know what Paul means when he says all things are lawful, but not all things are helpful. We are, as Paul states, not to be dominated by anything, but we are to exert power (presumably the power of the Holy Spirit within us) over our fleshly desires bringing them into submission to the Holy Spirit.
It is so important in the life of the believer to learn to discern between need and want. So this week, we are going to focus on self-control. There is nothing Hashem has commanded us to do that He did not give us the ability to do, so if self-control is evidence of the Holy Spirit working in the life of the believer, you can be sure that He will empower you to accomplish it so that it will be made manifest it in front of your fellow man.
If you have found honey, eat only enough for you,
lest you have your fill of it and vomit it.
It is not good to eat much honey,
nor is it glorious to seek one’s own glory.
A man without self-control
is like a city broken into and left without walls. (Proverbs 25:16,27-28)
May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of G-D and of Yeshua our Master. His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.
For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, ls specific to and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Master Yeshua Messiah.
For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. (2 Peter 1:2-10)
Shalom and blessings for a good and fruitful week!