THE BATTLE FOR SELF-CONTROL

Is there any area of your life that is out of control? Perhaps it’s finances, moral issues, relationships, attitudes, habits, gossip, or laziness.

A lack of self-control in any part of our lives does not fit who we are in Christ. His desire is that we live in full
surrender to Him so that His Spirit can produce in us the fruit of self-control. If we are in a tug of war with God for control over our
lives, we’ll experience tension, stress, and unhappiness because we are at odds with Him. Anytime we let our desires and impulses rule our lives, there will be no rest, peace, or joy.

Do you struggle with any of these desires?


1. Acceptance by others. How powerful is the need for acceptance in your life?
2. Being loved by others. Is this a motivating factor in your decisions?
3. Pleasure. Are you dominated by whatever is fun or makes you feel good at the moment?
3. Sex. Do you have desires for sexual pleasure outside the boundaries of God’s will?
4. Wealth and security. Are these a priority in your life? Achievement. Has a healthy desire to excel become competitive and out of control?
4. Notoriety or fame. Do you seek prestige without considering the cost?
5. Happiness. What will you do or become in the pursuit of happiness?
6. Personal attractiveness. Are you consumed with a desire to look better than others?
7. Control. Do you long to control other people or be in positions of power and authority?
8. Self-acceptance. Are you discontent with yourself and how God made you?

The Flesh Versus the Spirit

Self-control is thinking before acting and seriously considering the possible results. It is one aspect of the fruit of the Spirit that stands in contrast to the deeds of the flesh.

The Deeds of the Flesh. “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissentions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal. 5:19-21).

This is a list of actions that are not from the Spirit but from the fleshly sin nature. The warning is given that those who practice these sins will not see heaven. This isn’t talking about having committed them in the past or occasionally failing to resist temptation in one of these areas.

The word practice is the key to an accurate understanding of this passage. To practice means to make it a consistent habit, a lifestyle, or an identity.
Those who do this are most likely not true Christians because no one who still lives continually in sin isreally saved.

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