THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT – TEMPERANCE

THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT – TEMPERANCE

“NO!”
Thoughts from his spirit man echoed out
“You must be joking” she said with the wink of Delilah.
He just couldn’t imagine that he could be so weak at that point in time of his life, but he still managed to blurt out:
“No, ma’am” – I’ve told you several times that I love you as much as my master and won’t want to do anything to hurt God, nor your master.”
“You’re only saying trash”
“Ma!”
“I mean it – if you truly love me, you’d bend over and see what I’ve been ten – times willing to show you.”
“You mean on the couch”
“Yes of course – don’t dull it, prove to me that you’re a man”
Adorned with a silky velvet dress partly loose from the waist downwards and a transparent top she drew closer with prancing steps
“O my God, deliver me from this great evil”
“I love you J-buoy”
As she touched the hem of his garments he was gone in the twinkling of an eye, leaving himself barely clothed with his undies as she stuck fast to his Jalabia-like garment which she held in her hands tightly.
As J-buoy sat musing within himself alone in the woods, just one thought pervaded his mind – LOVE’S CONQUEST. At last love has conquered. He prayed, and uttered a word of thanksgiving to His creator.

Last, but not certainly least, is the quality of temperance (in other words, self-control. I’d be using the words interchangeably). This is radically missing in the lives of many professing Christians today. The Bible tells us that our spirits and our flesh will war against each other in this life. Our flesh wants immediate self-gratification at all costs and will stop at nothing to try and get it. Arthur Wallis once said “There is nothing essentially vile in the human body, for God created it, even with its desires and appetites. There is nothing evil in a hungry man’s desire for a square meal, or a healthy woman’s longing for a husband, children, and a home of her own. It is not the way of the Spirit to repress these natural instincts, but to control them and keep them within the bounds prescribed by God.”
Our spirits know that some of our fleshly desires are not right for us and as a result, there will be a tug of war between the two – and sometimes it will be a major tug of war. And the only thing that will be able to control and curb some of the desires of our flesh is the quality of self-control.
Since we all live in a very self-centred and materialistic type of world today, it is very easy to see people downplay the importance of self-control and exalt the god of instant self-gratification. Here are some of the definitions of what the quality of self-control is all about:
Temperance and rational restraint of our natural impulses.
Being sober, temperate, and calm, etc.
Having a mastery of one’s personal desires and passions.
Having a dispassionate approach to life.
Living a self-disciplined life following Christ’s example of being in the world but not of the world.
Being able to exercise restraint or discipline over one’s behaviour.
The above definitions perfectly describe what God is looking for once He imparts this quality into our personalities. This specific quality is one of the major keys in being able to get any kind of victory over the lusts and desires of our flesh like J-buoy in the story above.
It takes a self-controlled man to say “Others may, I cannot!” I once read a tract written by a self-controlled man, and some of its constituents goes thus: I cannot seek or desire the world though others do. Others may scoff at the sound doctrines of the Bible and allow little sins, but I cannot. The buildings that are demolished were not pulled down by elephants; they were destroyed by termites. Unless I am cleansed from evil thoughts, ill-temper, anger, envy, lust, jealousy, pride, laziness, and idleness, over-eating and backbiting, I won’t count myself as free from sin. Others may testify to being born-again and converted and still be conscious of all these in their lives. But what is that to me? I am called to follow Christ; looking on Him, I lose sight of all other examples. Jesus – my mirror, my pattern, my example. Others may be loved by their unbelieving relatives. I will not deny the faith to obtain favour of men.
Do you want to receive grace to manifest the fruit of the Spirit – that’s where the work of sanctification comes in, you can’t expect all these nine fruit of the Spirit if you are not sanctified, how can you express genuine love, love’s cheerfulness (Joy), love’s confidence (Peace), love’s composure (long-suffering), love’s consideration (Kindness), love’s character (Goodness), love’s constancy (Faithfulness), love’s conquest (Self-control) without a removal of the Adamic nature. It is not possible, but if you would earnestly covet the grace of God today to manifest the fruit of the Spirit through prayers and faith – you shall receive!
Shalom.

(Some of the ideas in this post were derived from biblehub.com and Pastor W.F. Kumuyi’s tract – Others may, I cannot!)

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