"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control." (Galatians 5:22)
Last, but not certainly least, is the quality of self-control. This one is huge, and I mean huge! Once you start to enter into a true sanctification process with the Lord – expect the Holy Spirit to move in on you very early with this specific quality.
The reason for this is that we all have a certain amount of character flaws operating in our personalities. There are some bad and negative qualities that will have to go.
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. 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 curb and control some of the desires of our flesh is the quality of self-control.
Since we all live in a very self-centered and materialistic type world today, many people have very poor impulse control. If they see something they immediately want, they will do anything they can to try and get it. They will not be denied until they get what they are going after.
These people are obviously very weak in the quality of self-control. They are ruled by their own flesh rather than by the Holy Spirit. That is why the Bible tells us that if we learn how to really walk in the Holy Spirit, then we will not fulfill the lusts of our flesh.
Due to our fallen and sinful natures, all of us are weak to some degree in the quality of self-control. This is why God the Father made sure to have this fruit listed as one of the 9 fruits of His Holy Spirit. We all need God's self-control operating in our lives and in our personalities if we are going to have any hope in getting cleaned up and properly sanctified to the degree that He would like to get us to in this life.
If you don't have God's self-control operating through you – you will have very little victory over such things as bad tempers, judgmental and critical spirits, an unforgiving spirit, and vices such as smoking and the abuse of alcohol.
Once the Holy Spirit starts this sanctification process with you – be prepared for some major battles and tug of wars with Him once He starts coming after some of the negative qualities operating in your personality.
But if you are willing to yield to Him and allow Him to start to work all 9 of these fruits into your personality – then you will find yourself starting to grow in ways and in areas that you never thought were possible in this life. His supernatural power in this area will blow you away once you see how far He can really take you to become the person that God would like you to become in Him in this lifetime.
Here are some of the definitions of what the quality of self-control is all about:
- Temperance, rational restraint of natural impulses
- Sober, temperate, calm and dispassionate approach to life, having mastered personal desires and passions
- Calls for a self-disciplined life following Christ's example of being in the world but not of the world
- Restraint or discipline exercised over one's behavior
The above definitions perfectly describe what God is looking for once He starts to work and transmit this quality up into our personalities. This specific quality is one of the major keys in being able to get any kind of victory over some of the lusts and desires of our flesh.