DEVOTION BY MARK FUGATE
Who is in control?
There’s a list that the apostle Paul put together for us in the fifth chapter of Galatians that many of us memorized as a kid.
- Galatians 5: 22 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.
I’ve always found the last one on the list the most interesting because it appears if we could get a handle on that one then it would help us get a handle on all the other ones. It seems somewhat of an oxymoron when talking about the fruit of the Spirit because we are not talking about controlling ourselves, but ourselves being under His control. So the term may seem contradictory. I love oxy morons like this……you’ve heard the list before
- Jumbo Shrimp – Rubber Cement – Peaceful confrontation - Government Intelligence – Short Sermon
The Greek word translated self control is a combination of two words. The words are in and strength. The question we need to ask ourselves is who rules our lives? There are men who can command armies but cannot command themselves. And the fact is if you want to get your life under control it will take the power of the Holy Spirit to do it. The Bible points out the nature of the flesh is to lack self control. Noah left the ark, planted a vineyard and got drunk. Lot got drunk and found himself in bed with his daughters on two consecutive nights. Samson captured Philistines and lions but could not get a hold of himself. Solomon was the wisest man to ever live but couldn’t control his desire for pagan women. But there are examples of those who held their ground and did the right thing.
Joseph was challenged by Mrs. Potiphar to commit immorality but he asks a great question in Genesis 39.
- Genesis 39 - How could I do this great evil and sin against God?
We need to take hold of the power of the Spirit so that we can take hold of ourselves. We are born again, spirit filled, heaven bound believers who can actually show some self control – but only when we are under His control.