There is a root cause why SELF-CONTROL is hard to be achieved, followed, practiced or fulfilled, and there’s a reason why it is the LAST FRUIT of the Spirit … whereas LOVE is the FIRST FRUIT of the Spirit.
Reasons are as follows:
1. If you can’t forgive others, there is no LOVE in you.
2. If you can’t forgive yourself, there is no LOVE in you.
3. If you fail to practice or fulfill the FIRST FRUIT of the Spirit which is LOVE, then for sure you can not fulfill the rest of the fruit of the Spirit (such as JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS and SELF-CONTROL).
That means, to follow the last stage, step or requirement, you need to pass the first step. Or if you don’t have the first fruit which is LOVE, then obviously you can’t have the last fruit which is SELF CONTROL.
4. As a fact, did you try hard to control your appetite in eating too much but have failed? Suffering from overeating or gluttony like you’ve been enslaved by your tummy? Did you try to control your bodily desire or lust or sex drive but fail? Did you try not to watch on pornographic sites, yet worse you end up masturbating? Did you try to avoid eating junk-foods or quit smoking or illegal drugs, yet still find pleasure when you’re doing it again after a long break? And did you keep asking why, why, why—-Why you keep doing the things you know are wrong, though you tried hard to stop yet the stronger it becomes?
The answer to that are:
First, due to our SINFUL NATURE.
Second, CARNAL (worldly, earthly or fleshly) MIND leads to CARNAL ACTIONS. Your thought life determines your habit. Let’s be mindful of our thought life. It’s fundamental. Wha we think, we feel and say, then finally do. There’s a saying, “You are what you think, so be careful how /what you think.” What feeds your eyes most of the day? Does it gratify your flesh or your spirit? What do you always listen to, feel ans do?
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This message is not trying to judge nor point fingers to anyone since all of us fail, we fail and fail, yet we need to rise up again and again.
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KEYS to unlock us from being captive to sin: RENEWING our MINDS; FEAR of GOD; SUBMISSION to the (Holy) SPIRIT and not to the FLESH; ACCEPTANCE of GOD’s STRENGTH over our WEAKNESSES; REGULAR or CONSTANT FELLOWSHIP with GOD; KNOWLEDGE and RELATIONSHIP with JESUS CHRIST; COMMUNION with the HOLY SPIRIT; ON FIRE ALTAR or PRAYER LIFE; WORSHIPING and GIVING thanks to GOD in everything; and FELLOWSHIP with fellow believers in CHRIST, praying with one another.
> 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5, “For this is the will of God, that you be sanctified [separated and set apart from sin]: that you abstain and back away from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor [being available for God’s purpose and separated from things profane], not [to be used] in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God and are ignorant of His will.”
> Colossians 3: 5-6 , “So put to death and deprive of power the evil longings of your earthly body [with its sensual, self-centered instincts] sexual immorality, impurity, sinful passion, evil desire, and greed, which is [a kind of] idolatry [because it replaces your devotion to God]. Because of these [sinful] things the [divine] wrath of God is coming [a]on the sons of disobedience [those who fail to listen and who routinely and obstinately disregard God’s precepts]
> Philippians 1:6; 9-11, ” I am convinced and confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will [continue to] perfect and complete it until the day of Christ Jesus [the time of His return]. And this I pray, that your love may abound more and more [displaying itself in greater depth] in real knowledge and in practical insight, 10 so that you may learn to recognize and treasure what is excellent [identifying the best, and distinguishing moral differences], and that you may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ [actually living lives that lead others away from sin]; 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God [so that His glory may be both revealed and recognized].
> Galatians 5:19-25, ” Now the practices of the [a]sinful nature are clearly evident: they are sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality (total irresponsibility, lack of self-control), [b]idolatry, [c]sorcery, hostility, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions [that promote heresies], envy, drunkenness, riotous behavior, and other things like these. I warn you beforehand, just as I did previously, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the [d]sinful nature together with its passions and appetites. If we [claim to] live by the [Holy] Spirit, we must also walk by the Spirit [with personal integrity, godly character, and moral courage—our conduct empowered by the Holy Spirit].
> Philippians 4:8, ” Finally, [a]believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].”
> 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24, “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you through and through [that is, separate you from profane and vulgar things, make you pure and whole and undamaged—consecrated to Him—set apart for His purpose]; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept complete and [be found] blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful and absolutely trustworthy is He who is calling you [to Himself for your salvation], and He will do it [He will fulfill His call by making you holy, guarding you, watching over you, and protecting you as His own].”
To God be the glory!