Thursday, June 4th
God promises to give us self-control
There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. Isaiah 11:1-2
All promises are fulfilled in Christ.
Please read Matthew 4:1-11.
Isaiah prophesied that the Holy Spirit would rest on Jesus and that He would have “wisdom and understanding, counsel and might, knowledge and the fear (loving awe) of the Lord.” All of these qualities support self-control. Self-control also demands that we see things from God’s perspective. Jesus had God’s perspective and consequently bore the fruit of the Spirit—“love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” If we keep Jesus at the center of our life, at the very core of our being, then the Holy Spirit will enable us to bear fruit like this every day—no matter what life throws at us.
Right now, life is throwing so much at us. First the global pandemic with CoVid and now the volatile unrest in our country. I want to tell you that this is not the original post for today, but about 8:00 tonight (Wednesday as I write this), I felt God calling me to go in a different direction. Please know that this is not meant to be political post. I simply want us, as we look out at our current circumstances to change our perspective and instead look up to The Only One who can heal. I must say that personally, I am completely appalled by the senseless murder of George Floyd. Personally, my heart is aching for every person who has ever felt judged or unfairly treated because of the color of their skin. Personally, I am sickened by the brokenness and divide of our country and the lurking evil within the system. We are a nation, a world that is hurt...and we need to turn to God for the answers.
I truly do believe that we should all be asking that famous question from the 1990s that we all know so well from those famous 4 letters…WWJD? I want to ask you sisters, if He were walking the earth with us now…What Would Jesus Do? I believe that He would love! He would spread joy! He would be peace and would bring peace! He would be patient. He would be kind! He would be gentle! He would be good because He is good! And he would be an example of self-control. Today, more than ever, I think this former “catch phrase” that we found printed on bracelets and t-shirts should be tattooed on our hearts!
In Matthew 4:1-11, we see Jesus tempted by Satan. Today and every day we, too, are tempted. We are tempted to say things that might be better left unspoken. We are tempted to do things that we know we shouldn’t do. We are tempted to follow people and ideas that we know we shouldn’t follow. But Jesus is our example and we should follow His lead. The Holy Spirit has been deposited in us as a helper so that with every temptation we instead use self-control.
Ladies, today if and when we are faced with hate, gloom, chaos, intolerance, cruelty, harshness, and/or corruption, (all opposites of His fruits) let’s call on the Holy Spirit to help us use that spiritual fruit, that spiritual gift of self-control. Let's remember to think about what our Lord and Savior would do. Let’s put on our full armor of God and be His light in this world!
For further reading: Romans 8:5-6, 9-11; 2 Timothy 1:7; Galatians 5:22-23
Dear Heavenly Father, We need you like never before. Our world, our nation, is hurting and we need your healing. Thank you for not leaving us alone in this world. Thank you placing your Holy Spirit inside us! Thank you that whenever we are tempted or struggle to do and know what’s right that You have provided everything we need to be victorious. We are grateful that You have blessed us with the fruits of the spirit, and that one of them is self-control. Often times without this gift, the other fruits could turn rotten. With You, we can face any challenge. Now we know that just as Jesus spoke Your Word to the temptation, we can do that, too. Continue to guide us by Your Holy Spirit and Your Word each and every day and let us shine bright for You in this dark world. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.