The “Temperance” Fruit

The “Temperance” Fruit

FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT CHALLENGE
The “Temperance” Fruit
In Galatians 5:16, the word of God tells us to walk in the Spirit so that we do not fulfill the lust of the flesh. In a couple of verses further down, we learn that the fruit of the Spirit is; Love, Joy, Peace, Long-Suffering, Gentleness, Goodness, Faith, Meekness, and Temperance ~ Galatians 5:22-23.
 
 Ladies, out of all of the fruit of the spirit, the temperance fruit is one of the most difficult fruits to grow on your tree! It requires dying to your will and your emotions over and over again! Temperance is defined as moderation in action, thought, or feeling; having restraint or self control. The battle between your flesh and spirit will never stop and you will face temptations in every area of your life until the day that Jesus raptures the church or until the day that you transition into the kingdom of Heaven. From going off on your husband, to responding with worry, to flirting with a work boyfriend, to overspending, to indulging in unhealthy eating, to being honest about an issue…We cannot avoid temptations but we can choose to take the escape route by asking the Holy Spirit to help us practice self control.
 
One of the greatest stories in the bible of self control was when Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights!!….Let’s take a closer look…
 

Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him (Matthew Chap 4: 1-11)

So Jesus was tempted three different times by the enemy. Each and every time that the tempter came, He had self control. Jesus was not focused on the temporary satisfaction that He could get from turning stones into bread and nor was He turned on by the manipulating picture of what the enemy was saying that He could have if He would have bowed down and worshiped him. But instead Jesus had a made up mind that He was going to past the test. He was focused on doing the will of the ONE that sent Him.
 
As Godly wives, we must be focused on doing the will of our Heavenly Father. It is God’s will for us to dwell with our husbands and vice versa of course. It is His will for us to learn self control. We cannot afford to act on our impulses and throw in the towel every time our marriage is being tested. We cannot afford to have a yo-yo mindset that’s high when times are good but then feeling so low when times are bad. The traditional vows already explained that our marriage was for better or worse. So even in the aftermath of the “I Do” life we must make a commitment to demonstrate self control by not throwing tantrums when we don’t get our way in our marriage. I can remember the first year of our marriage we had a disagreement about something and I took my hubby’s phone and threw it against the wall and broke it. He turned around and did the same thing to mine. The next day we were both at AT&T buying new phones and spending unnecessary money.  My husband does not get upset with me unless I really cross the line. He usually just lets me argue with myself. But on that day we both were lacking self control.  We laugh at it now because of our growth but that entire situation was definitely something that could have been avoided. 
 
There has been several times in my life that I have been tempted when no one was looking. I remember one time my husband and I went to the ATM machine one day and someone had left their card. We didn’t have much money at all. We took the card and I asked him to pull around in front of the bank so that I can check to see if the person on the card had a social media account. It was a very peculiar name but I still couldn’t find it anywhere. Then minutes later, we recognized the same car that was in front of us pull up again real fast going back to the ATM. My hubby followed behind the car and by the time we turned the corner, there was an older lady panicking and looking everywhere so we knew it was her card. The hubby stepped out and handed her the ATM card. She was so thankful and she said that she had just gotten paid. If our hearts were not right, we could have easily taken the card. But even in that temptation and although we were facing a drought season, we did what we would have wanted someone else to do for us if we were in the same situation. The tempter came and we sent him in the other direction. We never thought twice about it. We have done something similar with people losing their cell phones and then meeting up with them to return it. Our response was second hand nature. There will be no curses on our house! There may not have been anyone that was physically watching the whole thing but of course we know that Jesus was watching the entire time and we passed the test!
 
When Jesus was being tempted by the enemy in the wilderness, He talked back to him to let him know where He stood. He made the devil fully aware that He was not going to give in and he put the enemy in his place and checked him with the word. In the midst of your test of self control, you have to tell the enemy who you are in Jesus. Use your voice and remind him that you are more than a conqueror and God causes you to be triumphant even in wilderness situations. You have to make it known to him that there is nothing that he can offer you that God cannot trump. Declare your victory to to the enemy and let him know that God has already delivered you from the temptation.
 
There’s an opportunity almost daily to fall into the temptation of entertaining someone other than your husband. As humans, of course you can see someone and think that they are attractive however I encourage you to run in the opposite direction if you start to feel tempted. If you are ever faced with a temptation such as this, I advise you to ask the Holy Spirit to allow you to only have eyes for your husband. Ask Him to remove anything in your heart that is distasteful in HIS eyes. Fall on your knees, repent and asked to be delivered.
 
The temptation to do good and evil are presented in some form everyday. As a matter of fact the Apostle Paul talks about even when we want to be good, evil is present with us. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me ~ Romans 7:21.Whether it’s spreading gossip at work or posting something that you were convicted in your spirit not to post on social media. You will always have a choice. Choose good, choose self control. A woman with self control is a woman that yields to the voice of the Lord. She is disciplined and does not make the mistake of a fool. A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing~ Proverbs 9:13. You have to know how to treat the enemy when he is tempting you. Develop a strategy that will not allow him to take you out of your character. The tempter will come in every direction of your life and marriage to test your integrity. We must be like Jesus and send him in the other direction by walking in self control!

 

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