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Temperance: self control, self-restraint, moderation
Throughout scripture we see the battle of self-control described as an ongoing war between the spirit and flesh. Here is one of many scriptures that describes that war:
For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. – Galatians 5:17
Paul goes into great detail on the subject in Romans chapter 7. Here’s a snippet:
For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. – Romans 7:19
The flesh is that voice in your head that tells you, “If it feels good do it.” It tells us that we need things when we don’t, and if we followed it we’d sleep too late, eat too much, and eventually come to poverty. That’s where the heart wants to lead us.
The Spirit is the voice that leads you in truth. The closer you walk with God, and the more time that you spend in His presence the more that you become aware of His will in your life.
His covenant is written upon our hearts and our minds, but there’s a battle within each one of us, as Satan wants to pull us away from our faith.
And how does he do that?
Most of the time it’s with arguments that make a whole lot of sense in the moment, but in the long run they always lead to destruction.
We covered that a bit this week, as we read the chapter on the temptations of Christ in the desert.
Another example is found in Genesis. Adam and Eve were given one commandment–only one. They could eat from every tree in the garden, but one was forbidden to them.
Satan is cunning. He came in the form of a serpent to tempt them to disobey God.
Eve said, “God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.” (Gen. 3:3)
And the serpent said unto the woman, “Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” (Gen. 3:4-5)
Part of that appeared to be true—they didn’t die a physical death that day. They went on to live for many years, but the real truth of the matter is that they experienced a spiritual death the moment they chose to disobey God.
God doesn’t lie, but scripture can be distorted and it’s often twisted to fit our agenda. Whether it’s an internal argument, or one from without, sin will appeal to us in a number of ways. It often makes sense on the surface, which is why we need to carefully and prayerfully consider our steps to ensure that we’re not being deceived.
Our study this week, encouraged me to keep my eyes focused on the One who safely leads. It encouraged me to stand by my convictions, and to resist temptation at all costs.
I hope you enjoyed this week as much as I did. Come back here on Monday for next week’s resources. And in the meantime, have a great weekend!
You are loved by an almighty God,
The Time-Warp Wife
P.S. Don’t forget to grab a copy of the coloring page below!
Daniel’s Training in Babylon – Daniel Chapter 1
The lure of temptation is strong. It entices us to compromise our principles, but Daniel chapter 1 is a reminder to stand strong in this world, regardless of what it might cost us.
Daniel was a man of virtue and integrity. He was temperate in the face of temptation. He had everything handed to him that a man could possibly want, but one thing stood in his way—the king’s table.
John Macarthur writes, “Those enticing morsels and vintage wines—perks of the king’s service—had been ritually dedicated to Babylon’s false gods. What’s more, eating food prepared to Babylonian standards was likely to put the young exiles in violation of God’s laws concerning unclean foods.”
Instead of compromising his faith to appease the king’s court, Daniel courageously chose to stand up for his faith.
As a result, God blessed Daniel and his friends with knowledge, understanding, and health.
Jesus is Tempted in the Wilderness – Matthew 4
It’s interesting to note that with every temptation, Jesus triumphantly conquered it with scripture. It’s also interesting to see that Satan himself used the Word of God to entice Jesus. This is why it’s so important to study the Bible and to know what we believe. Scripture is often twisted to fit one’s agenda. Whether it’s an internal argument, or one from without, sin will appeal to us in a number of ways. It often makes sense on the surface, which is why we need to carefully and prayerfully consider our steps to ensure that we’re not being deceived.
The fact that Jesus was led into the wilderness to be tempted, shows me that God is with me in my darkest moments. I’m led to wilderness places so that I might be refined and strengthened in Spirit.
Freedom in Christ – Galatians 5
This chapter reminds me that I’m saved by grace, but it also reminds me that there is a purpose to my salvation, which is to walk in the Spirit, loving others as Christ has loved me.
Good fruit is the evidence of a Spirit led life. When I walk in the Spirit, I am focused on the things of the Spirit. That focus draws me away from my sin, and gives me the strength to fight. As long as I’m focused on this world, however, I’m drawn to the things of this world.
If I hope to be virtuous—if I want to live a victorious life, I must be willing to crucify my flesh daily by making choices that are in line with God’s will.
It’s easy to follow sin, and it’s natural to be self-centered, but a Christ-centered life calls me to to crucify the flesh and to put aside my sinful desires.