But the fruit of the spirit is … self-control.
I read a little article about this “self-control”. The author called it “discipline”. Luther translated it as “chastity.” Others, “continence” or “permanence.”
Everything puts the emphasis somewhere else. It is somewhat misleading and too short to translate with self-control, because then you yourself are the doer, not God. Self ….. as the word implies. One must control oneself, the will is addressed. My inner self resists this. Because then everything would still be subject to my will and we would not need redemption.
Man consists of spirit, soul and body, as is taught by many. But he is a unity with spirit, soul and body. The spirit is to be ruled by the Spirit of God and then the soul is to rule with will, intellect, conscience, feelings etc. and then also the body. The body is important because it is the temple of the Holy Spirit.
I realized with a fright how much the soul governs me. When I am hungry, I eat. If I want to drink, I drink. When I am tired, I take a break ….. Everything goes according to the feeling, and I have a right to everything. The Bible calls it “lust”, which is not always sin, but which rules us. But whoever lives according to this “pleasure principle” quickly falls into sin, e.g. into sexual sin because it is so beautiful, or into greed for money because one is afraid of existence or something else. That is why God wants us to leave dominion to Him and our soul must obey Him; – then we become free from these “desires”, they no longer rule. Then we are finally free to pray and fast. Then the Spirit can pour out His gifts and the mind and will do not always interfere. Then we no longer need diets, because we live according to God’s principles. Then the devil gets scared because he can no longer direct us through our lust or desires, our needs and wants. Then God finally gets a place in our lives and we do His works and go His ways. So: The soul should learn to obey, the Spirit should rule! And our will should implement what God tells us ….. Yes, I want to belong to Jesus, obey Him and let Him rule me. HE is good to me!
Jesus, I cannot control my desires, but they control me! Lord, I give myself to You completely, You shall rule! Your Spirit shall rule my spirit, and together we shall bring the soul to obedience, as well as the body. Yes, I want to follow You and do Your will. Help me please!