“God would rather have you messed up than not at all.” I saw this on a church sign last week. Few admit it, but we all lack self-control at some point. Attempts to become self-controlling on your own will have temporary effects at best and result in a controlling personality, at worst. But we all need it, so where do we begin? The apostle Paul says self-control is a work of the Holy Spirit. He specifically says it is a fruit, so this shows us where to begin. Read more to learn where this process of gaining and learning self-control begins.
Paul was a prisoner, in the custody of Governor Felix, in Caesarea. The Governor was familiar with Christianity, called "The Way" at that time, and he enjoyed listening to Paul talk. Acts 23 records one of these times, saying Paul spoke of righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come (verse 25). Felix couldn't take it. He got scared and left. What was it about Paul's message? Felix needed the first two things, righteousness and self-control. The thought of judgment scared him so much that he moved.
Jesus is calling you to surrender to him. So many people hear the call, but they want to clean up their mess first. Many, like Felix, know they fall short, but they think they can get it all together and then come to Jesus. This attempt at self-control does not begin with God and always end with a frustration. Jesus has offered you terms of surrender, and he wants you, mess and all.
Jesus will not accept you on your terms--not because he is picky, but because he knows your condition better than you. You are unable to get your self out. You cannot control your situation. But Jesus can.
Governor Felix felt the heat of his shortcomings when Paul spoke. It made him move, but he moved away from help. Do you feel the conviction of the Lord today? Move toward the light. Stop hiding in the dark. Take control of the situation by surrendering to Jesus. The fruit of the Spirit, the new life God wants to grow in you, grows as you respond everyday to the leading of Christ. He gives power for Godly living to those rely on him.