“God creates. Satan counterfeits.”
Think about those words. They ring so true. God is the master Creator. Everything He created, the Enemy seeks to counterfeit. God created us to be worshippers of Himself. Satan tries to get us to worship anything and everything else. God created life. Satan brought death through sin. God created the fruit of His Spirit. Satan counterfeits with the fruit of the flesh.
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Fear, depression, discord, impatience, corruption, disloyalty, hardness, and agitation.
As we look at the fruit of self-control today, I want us to take a look at a few verses that speak to one of the biggest rivals of self-control: Fear.
“…for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7 ESV
Fear is a liar, and it’s constantly tempting us to forget our heritage and inheritance in Christ: power, love, and self-control. Fear is not our identity, nor are we victim to it. We have been given power over not only fear, but over the one who uses fear as a weapon against us. We have been given love, the very opposite of fear. We have been given self-control, the ability to control our thoughts, emotions, words, and actions.
God created self-control, a fruit of His Spirit that is intended for internal focus on the heart and the mind: controlling self and all of its wills and passions. Satan counterfeits with the desire to control with an external focus on everyone and everything but self. This desire to be in control of others and outcomes only leads us to places of overwhelm, stress, and fear because human control at best is an illusion.
As the Enemy wages war on our minds and hearts seeking to convince us that self-control is impossible for us to know and walk in, we can easily forget all that God has given us to equip us for victory in this fight.
“For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.” 2 Corinthians 10:4
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” 1 John 4:18
“We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,” 2 Corinthians 10:5
God has given us the ability to control our thoughts and emotions. We are not victim to either. We’ve been commanded to take our thoughts captive and have been given the power to do so. Satan seeks to counterfeit this fruit of the Spirit with an insatiable desire to want to control everything else. The more we try to control, the more we realize how impossible it is. This is the breeding ground for fear. Fear strangles the abundant life and suffocates faith.
Like each of the fruit of the Spirit, they are only made evident in the life of the believer through abiding in Christ. So friends, how are you remaining in Him today? How are you staying connected to Jesus right now? This connection is your life source. Remain. Abide. Much fruit awaits.