Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”
We have talked of the fruit of the Spirit before, but I wish to speak of: Temperance.
We have heard of moderation in all things. This is a good policy for many things; but temperance here is a fruit of the blessed Holy Spirit.
It is the ability to master everything which comes to us, in our lives. (Not let them master us.)
As Christians, we face fears, tempers, passions, and opinions on all sides.
But the Holy Spirit within gives us help with all of these. He gives us God’s love, God’s joy and peace, and yes, God’s right-thinking.
This is temperance:
Proverbs 30:7-9 “Two things have I required of Thee; deny me them not before I die:
Remove far from me vanity and lies; give me neither poverty or riches; feed me with food convenient for me:
Lest I be full, and deny Thee, and say, Who is the Lord? Or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.”
Proverbs are mostly Solomon’s sayings, and he is asking the Lord, that before he grows old and dies, he wants to learn two important things; so he asks God to “remove” or cast away from him vanity and lies.
Vanity is that nothingness that the world is full of.
The world would tell us that we should all look like this model, or that actress or athlete.
Or the world would get us to concentrate on physical, or intellectual pursuits.
Solomon did all of these:
Ecclesiastes 1:16-17 “I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart hath great experience of wisdom and knowledge.
And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit.”
Ecclesiastes 2:8-9, 11 “I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces: I gat me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and that of all sorts.
So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me.
Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labor that I had labored to do: and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.”
His conclusion from all his experiences in the goods of the world?
Ecclesiastes 12:13 “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”
He wanted to be removed from vanity, “And lies”. The world is full of them. Try this toothpaste and your smile will brighten a whole room! (There are many lies, which are passed around each day; silly ones, and serious ones.)
“Give me neither poverty nor riches; Lest I be full, and deny Thee”: I will begin to trust in my riches and not in You.
“Lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.”: I will be angry that I do not have what others have; and try and get it in unlawful means (there are many kinds of thieves),
And curse you for “making me do it.” (we often blame God for what we have gotten ourselves into)
“Feed me with food convenient for me:”. This is the same prayer as:
“Give me this day my daily bread.” (Matthew 6:11)
Someone has said: This is not, Give me my daily cake,…..but bread.
It means, that we are asking the Lord to provide for us what we need. To give us enough:
Enough peace, money, food, family, friends, joy,…enough to get us through our lives; with Him.
Because I must remind you, that temperance is a fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Temperance is to master a thing—not to let it master you.
And the Holy Spirit bears that fruit within us and through us, as we yield to Him in each situation.