Throughout this year-long Faithful Heart’s series, I have invited a variety of writers to join in on the conversation and share their experiences in cultivating the various traits we have discussed. Today, I am so excited to share with you another fantastic guest post, written by my friend and fellow Hope*Writer, Penny Noyes, where she shares the power made available to us through the Holy Spirit.
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7 ESV
I was so frustrated. The middle school had contacted me again because my son’s affinity for talking during silent lunch meant he was in trouble. A little infraction had grown into a big problem. I wanted to help my 11- year-old but simply telling him not to talk wasn’t working. Without thinking, he’d make a joke or comment to a friend. I wasn’t the only one frustrated. He knew it was a problem. His prayers often included a request asking God to help him not get in trouble the next day.
After explaining this struggle, my neighbor commented, “That might be a self-control problem.” She shared that her boys had struggled with self-control until she taught them about the power of the Holy Spirit. This piqued my interest. We needed all the help that we could get.
She shared with them that it was impossible to keep things under control all the time. Her boys didn’t have to be strong in their own strength. But they could be strong and powerful in the Holy Spirit. They could tap into the power of the Holy Spirit and ask for the gift of self-control. As Galatians 5:22-23 explains “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things, there is no law…”
I was willing to give it a try. My lectures and threats weren’t working. And my son’s best efforts weren’t succeeding. That night I explained how very same power that raised Jesus from the dead was in him. It was a supernatural power.
A Supernatural Power
Jesus had sent the Holy Spirit to help him in every part of his life. He could ask the Holy Spirit to give him power and the gift of self-control. He could choose to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit, who would help him resist temptation and have self-control. My son’s heart-felt bedtime prayer asked for the power of the Holy Spirit to have self-control.
As I taught my son that he could reply on the power of the Holy Spirit to give him self-control, I realized I have the same access to this supernatural power.
Jesus gave his followers the Holy Spirit (John 20:22.) As Christ-followers, we have an amazing and powerful force in us that enables us to have self-control in what we say and what we do-all we have to do is ask for it.
Don’t Stay Stuck
Our battle with self-control and unhealthy desires isn’t new. The early believers must have struggled with this, too. Galatians 5:16 encourages them to “walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.”. We don’t have to stay stuck in a place of regret and frustration.
The Holy Spirit enables us to say “No” to temptation. With the power of the Holy Spirit, we can keep our mouth shut, so we won’t say or eat something we shouldn’t.
The Holy Spirit will give our children and us the patience and the power we need to resist sexual and emotional temptation.
The Holy Spirit will empower us to break free from bad habits and hang-ups. He will give us His goodness and faithfulness to replace our negative thought patterns and bad habits.
He will replace our fear and anxiety with love and peace.
I am amazed that a brief conversation with my neighbor taught my son and me how to tap into the life-changing power of the Holy Spirit. It changed my son’s school year and changed my perspective on the power available to those who believe. Soon after my son’s heartfelt prayer, the notes from the school stopped. Strength and confidence replaced frustration. A peaceful joy surrounded him, and his restless energy was replaced with calm.
If there is a place that you are struggling with self-control, I highly recommend asking the Holy Spirit to fill you with power, to free you from fear and to fill you with love and self-control.
About the Author:
Penny Noyes is a reluctant writer and a compulsive reader who loves learning about God and sharing interesting stories from the Bible with her husband, kids, grandchildren and anyone else who will listen. She is the author of Embracing Change – Learning to Trust God from the Women of the Bible and two books about Hezekiah. You can follow Penny on her blog and on Instagram @pennynoyes.