The spirit of control vs. self-control
Unity seems to be on lips everywhere one turns these days, both in the secular and the religious communities, but just what does that word mean – UNITY? Some things have happened in our life that has given me a new perspective on this word, I will try and communicate to you what I believe the Ruach is communicating to me. It’s changed my life and the way I view life, and I pray that you will receive a revelation from the Father that will be change (we can truly believe in) to you as well. It is a case of the spirit of control vs. the fruit of self-control. The spirit of control is about controlling one’s environment, but self-control is about controlling me so I can live in my environment.
Galatians 5:22-23, tells us that the fruit of the Ruach haKodesh indwelling us is: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” The spirit of control is also found in scripture. The story of Felix in Acts 24:24-27 is an example of the spirit of control trying to manipulate the environment to achieve its ends vs., YHVH’s plans and purposes. YHVH always uses everything for His good purpose, but how much better when we live in the fruit of the Ruach, hearing and obeying the will of YHVH.
Now, let me try and put a little flesh on this. Self-control leads to true UNITY, the spirit of control only leads to division. Why? Because every person wants to control their environment, i.e., the people and circumstances around them instead of being self-controlled so they can live and prosper in their environment with each other in the unity of the Ruach haKodesh. Think about all the church splits, friendship splits, divorces, partisanship, alienated children, country take-over’s and nation splits. Now put all these examples in context of the spirit of control vs. self-control. Why do parents kick under-age children out of their homes? Could it be that the home environment is one under a spirit of control and self-control has never been taught or modeled so personal spaces clash and division erupts. Why do fellowships split? The way you worship doesn’t fit into my environment – how I think worship should be conducted, therefore I am going to leave and not just leave, but I’ll slander you in my leaving. Protestants vs. Catholics, Fundamentalist vs. Charismatic, Shabbat vs. Sunday, we can barely stand each other. The spirit of control is having a heyday because of the perceived need to control our environment to achieve our goals. Opposing controlled environments are bumping up against each other and it’s more natural to isolate than practice the fruit of the Ruach and self-control no matter what the environment. Yashua was the Master of self-control, it didn’t matter what circumstance He found Himself in He always exhibited the fruit of the Ruach haKodesh – He was the epitome of self-control.
The world is ripe for a hostile take-over. The spirit of control has weaseled its way into the very fabric of life as we know it. We think we are doing YHVH’S service when we slander our brothers and sisters because they are not doing what we think they should be doing. We use certain texts in Scripture to elevate our position and cast dispersions on fellow sojourners. Among believers who has total understanding of All Truth? Are we so anxious to usurp Yashua’s place that we become judge and jury? Have we not read lately that by what measure you judge it shall be measured back to you, pressed down, shaken together, running over? This doesn’t apply just to the good things from YHVH’S hand. What did Yashua say – didn’t it go something like this; they will know you are my disciples by the LOVE you have one for another?
It’s time to wake up dear friends and reject the spirit of control and ask, plead, beg for the infilling of the Ruach haKodesh in the fullness of everything He has for us so that we might “escape and endure to the end.” Revelation 12:11; 19:8,14, “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even to death. And it was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, where following Him on white horses.” Fine linen, white and clean is evidenced by the fruits of the Ruach haKodesh working in our lives, not the spirit of control, or hatred or anger or jealousies or resentments or bitterness and the list goes on.
I control myself by the power of the Ruach living in me, trying to control my environment leads to a manifestation of bad fruit. Can you control people’s actions and behaviors? Yes, you can, but only through manifestations of manipulation and control. Can I control my actions and behaviors no matter what environment I am in? Yes, I can, through the power of the Ruach haKodesh living in me I can turn the other cheek, I can walk an extra mile, I can lend my coat, I can be patient and kind and gentle and peaceable and loving. I can control my tongue, my thoughts, my modesty, my appetite. I can do all things through Messiah who strengthens me! Philippians 4:13.
It is time to stop blaming everyone else for our troubles and take a peek under the covers of our lives to see just what may be hiding there that is keeping us from the perfect and pure will of Elohim. And the definition of GRACE that I really enjoy: The empowering presence of YHVH in my life enabling me to BE all that He created me to BE so that I might DO all that He has for me to DO.
Paul and Barnabas couldn’t agree on taking Mark along on their missionary journey so they parted company and Silas joined Paul and Barnabas went with Mark. Is it recorded that they slandered each other, or split the congregation because of their opposing views? Near the end of his life Paul calls for Mark while he is a prisoner in Rome and he calls him a good servant. So the inference is that they practiced self-control, allowing the Ruach to work out His good timing in their lives, instead of personal environments clashing leading to division. Let us take this example to heart and learn to be self-controlled in our disagreements, maintaining that we will be known by the love we have for one another. Yashua is going to be teaching us Torah for a thousand years, He will instruct us in all of His Truth. The commission He has given us is to share the gospel to all the world. How? When the world knows we are His disciples by the love we have for one another.