Temperance for Maturity
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Temperance for Spiritual Maturity

We should become mature, fully like Christ. That’s God’s goal for us. A good prayer to speed us on our way would be: “Heavenly Father, I ask you to bring growth in my spiritual life, in Jesus’ name, Amen.” David prayed, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10)

Test yourself to see how much you need to work on this area:

  1. Are you swayed by various impulses? (Titus 3:3)

    1. Do you impulsively sabotage yourself and your efforts? 

    2. do you impulsively make bad choices?

    3. Do you find your emotions occasionally override your decisions & guidance?

  2. Is there an area in your life that is “out of control”?

  3. Are you strongly attracted to addictive behavior or substances?

Jesus needs to be invited into not just your actions, but also our hearts.

  1. Rom. 7:21-23 part of us doesn’t want to do God’s will.

  2. Matt. 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart.

  3. Ezek. 11:17-20 God gives us a new heart.

  4. Is. 62:2-4 God gives us a new name.

  5. John 15:3 word of Jesus makes our heart clean.

Please pray: “Lord Jesus, I invite you into all areas of my old sinful nature, that I would be free from its grip. Please cleanse me with your counsel.” 

We also need to seek out our sin nature or “wickedness” as the Bible calls it. Psalm 139:23,24 – “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxieties; and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” That’s a good prayer.

To get there, we need a hunger & thirst for righteousness.

  1. Matt. 5:6 Hunger & thirst for righteousness

  2. James 4:4-10 humble yourself & He will lift you up.

This means we need to ask God for this hunger & thirst. “Our Father, please give us this hunger & thirst that we might be righteous before you.”

Temptation puts us in a dilemma. If we focus on NOT thinking about something, we obsess about it – which is a good first step in acting on it! If we distract ourselves from it, the temptation is still there, waiting until you have slack time. If we medicate ourselves away from it, that has its own problems. The best way is to declare to yourself, “I could do this temptation – but I refuse. God please take this temptation from me.”

Self-condemnation is similar. But it takes Jesus to put it down. The best way to stop it is to go back to the situation (or a representative situation) you were in when it started. Get back into it. While in it, ask the true Lord Jesus to speak truth to you about the situation. Then wait. Jesus might manifest himself or not, but Jesus will bring healing to that situation. The memory will still be there, but it will be defanged.

There are things we have done in the past that gave Satan’s forces permission to influence us. Basically, if you sought supernatural powers or information that weren’t of Jesus, then they were of the other side. Once the permission is given, it is good for life – unless it is renounced. Just stopping doing it is not enough. This process of renunciation must be done event by event. If unclean spirits were passed down to you by your ancestors, they also have to be renounced by you.

Charmed items and idols in your environment can also exert demonic influence upon you. If you or your neighbor just acquired them without using them, the demons on them can be driven off. If they advertise the demonic or could cause a brother to stumble, then it would be best to get rid of them. If you used them for supernatural purposes, they must be destroyed and gotten rid of.

When someone lays hands upon you, they have spiritually taken some authority over you. If they have demons, the demons, influences and permissions would be transferred. This includes all laying on of hands, professionally and personally. This includes doctors, nurses and physical therapists. Before you get into a position like that, bind any unclean spirits on them and their properties.

See “Freedom In Christ” by Neil Anderson.

See “Theophostic” by Dr. Ed Smith

The soul is a battleground. The world, the flesh, the devil and God are each given turf in our soul. We must defeat the world, the flesh and the devil if we are going to live a life at peace with God. But we can’t do it on our own capabilities. We must employ God on our behalf. It is up to us to confess the unrighteous deeds as sin and renounce them. Then we must pray that God would defeat that unrighteous area in our soul. “Confess your sins to one another and pray for each other that you may be healed.” James 5:16