Self-Control Is Bigger Than ‘Self’
A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.
Proverbs 25:28 ESV
Doing what God’s Word says always involves a choice on our part. And those choices usually go against what our flesh wants to do: when our flesh wants to judge, we are to “judge not”; when our flesh wants to lash out in anger, we are to remain calm; when our flesh wants to spread gossip, we are to keep our own counsel. The ability to consistently choose to obey God’s Word is developed over a lifetime. We call it self-control but it is our willingness combined with God’s power that allows us to make these choices that go against our flesh.
Self-control is the capacity to give up momentary satisfaction for an even greater reward in the future. When we tell ourselves “No. I will not enter into judgement”, we are telling God “Yes. I will obey your Word”. The greater future reward is that we are conforming ourselves to Christ’s image. The greatest reward will be hearing the Lord say “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”
Having self-control doesn’t mean you will express complete control in ALL situations. Self-control comes with maturity, practice and prayer. It’s learned on a daily basis through situations and circumstances that tempt our flesh. Self-control is a fruit that comes from strengthening your spirit man. Becoming sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit enables you to follow His leading. And He will never lead you into rashness, excess or self-indulgence.
A common excuse for lack of self-control is “That’s just how I am.” This excuse is made for everything from “I can’t resist cookies (drugs, pornography, gossip, you name it) ” to “I have to speak my mind.” Dear friend, that may be how you were, but it is not how you are. You are a blood-bought son or daughter of the Most High. You have the mind of Christ and hold the thoughts, feelings and purposes of His heart. Do not give in to the lies of the devil. He has told you that’s ‘just how you are’ only because he wants to kill [you], steal [from you] and destroy [you]. Ask God to help you grow more and more into who you really are.
Self-control is not a straining or striving to subdue our wills. It’s control that is empowered by the Holy Spirit, in obedience the Word.
As we choose to do what God’s Word says, we grow more and more into His likeness. Self-control becomes ever more evident in our lives.
Will you make the choice to submit to God’s Word and allow the fruit of self-control to multiply? That’s the choice driven life!
Today’s Bible Reading:
Proverbs 11-13; Romans 13; Ps 8
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