Tuesday, January 24, 2006
THE CRUCIBLE OF SELF-CONTROL
Like a city whose walls are broken down, is a man who lacks self control
Why do we need self – control?
Lack of self-control kills self respect, friendships, marriages, careers, and ministrys. Not one of us can boast that we’ve always avoided it’s clutches
This is the ninth and final quality of the Fruit of the Spirit
It is appropriate that the list begins with love and ends with self-control
Love keeps us afloat, self-control keeps us anchored.
It means restraining passions and appetities.
In Acts 24:22-27 Paul spoke to Felix and Druscilla on faith in Jesus Christ. He spoke about righteousness, self-restraint and the coming judgement.
Felix was a man filled with lust, pride, greed and selfish ambition. He did not want to hear what Paul had to say.
Sometimes we don’t want to hear what God has to say.
In 1 Corithians 6:12 we find the key to self-control
Everything is lawful for me, but not everything is beneficial. Everything is lawful for me, but I will not let myself be dominated by anything.
The 3 enemies – the flesh, the world, or satan - cannot have power over us if they are not invited.
We make the choice in the issue of control.
The spirit led self holds the power in 5 key words
No, yes, and not right now.
Remember in ancient architecture a city was only as strong as the walls that surrounded it. God commanded walls in every dwelling place He chose to grace. Even the tabernacle in the wilderness had a portable wall to provide security.
We too need strong walls to provide us with the protection for our body – the temple of God. The quality of self control is the ability to make choices which invite and enhance the authority and filling of the Holy Spirit.
Any out of control area in our lives is an open invitation to the enemy. He is always on the look for any crumbling sections of that wall. His weapons are your greatest temptations.
In Nehemiah 2:1-20 God’s Word tells us how to begin to havae the protections and victory of self-control
v.12 I set out…with a few men.
Ask a few friends to be accountability partners
vs 13 I went out…examining the walls of Jerusalem which had been broken down
Perform an honest self-examination to see where you lack sel-control
vs. 17 Come let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace . Admit to the times you have been self-indulgent
vs 18 They replied, Let us start rebuilding. So they began this good work
Begin to cooperate with God’s diligent work with you in your areas self-control
vs20 The God of heaven will give us success.
Give it to God then keep giving it to God over and over until you have succeeded.
Isaiah 58:12 says
The ancient ruins shall be rebuilt for your sake and the foundations from ages past you shall raise up.
Self- control incompasses so many aspects of our lives.
In my own life I have been working on controling my bad habit of being jealous of what others have. I was tempted to think that everyone had more than I. Now I realize that I have more blessings than I can count.
Talking about others and judging their actions is another area I’ve been trying to curb. It’s very tempting to deride others actions and forget that we have some bad habits too.
My list of things to help make my walls stronger is getting smaller, but slowly, and with a lot of help from the good Lord.
I still have a long way to go.
Tomorrow we’ll be looking at Two Biblical examples - Daniel and Samson
‘On Ya’ - ma