Like a city that is broken down and without walls [leaving it unprotected]
Is a man who has no self-control over his spirit [and sets himself up for trouble].
Proverbs 25:28 (AMP)
Lord, when my fears are abundant
help me to cry out to you
in praise and thanksgiving
I know You’ll help me through.
When doubt clouds my mind
soaking my heart in tears
may peace reign within
as I bend my knees in prayer.
©25 November 2018
Lord I need thee, O I need thee;
every hour I need thee!
O bless me now, my Savior,
I come to thee. ¹
I’ve wrestled back and forth. Not literally wringing my hands, but figuratively in my mind.
The only way I can really explain it is a feeling of being overwhelmed. Too much to do. But curiously enough, I have managed to check quite a few things off my list lately. So, is that really what’s bothering me?
No, can’t be. Yet, what else can it be?
I realized recently I lack self-discipline in certain areas of my life. I have no self-control and therefore, I am not at peace.
Both self-control and peace are fruits of the Spirit. But did you ever think on the order of that list? Let’s look at it a minute:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
“Self-control isn’t just one good character trait, a nice addition to the pantheon of virtues. It’s foundational. Not because it’s more important than other virtues, but because the others rely upon it … Think about it. Can you be faithful to your spouse without self-control? Can you be generous without self-control? Peaceable? Selfless? Honest? Kind? No, even the most basic altruism requires suspending your own interests to think of others. And that can’t happen without self-control. . . . Self-control is key.” ²
I have begun to realize just how little discipline I have in my life. Oh, there is some. I’m not completely without it, but a lot of the decisions I make and the things I do are very impulsive. Yes, I pray about the big decisions. I mean, those are very important aren’t they? What about the little things in life though?
I read a Facebook status of a friend explaining how she has been able to go off of eating so much chocolate. She said she had begun to pray for someone every time she felt like reaching for the chocolate. Now two months later, she hardly eats any at all.
What a concept! I used to be on a program that encouraged us to read our Bible when we felt like reaching for food when we weren’t really hungry. I actually lost 20 lbs. using that method. Reading my friends status reminded me of this simple approach to being disciplined and obedient to God.
“Scripture describes self-control as a product of being connected to God. It’s something that grows when your life is rooted in divine reality. In fact, if it’s missing, your faith may be a ruse. No fruit, no root.” ²
Okay, so that is an OUCH to the highest degree! Can you see why I would not have any peace in my life without establishing self-control?
Drew continues on in the next chapter with this: What self-control requires, ultimately, isn’t control but surrender…Self-control, then, is about listening and obeying…submitting every decision we make to God. It’s about surrendering. When we do this consistently, it’s called self-control. ²
Which means even though it begins with the word “self”, it is not about me at all. It’s about God and my relationship with Him. It’s about letting HIM control mySELF.
I have a lot to learn in this area. I only know this one thing for sure at this point and time. I can’t do this on my own. I need Jesus. I need Him every hour to help me learn to live a life devoted to Him so that I quit making my life all about me and start living it for Him.
He must increase, I must decrease. ³
One final thought before I wrap this up. “Biblical self-control is about keeping our loves in the right order. In a sense, we can only do what we love. When we succumb to sin, it’s because in that moment we loved something else—pleasure, pride, comfort—more than God…That means we must rightly order our hearts, taking special care to ensure we are not worshiping anything or anyone other than God.” ²
My first prayers this year was that I would grow closer in my walk with God. As I prayed this, asking God to light a new fire within and under me, I believe He led me to this realization of needing this discipline in my life.
How about you? Are you needing a swift kick in the behind spiritually too? If so, there’s no better person than God to do it. It’s not an easy thing to ask of Him, but His discipline is for our good and brings the good out of us.
From My Heart to Yours,
Picture of praying hands copyrighted by Marcie Bridges. All other pictures courtesy of www.pixabay.com
¹ Song, “I Need Thee Every Hour”. Lyrics: Annie Sherwood Hawks (1836-1918); Chorus by Robert Lowry (1826-1899) Music: Robert Lowry (1826-1899)
² Dyck, Drew. “Your Future Self Will Thank You: Secrets to Self-Control from the Bible & Brain Science.” Moody Publishers. Chicago, IL. Print. Pages: 15, 19, 32-33, 40.
³ John 3:30. NKJV.