Daily Walk with the Holy Spirit

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Do You possess self control? part 2

The mention of the term self-control undoubtedly brings to mind different images for people depending on their particular circumstances. Many probably think of combating dominating habits that can range from the simple to the more complex and debilitating. It may be as simple as a poor diet or a tendency to overeat at Thanksgiving, or to talking too much. It may also be something far more serious like chain smoking, drunkenness, drug abuse, sexual sins (pornography and adultery), a quick temper, a pattern of exaggerating or lying, etc. Others may think of dealing with an abusive spouse, parent, or employer or of dealing with their own tendencies toward losing control and becoming abusive. Others need self-control because they are lazy or have poor work habits while others are workaholics and need self-control to back off and learn to relax.

Regardless, self-control is very much an important part of maturity. One of the basic characteristics of infancy is a lack of self-control. Not only do babies need diapers, they must be carried because they lack the necessary control and muscle coordination to sit up much less walk or run. If a babies are healthy and normal, in time they will develop more and more self-control—a sure sign of growth and maturity

The importance of self-control can be seen in the news media which graphically portray how the lack of self-control, because of man’s various inner cravings, impact our society for evil. When men and nations turn away from God and seek significance, security, and satisfaction through the desires of the flesh, it leads to a blatant absence of self-control. This will then manifests itself in hundreds of ways with devastating results on individuals, families, on certain groups in society; the fatherless, the widow, and the poor, etc. and on society as a whole.

"How the faithful city has become a harlot, she who was full of justice! Righteousness once lodged in her, but now murderors. Your silver become dross, your drink diluted with water. Your rulers are rebels and companions of thieves; Everyone loves a bribe and chases after rewards. They do not defend the orphan, nor does the widow's plea come before them." Isaiah 1:21-23

God is comparing the actions of this moral less nation to that with the action of harlots.

People have turned away from God. Turning their worship which once was to God, now on the idols of this world. Not all peoples faith, but the majority of peoples faith today is defective, impure, and diluted. Idolatry, outward or inward, is spiritual adultary, and is breaking our commitment to love God in the sense that we love something else stronger than God.

We are to keep our devotion to Him strong and pure.

God Should be our Everything!

Has your faith become impure?

He can restore you. All you have to do is ask.

In the early chapters of Isaiah, the prophet pronounces judgment on the nation of Israel because, having turned away from the Lord and His Word, the nation was completely lacking in self-control—a condition that also affected the leadership. Thus, Isaiah speaks of the results of this among the leaders—an effect that naturally spills over into the rest of society.

The first mention of the term self-control in the New Testament Acts 24:25 provides another illustration of what happens in society when there is a lack of self-control.

The topic of self-control is entirely appropriate in the personal history of both Felix and Drusilla and the reason for his anxiety. In addition, his administration was marked by injustices that contrasted with the righteousness and justice of God. His unrighteousness and lack of self-control not only made him a poor example to those whom he governed, but affected his ability to govern justly.

As has been so blatantly seen in our own government and in the White House, what a person is in private will eventually have a negative impact on his public life and service.

For this reason and because of the issue of duplicity or spiritual hypocrisy, self-control is one of the qualifications called for in church leaders.

"An overseer, then must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach." 1 Timothy 3:2

The word overseer is a heavy responsibility. One should be chosen beacsue of their respect for the Truth, both in what they believe and in how they live. One should not be elected because of how popular they are, or how they have pushed their way to the top.

The principle is simply that he who would lead or govern or properly influence others for good, must first be the master of himself. As Peter reminds us...
For whatever a person succumbs to (i.e., is controlled by), to that he is enslaved.” 2 Peter 2:19

Since the absence of self-control can have such devastating results, it is naturally needed in every area of life and for all people.

Unfortunately, the desire for self-control may have many motivations. It may stem from man’s self-centered or worldly objectives rather than from inner controls brought about by a deep relationship with God, biblical beliefs, motives, values, methods and means, and objectives.

When and where such belief structures are absent, the absence of self-control in other areas will be just around the corner.

In our society where so much emphasis is placed on one’s physical appearance. Many exercise extreme self-control to maintain a beautiful appearance, but exercise little self-control when it comes to moral issues such as sexual fidelity or honesty in business.

For self-control to branch out into every compartment of one’s life, one needs a deep relationship with the living God.

1 Thessalonians 4:1-12. In reading this passage it dramatically demonstrates how faith in Christ, biblical instruction, the reality of God’s activity, including His discipline on those who disobey, is to transform all avenues of a Christian’s life.

"Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." 2 Peter 1:5-8

These actions do not come automatically, they require hard work.

They are not optional for the Christian.

They are a continual part of the Christian walk.

We dont finish one and then start the next, but work on them all together.

God empowers us and enables us, and give us responsiblity at the same time to learn and grow.

We should not be surprised at or resentful of the process.

Our faith must go beyond what we believe.

It must become a dynamic part of all we are, what we do, how we respond.

As we do it will bear good fruit and spiritual maturity.

Self-control means to be in control of one’s attitudes or thought processes, desires or passions, patterns or habits so they do not dictate one’s behavior.

Self-control is to be the product of one’s faith relationship with God and not a matter of self-righteous, or self-denial. This is most obvious in Galatians 5:23 where it is seen as part of the fruit of the Spirit.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, self-control; against such there is no law." Galatians 5:22-23


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