Sunday, March 11, 2012

Self-Control ( Who controls who)



Proverbs 25:28  Like a city broken into and left without a wall, so is a person who lacks self-control. 

Throughout history there are cities which have fallen due to the lack of walls or fortification. Self-Control means having the ability to exercise restraint or control over one's feelings, emotions, and reactions. It is one of the fruits of the spirit which should be evident in every believer.

The Great Wall of China is the world's largest wall. Astronauts can see it from space while rotating around the Earth. In 7 B.C. , the construction of the wall started by feuded warlords of the time. For many centuries the sections of the wall were added and it helped keep out invaders from various locations of the country. It reached its highest glory during the Ming Dynasty. The Wall is anywhere from 15 to 30 feet high and it is 5500 miles long. Throughout the centuries the invaders were only able to cross sections of the wall when they were not kept up. They Ming Dynasty reconstructed the torn walls and kept the Mongolians at bay.

Christians should have a Great Wall of China like ability inside of us.  Our self-control should be better than what it is. I am speaking to myself first and foremost.  The enemy is able to attack and over take us at times due to our walls of defense being down. Self-Control could stop many from being led by their feelings or emotions. It could help many see the big picture instead of always making assumptions. When we are in arguments; self-control is exercised and each person listens to each other. When we are faced with temptations whether lust or other sinful desires; self-control gives us a different perspective and leads us back to the truth. People without self-control are impulsive, easily manipulated, bound to sin and lust, and are easily deceived by others. Growing up as a teenager, I did not follow the crowd. Everybody was drinking, smoking, doing drugs, having sex, doing things behind their parents back, and much more. My shyness actually helped me a lot in this department but as I grew in the faith my self-control grew with me. People without courage and self-esteem easily fall into the trap of what everyone else is doing.

If you find yourself falling into sin more easily then you might want to look at your walls. Maybe  your temperance has been broken into and it is time to rise up. Only Holy Spirit can give us true self-control. Buddhist monks mediate all day long and pull themselves out from society in order to have self-control. We have the greater truth as the body of Christ where is our self-control? Where is our restraint? Churches fall due to the lack of self-control. People gossip due to a lack of self-control. Relationships are ended due to a lack of self-control and respect. Many believers live by and through their emotions and feelings. In fact, some only have a relationship based on this order. Our faith is much deeper than that. Our emotion and feelings should never stop us from loving others and from keeping the relationships we are called to have. Our lack of self-control is leaving the body of Christ open for many attacks. Lust and sin is rapid within our ranks. The Truth of the Gospel has been replaced by the " Feel Good" gospel. If it feels good to me or if it is right for me then it is truth for me. My flesh would love to look at naked women or live an unrighteous life but that does not mean I should give in to it. It is hard having self-control in your own strength. I know I falter at times. Many just give up and succumb to the temptations. We must fight. We must keep the walls up against the evil which is before us. There are invaders waiting on the other side of the wall of temperance. They are waiting for the opportunity to breach the wall. Believers should be towers of temperance. We should show the world that Christ is really in us. This Christ , who through self-control, carried himself to the cross and laid down his life for a sinful and heathen people. Jesus could have resisted. He could have allowed his feelings and emotions in the garden to over take Him, but he pressed forward. He did not allow is fleshy desires stop the spiritual act which was upon him. We are faced with doing the right thing every day. If Christ is in us then self-control is growing within us as well. It does not mean we will not slip up from time to time but it does mean there is evidence of HIS SELF-CONTROL within us. We only get it by spending time with Him. It does not mean we should live our life without feeling or emotions. We are not from planet Vulcan. It means we are not led by our feelings or emotions but we are lead by Holy Spirit each and every day.  Look at your walls of temperance today. Are your city that has fallen or about to fall? Come back to Christ and call upon his name. Ask for His temperance or self-control to be inside of you. He loves you no matter what. He grieves when you or I fall into sin or are overtaken by it. Rise up and flee sin and run to His arms of Grace and love.
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