Control Yourself and Let The Spirit In

A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls. Proverbs 25:28

Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city. Proverbs 16:32 ESV

What does it mean to have Self-Control? Self-control is the culmination of what it means to grow spiritually. If we have understanding and can truly say we are nourished by the Fruit of the Spirit then we can have control of our humanity and concentrate on completing our walk in the Spirit. Of course we are still imperfect beings and cannot fully attain this on earth. But we are given the strength to endure.

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV

Peter gives guidance in the steps leading up to love in which self-control is central.

For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 2 Peter 1:5-7 ESV

If self-control was not important, Paul would not have told Timothy:

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7 ESV

The Romans had their great sporting and track and field events so Paul could speak to them in a way they would understand. The Corinthians new what it meant to win and lose. Paul gives the analogy of the prized wreath after winning a race:

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we, an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 ESV

Self-control takes discipline. The Corinthians also had a very bad sexual immorality issue so not only did Paul talk about the body being a temple and not ours to destroy but the discipline it takes to keep the body from earthly entices.

Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 1 Corinthians 6:18 ESV

But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. 1 Corinthians 9:27 ESV

Jesus is the only person to walk on this earth that had perfected self-control. Yes there may be others who claim it but they are not the perfect being who has perfect control and the only one who can bear our sins.

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. Titus 2:11-14 ESV

The words of Romans 12:1-2 speak for themselves.

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1-2 ESV

So do not conform to the world by letting the things that take you away from God win your heart. Let the prize of a life with God be your motivation for living. Do not worry about the things of this world and the people who cause you strife for they will be your undoing. Keep your whole body and spirit focused on the great prize and you will have great success.

May God’s Love bring you peace,

Rob, Servant of God

Finding Joy in Sorrow

​Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to usRomans 5:3-5 ESV

Find joy while we suffer? That is the Christian’s lot in life. We are, like C-3PO, made to suffer in our created and fallen form. The joy we find in this world is awesome when we do but it is only temporary. Not to be a downer but the only source of true joy is through the love and faith we have in Jesus. Paul is telling us that without Jesus and knowledge of God’s love within us, we have no joy. We are made to endure much and exercise perseverance in all that we do. 

This Christmas season is really rough for myself, many of my close friends, and family who lost loved ones within the last year. I have been in contact with a few already to check up with them because this a time where many will enter a period of depression and understandably so. This is a season where instead of being sad that those folks are no longer with us, rejoice that they are at peace and no longer physically suffering. 

We are not to ask God “Why?” because if the devil hears you questioning God and doubting Him, you make an easy target.

The Adversary likes to hit us in the times of deep sorrow and suffering so we lose our hope in Jesus and doubt that God loves us. We are stronger than that. Even when we are at our lowest, God’s love will never leave us. He is tugging at the whole heart while the devil is only allowed a portion. It is how hard the devil tugs that determines how much we lose sight of God.  

What can we do? Remember that God places the right people in the right place whether you cry for help or not. God wants you to come back to Him and not be lost in the darkness forever. He is the most forgiving Father who let His Son pay the price for our sin and death. He also created us as caretakers of each other. When one begins to suffer from any situation, we need to be the source of comfort and bring the person back on the right track. When we call on Jesus and are being cared for by one of God’s Children, we are in great and awesome hands. 

If you are having trouble finding the joy in sorrow, look around, you are not alone. Others feel the same but here it is, the joy of knowing that the sorrow you feel right now is temporary is one source of joy. Another is that the joy you seek may not be the intended joy that God has for you. I speak from personal experience on that one.  The joy God has for us will come but sometimes the night lasts a very, very long time. 

When Will This Terror End

Once again the world has experienced an act of a coward. This time on a bike path in Manhattan that took 8 innocent lives and injured 11. The man used a rented truck had a paintball gun and a pellet gun. The person wrecked the truck then took off on foot yelling Allahu Akbar. He was stopped by a bullet but not killed and will pay for the crime.

Brothers and sisters this must stop. The Adversary has taken full control and distorted the thinking of many. Not only do we have the ISIL threat but the leftist terrorist group ANTIFA has threatened to take action on the fourth of November against small businesses. Scripture warned us that we would be persecuted and would have to be watchful and the danger is increasing daily.

Matthew 24: 9-14  Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. 

So what does this mean for us? We must be strong in adversity. We cannot let those who are against us win. Trust that God will carry us through. Our Faith must be stronger than the resolve of those against us so that we can defeat the adversary through the strength of the Holy Spirit. Yes we will lose people and yes we will be deceived. Put on your spiritual armor every day and prepare for the battle ahead.

Our heart goes out to the families of those senselessly murdered by this spiritually confused person. Our prayers are with those hospitalized for a quick recovery. Please join us in praying for all involved to include the individual whose idealisms have been distorted by the adversary. Jesus told us to pray for our enemies and those who are suffering so let us pray that the adversary loses ground and Jesus gains the world through the Holy Spirit and the sharing of the hope of salvation in Jesus.

Amen