I love how the bible has everything we need to know. I struggled with self-control; I have yet to come across a porn addict who says they have self-control. On the same token, I am yet to come across someone who broke their addiction without self-control. This all makes logical sense right? Control yourself and your addictions lose their power to control you.
Easier said than done. Impossible even? Why not ask the impossible of God. I asked God for the impossible, and He replied through His Word.
2 Peter 1:5-6
5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.
He made the impossible possible. He took me on a journey of discovery, not so much of who I was, but more so of who He is.
The verse above speaks of adding, a progression, building on the previous aspect. Focusing on self-control we see that it is built on knowledge. I can testify to this, testify to His word that self-control is built on knowledge. For me self-control meant controlling my sexual desires. For each of you reading this, you may struggle with the same desires, or you may struggle with a completely different desire. Either way, when our desires control us, we are no longer free. We are captive to our desires.
So how does knowledge give us self-control to overcome such desires? Well do you know the word of God? Do you know that in His word He has said we have been set free and are no longer captive (Galatians 5:1)? Do you know that He has provided you with a way out of every temptation (or desire) (1 Corinthians 10:13)? Do you know what this way is?
Knowledge of His word, of what He has done and of who He is; this should be our desire. When we know more of this, then we can add to it, build our self-control. Without a strong base of this knowledge, however, we will crumble in the face of temptation. Attempted self-control without knowledge will fail. Maybe you need to ask yourself if this statement has any validity in your life? I had to.
Once we are honest with ourselves, we come to know just how weak we are in the face of temptation, but we also come to know how strong He can be. His strength is most evident in our weakness as the saying goes.
So to clarify, what do we need to know?
1) His Word.
Jesus when tempted by the devil replied with “It is written.” We too need to have knowledge of His word so that when tempted we know on which ground we must stand and are not swayed by the devils lies but are rooted in the foundation of the knowledge of His word. We can be self-controlled with the knowledge that what He says in His word is true, and that indeed we can be self-controlled, not swayed by externalities.
2) What He has done.
When we know his word, we will intern know what He has done for us. The reason we need to know this, is that we must not view ourselves as worthless. We may not be perfect, but we are not worthless. A lack of self-control does not make you the scum of the earth. Jesus paid a price for you, He gave up His life in payment so that we may have life. Don’t insult Him by viewing yourself as worthless, know what he has done for you and you will find a new sense of motivation to control one’s self.
3) Who He is.
When we know who He is, we will know who we are, for He lives within us. His word tells us that He was self-controlled, thus we know this self-control is available to us.
As we gain knowledge in all the above areas, we will begin a journey of developing self-control. Self-control is not a skill we gain instantaneously, but rather one which is developed, developed as our knowledge develops. The great thing is that each day we have the opportunity to develop this Fruit of the Spirit.
Today, or tonight depending on when you read this, commit to gaining knowledge, and building on it, to develop your self-control. I urge you to pray something along these lines, and allow God to work in your life.
“Lord, thank you for the opportunities you give me to show self-control. I ask that you will help me develop this skill, starting with an increased knowledge of Your Word, what You have done for me, and who You are so that I may build on this knowledge and exercise self-control which You have said is available to me in your word. Guide me in my learning as I strive to become more self-controlled. Amen”
Part one – The power of fruit, how that makes sense…
Part two – The power of fruit, oh joy?!
Part three – The power of fruit, don’t throw it at me, I come in peace
Part four – The power of fruit, caught…
Part five – The power of fruit, when it is there…
Part six – The power of fruit, kindly accept…
Part seven – The power of fruit, good aim…
Part eight – The power of fruit, impossible is nothing…
Part nine- The power of fruit, gentleness is power under control…
Photo courtesy of: http://www.lollydaskal.com