Build a City of Self-Control

Food and eating is one of my favorite things to do, and that caused troubles in past, it led me to being overweight, insecure and unhealthy mentally and physically. To help improve my self-control,  I did a bible study called Taste for Truth.  During this study I discovered how I can continue my love for food in a healthy way, set boundaries for myself by replacing my need for food with words of encouragement from God and his desire for me to treat my body like a temple and a vessel for the Holy Spirit.  60 pounds later and I still have to battle self-control, but I’m not doing it alone, God’s word encourages me to treat my body as a powerful vessel.

My best weapon on my journey is Hebrews 12:11 “No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful.  Later on, however, it yields a peaceful harvest of righteousness to those who have been trained by it”.  I say this verse in my head often because it serves me well, not only with my food choices, but also with holding my tongue when something nasty is about to come out, or when I want to act for my own benefit and not someone else’s. The attacks on our self-control are constant and we need our self-control to be stronger, but how?

We do not possess real Self- Control…

Not alone anyway.  Without the Holy Spirit, it’s easy to justify the things we do in each moment.  We can easily justify the drive through when it’s a busy night and we can justify saying something unkind, because that person “deserved it”.  Matthew 7:9-12 reminds me that I may think I need and want a lot of things, but that God knows what’s best. “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?  If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” 

We may pray continuously for a promotion, more money, friends, weight loss, a husband …. but what we think is best for us, isn’t what God knows is best for us.  We need the Holy Spirit at work within us to keep us on the trust track with God’s plan.  He will provide more for us than we could ever dream on our own – we just have to get out of the way and stop chasing our wants and desires – show self-control and know that God is doing good work for and in us always.

Outside World & Internal Forces attack

Proverbs 25:28 states that people are like cities.  To protect a vulnerable city the residence would build a tall and strong wall around them.  For extra protection, they would put guards at the gate and around the perimeter of the wall to ensure that no one could get in or out and to keep watch for enemy attacks.  We are similar to these ancient cities, in that we need to have defenses ready and armed so that when the enemy attacks, which it does continuously, we are prepared, trained and armed to defeat it.

The wall to protect us, is our self-control.  This wall of defense has many requirements, because our enemy comes in many different forms. To ensure our wall is built strong enough, we can’t lean on our own understanding. If we leave it up to our own efforts to build our walls, there will be holes along the whole thing as we bend our boundaries to suit our desires, we open up another gate and another until our wall comes tumbling down.  We may not even realize that we are opening mini gates for more enemies to sneak in, until that day we feel the walls crashing in on us.  Have you ever been there? I have…

We have no idea what temptations and attacks we will face, but God does and we need to let Him be the builder of our walls and be the guards at our gate.   To allow God to build our walls we need to turn to His word, read it daily to allow the walls to be built, we need to pray that our weaknesses are made known to us so that God can train the guards of our city.  Self-control without God is sure to fail, but with a strong commitment to God and not allowing compromises to living for him, our enemies can not win because our self-control wall is unbreakable.

Merry Christmas!

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