I’ve been writing this post for years. These specific words came this week, but only after realizing God had me thinking and writing variations of them for years.
In seeking my will, I’m often fighting His. I wrote these words a few weeks ago about letting go and trusting God. But looking back, while I’ve surrendered more to God over the last few years, it’s not only about surrender. Fighting His will is about my self-control.
In the past decade, surrender evolved through bubbles while grieving and leaping in faith. Along the way, muddied waters cleared with splashes of His revelations often written about here. But all of it echoes self-control.
When a recurring theme pops into our lives in a couple different areas, it’s clearly God nudging us to pay attention. In the last few months, multiple self-control scenarios surfaced in my life. Personal friends, fellow writers, and family situations led me to contemplate self-control (or often my lack thereof).
For me, self-control often means minimizing. I try to do too much, say too much or go too fast and miss the valuable small, slower moments. Surrendering and trusting God leads to moments of joy I don’t want to miss. So I’m following God’s nudge and focusing on self-control on multiple levels this month. We’ll dig into God’s Word, examine one of my worst habits, realize how simple temptations can grow and how to find joy in self-control.
In a very unscientific poll of some friends, it seems many of struggle with self-control not only in the obvious ways like eating too much but also in areas of trusting God. Check off any of these that you’ve experienced:
- Not patient to wait for God’s timing
- Not trusting God enough to fully let go and surrender
- Not fully believing God’s way is better
- Not stopping ourselves from inserting our opinion or directives
Self-control begins with not giving in to temptation. It can be an act of commission or omission and little or big, but nonetheless, these acts resonate lack of self-control.
How do we gain more Godly control? By looking to Jesus.
Self-control shifts what I want to what God wants.
Earlier this year, I learned about living unburdened after reading this verse
So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. ~ 1Peter 1:13
My takeaway was self-control is practiced by sinful people like me by putting our hope in Jesus’ saving grace.
The fruit of self-control from the Holy Spirit is just that. From the Holy Spirit. It’s given and produced in our lives when we put our hope in Jesus alone. Not my will, impatience, way or words. Only His. When we look to Jesus and surrender to him, self-control becomes a part of us through the Holy Spirit.
Surrendering, trusting, and seeking Him is helping me learn about self-control. I look forward to digging deeper into this and offering some fun excitement along the way! Chime in on Facebook or Twitter with #SelfControl and also watch for my friend Kelly Basham’s posts too as we partner our focus on self-control this month.
I love how God plants these aha moments in our lives. Just one more example of how His way is so much greater. I can’t wait to see what He’s going to teach us this month as we focus on self-control.
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! ~Galatians 5:22-23
Linking up with Crystal Storms at #HeartEncouragement