Pruning Season Part 2: Self-Control
There is nothing like your first time, first time experiences become long time memories.
What's in your tank?
Things can get in our tanks if we don't have the right people surrounding us and allowing the right things in our lives.
Romans 7:18-25 (NIV)
18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. 21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
The only saving grace is Jesus, not our own will power.
The ability to control oneself, one’s emotions, desires; especially in difficult situations
16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, (patience), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
You have to get a hold of your self control. What is in your feeder system? A question you have to ask yourself is how will you make it through this vow without his help.
He wants to prune us from the things that keep us from reaching our fullest potential. He wants us to grow for the kingdom. It is all about growth.
A person without self-control
is like a house with its doors and windows knocked out.
We always try to use our own will power but we must rely on the power of the holy spirit. His power is the only power that will get us through any trial in life.
6 Among those who were chosen were some from Judah: Daniel,Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 7 The chief official gave them new names: to Daniel, the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego.8 But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. 9 Now God had caused the official to show favor and compassion to Daniel, 10 but the official told Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you.”
11 Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink.13 Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.”14 So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days. 15 At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food.
He is preparing us for what's to come, the things we don't see. We are building up our self-control.
But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?” 16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand.
25 He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”26 Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!”
So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, 27 and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them.They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.
28 Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.
Are you willing to lose your life in order to find your life in HIM?
Are you willing to let go of the things that is holding you back to get closer to him? We must die to ourselves to bring life to ourselves.
5 points in building your self-control
We must be disciplined in our spiritual and natural life. We should write things down to help hold us accountable and keep us on track.
2. Know your house
We cant let our houses become compromised. We have to know what we struggle with, what holds us back, know our character, and give it up to God. We can't let others in to taint our house.
3. Cover the blind spots
We have to ask God to strengthen us and remove the parts of us that run contrary to the person he wants us to be. We must do this in constant prayer.
4. Vision Driven
We must be driven visionaries. We have to start seeing the vision of where we are headed after the vow and in our future in Christ. We must see the end goal and what God has called each of us to be.
5. Battle Tested
Self control is only developed through trials. We have to know the tests are coming and we have to prepare our hearts.
Think of the areas of you life that needs self control......Now say this prayer to your father;
Father, today is the day I let go. I let go of all control and give it to you. My will power is not enough, I need your spirit. Fill me, lead me, guide me. I pray for the spirit of self-control, the fruit to operate in my life at a higher level. Give me the discipline to move forward and not backward. I give it to you God, in Jesus name I pray. Amen.