Is Self-Control a piece of cake? Really?
I love cake.
I mean, I really love cake. If I'm offered a piece, I can't turn it down, and it's a real problem for 2 reasons: I'm trying to lose weight, and I'm a diabetic. But it's one of those things that just triggers something inside of me, and all my self-control goes out the window.
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, and gentleness are not usually a day-to-day issue for me. But, I struggle with self-control continually throughout the day. And it's foolish. I've been given access to a Holy Spirit-sized dose of self-control. It's there for the asking, but I don't remember to ask for help.
All the Fruit
Here we are at the end of our list Gal 5:22-23 gave us of the fruit of the Spirit. We began studying them all in February. If you look back at the Overview, we are given ALL these things, but it's up to us to cultivate them or allow them to rule over us.
Maybe you don't have an issue with cake. Maybe your self-control battle lies somewhere else. Gossip? Anger? Alcohol consumption? TV watching? Social media time? Gambling? Pornography? It doesn't matter what it is. If you are letting anything else control you, you have a self-control problem.
Self-Control in Temptation
Jesus Christ Himself was our best model of self-control. After His baptism, He went into the wilderness for 40 days of intense prayer. During this time, He faced down Satan who tempted Him with food. Jesus was fasting, and the devil invited Him to create bread from the nearby stones.
Really think about this. As the All-Powerful Son of God, Jesus could have turned the stones into any food He wanted at any time during His fast. So the sly nudge to just make some plain ol' bread feels even more manipulative. What the enemy was really asking Jesus was to place His own personal comfort first. Anyone who would give in to hunger would surely balk at torture and crucifixion, right?
But Jesus held firm. And I am unimaginably relieved that He did. My eternal future (and yours) changed because of His self-control. Luke 4:3-4 says, "The devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread." and Jesus answered him, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone.'" Christ quoted scripture to beef-up His self-control.
Self-Control through Prayer
Jesus also modeled how we can pray during times when our self-control needs a boost. As He neared the time of His arrest, we see this in Luke 22:41-44, "Then He withdrew from them about a stone's throw, knelt down and began to pray, "Father, if You are willing, take this cup away from Me - nevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done." Then an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him. Being in anguish, He prayed more fervently, and His sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground."
His honesty with God ended with His submission to God's will. Basically, "I'm overwhelmed in this moment. Help me do what You want." And we see the strength He had later in Matt. 27:11-12. He's mocked and could have destroyed all His accusers. But He just stood there. Silently. That. That was supernatural self-control.
And that same level of self-control is available to you and to me. With the aid of the Holy Spirit, self-control Can beat a piece of cake.
Father God, we thank you for Your Son and His willing sacrifice for us. Thank YOU for this final piece of the Spirit that we can hold onto and grow. Remind us in times of temptation that You are strong than the enemy and his schemes. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.
Thanks for stopping by today. Remember that we often lose our self-control when we're under stress. If fear is messing with you, check out my free course: Less Fear More Jesus here.by