What is interesting right now is that I have just wasted around 40 minutes on Facebook while telling myself I need to come here and write. Just a second, just a second, just a second and 40 minutes later…
It’s interesting because I have been contemplating self-control; that fruit of the Holy Spirit, that essential element in achieving most things in life, that self-control that eludes me (and us all I suspect) far too often.
It’s not the first time I have thought about it. I doubt it will be the last. It’s not the first time I’ve considered Galatians 5:22-23 either and again doubtful it will be the last time. I’m not sure what started me on this thread but it’s one that I can’t stop tugging on and that seems to have tendrils spreading out into other areas.
The thought I’ve been mulling over is this – when I talk about self-control who is the self that’s controlling?
If I am that self then I am in for an awful lot of stress, strain and failure. I’ve already had that, in heaps and mounds. Like Paul I cry:
24 I am absolutely miserable! Is there anyone who can free me from this body where sin and death reign so supremely?
And with the tax collector weep:
“God, be merciful to me, a sinner!”
But if the ‘self’ that is controlling me is Him… then there’s still going to be stress, strain and defeat because I am very bad at handing over that control – but ultimately there’s a new Truth.
14 You see, the controlling force in our lives is the love of the Anointed One.
Paraphrasing a paraphrase (I can’t recall who I am quoting from… if you recognise it let me know and I will add it in):
The faith that believes we are children of God despite the mounds of evidence to the contrary – is the root of holiness.
I fail, a lot. No excuses, no ‘well I am getting better’ I fail. If I relied on what I do instead of what He does then I’d give up and go have all those bright shiny things that are so tempting but not good ‘cos what’s the point? But I am not relying on what I do. I am relying on what He HAS done, CONTINUES to do and WILL do. The great I AM present in it all.
I know that in my head and sometimes I know it in my heart. I pictured it like a pair of cogs. I am the smaller one whose teeth keep slipping out of the big master one. Self-control is being meshed with that master cog. I move because He moves me.
28 For you know the saying, “We live in God; we move in God; we exist in God.” And still another said, “We are indeed God’s children.”
There might be more. Please don’t overthink the cog analogy – it was just a glimpse of what failing is like.
Be blessed and know He loves you!