Self-control – In me I trust

It is about 2 am in the wee hours of the morning. I finally finished reading the first five books of the Bible and what a revelation it was. I think the most resounding revelation, for me, was that the God of the Old Testament, the God that is criticized for initiating so much violence against humanity is the same God that gave His only Son as a sacrifice for the sins of mankind, His creation. God in all His glory took responsibility for His creation.  He gave us the first look at the fierceness and compassion capable in parenting. Yes, to God be the glory.

As sinful creatures we have an innate desire to be in control, to provide for our own needs through our own abilities. Blind trust is difficult, especially when trusting in God whom we cannot see, feel, or touch. Jesus came to do the will of the Father. He was obedient to the cross. Self-control was never an issue, because all He considered was the will of the Father.

Our first challenge as believers is giving up our need for control. The flesh wants it, if not demands it. Others alike expect you to take control of your life, your desires, if not to embrace your desires, and your walk with God. We believe there is always a degree of control that we must have, but I don’t think that’s how God meant it. He told Adam and Eve not to eat of the tree of good and evil, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat;  but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” this implies obedience, not self-control. For every action there is a consequence. God was always testing His people to see if they would obey Him. We obey His commands out of fear and reverence, respect and yes even habit.

This is what the Lord shared with me, so when I finished writing everything down I went back to bed.

In the morning I awoke and the message continued.

As infants and children we learn self-control. As newly born humans, it’s the flesh that drives our behavior until we learn obedience.

An infant that cries for food, for a diaper change, or feels ill and wants attention the babe knows no other way of communicating other than crying, this is the flesh demanding. When a baby takes its first step, it opens up a whole new world, and he wants to go everywhere. He takes a few steps here and there. He has no concept of danger. His little body wants to go. He fights any restraint. It is up to the parent to put up safety guards and establish limits to keep him mobile, yet safe.

A toddler has the worst of times because all he wants is his way. You hear people refer to these behaviors as the terrible two’s, but the child is learning obedience, patience, sharing, etc.. As we grow, we learn to bring the flesh under submission, we come to expect certain things, so the flesh learns not to be so demanding. The flesh no longer dictates because it knows that certain things will take place that satisfy its needs. The need for sustenance is a great example. we know that mom will fix breakfast, lunch and dinner.  As the flesh hungers, what we learn is patience, to wait. When we lack self-control we gorge ourselves while waiting for dinner, and then eat a complete meal.

Self-control we learn as children. Self-control is about behavior and when we have the mind of Christ, the mind of Christ only wants to do the will of the Father. Having the mind of Christ allows God to always be in control.

Self-control is carnal mindedness. It has to do with the self, I, me, my, the flesh, it’s desires, it is never satisfied.  From an early age, if basic needs are not met, if limitations are not set, the child never learns self-control. The flesh then goes into overdrive to satisfy its desires.

The mind of Christ is focused on the things of God. The flesh is put to death. We are to bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. We are to give the devil no ground. Surrender is not easy.

December Gardens

December Gardens Beautiful flowers in December among bare trees as those that are alive in Christ can live among those dead in their sin. We are in the world, but we are not of this world.

If you give people the real Jesus and not some commercialized, homogenized version, then there is no greater gift, because He knows all our needs before we do. All those things people desire…love, forgiveness, wisdom, compassion…

1Cor. 4 “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” that’s all Jesus.

What a shame that Christianity has been so watered down we can’t recognize the real Jesus…it’s that interdenominational package we accept as gospel…it is far from the true gospel of Jesus Christ….there we go like sheep to slaughter. His grace is sufficient…1Cor.12:9

The Word tells us that there are false teachers, preachers, prophets in this world of ours, and that we should be on the alert. These days, however, it is becoming ever so difficult to tell the difference, but the Word said that many would come and try to deceive even the elect. Of one thing, we can be certain, God’s children hear His voice, but sometimes the Lord shares truths with one child that He may not reveal to another, but He will confirm via another.

It’s been only within the last couple of years that the Lord has revealed this truth to me. “There is a widespread acceptance of deceptive teaching among today’s evangelicals.

They seek each other out. They praise the works of one another. Speak out against one, and you face the wrath of all. All the while, they mingle with the world and all its worldly lusts. And all is played out in the public sphere. And believers are torn, like sheep to slaughter. Unbelievers watch, wander lost and ridicule.

The Word also tells us that in the last days itching ears will desire the word that fits their lifestyle.” Eventually, God will reveal to all His children all they need to know and will expose every false teacher, preacher, etc… However, because Christians are at different levels of maturity not all will readily receive, or accept truth when presented that is contrary to their spiritual foundation, regardless of scriptural soundness. It becomes a matter of interpretation for Christians, and most Christians will look to their favorite pastor, or favorite teacher before sifting their believe system. Rarely will they seek God, as the Word says, “no man seeks after Him”. There is quite a bit of soul searching that goes into the process. And while a few Christians will search the scriptures for answers, few will ask God to search their hearts.

In His perfect time and perfect will God will bring everyone’s deeds to the Light. Meanwhile He said not to worry because when it comes time for the harvest, He will order the separating. As Christians, we should not take an offense for any preacher, teacher, and such. No matter how much “we may believe” that we know, that we know, everything there is to know about these televangicals, only God knows the heart of any man. Further, we are to identify fellow believers by their fruits. In this, we may know our local pastor, but how many congregations have been blindsided by the treachery of the one (male/female) on the pulpit? That being said, how can we truly know the fruits of those on television when we don’t know them? Everything looks good on television, or from far off, or over the radio, or through the eyes of another.

As humans, we have an innate desire to identify with someone, or something, hence, why some individuals, with particular talents, abilities and such can quickly attract people by the hordes. And as humans, we quickly follow, even to our demise. It can become a bittersweet relationship. Many of us know that the devil is the accuser of the brethren, well, these days it can be a two way street… Most Christians are quick to judge, and slow to seek God’s wisdom. It’s the rare person that can stand alone, whose only influence is God Almighty, and His name is Jesus.

Mat. 13:24-30 “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”

Mat.:7:15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.”

2 Tim. 4:1-4 “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”

To God be the glory!