Proverbs 27:6 – “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” NKJV
We asked the pointed question last time, “Are You Consistent?” Now let’s move to another question that hopefully will help us to identify potential BLIND SPOTS and deal with them.
- ARE YOU SELF-CONTROLLED?
The Phillips Translation of Romans 8:28 reads, “Moreover we know that to those who love God, who are called according to His Plan, everything that happens fits into a pattern for good.” That passage, in no translation, says that ALL THINGS ARE GOOD in and of themselves but that the Ultimate End, the Finished Product, the Work of God in the process is GOOD! A genuine evidence of our walk in the Spirit is the Fruit of the Spirit, which includes the quality of SELF-CONTROL or TEMPERANCE. Have you ever asked yourself why it is a mark of distinction to manifest a controlled life? What is meant by self-control? When is or can self-control be taken to the extreme?
When we turn to God’s Word regarding this matter we find that the ‘self-control’ referred to in the Bible is the quality of abiding or resting in God. When the world is being torn apart, when tensions and trials persist with a vengeance and men’s hearts are failing them, the Spirit of God enables the believer to demonstrate a peace and tranquility that is beyond the comprehension of the world. The Child of God understands that what men might mean for evil, God will turn for good! God can and will use every circumstance in our lives in order to perfect us and transform us into the image of His Dear Son. That is wonderful and glorious!
One of the chief reasons that any spiritual leader or anyone for that matter must exhibit the Fruit of Self-Control is to preserve stability. People are looking for reality and they experience realities in everyday life: The Reality of Job Insecurity, Family Issues, Financial Difficulty, Feelings of Inadequacy, the Uncertainty of the Future and the reality of the Past. Those pressures and realities are common to every one of us. But, if we are going to become overcomers and more than conquerors we must learn how to react in time of crisis. The true measure of maturity is not what we do when all is going as planned and the seas are calm but what we do when the storm rolls in and the winds howl frightfully.
When you are faced with a sudden catastrophe such as; you didn’t get the anticipated job or promotion, your finances are totally depleted, a sudden health issue arises, your business collapses and your friends forsake you what do you do? It is what you do and how you react in that time of crisis that reveals who and where you are spiritually FAITH truly trusts at all times and in all things. God does not change and if He does not change can we say as Job, “Though He slay me, I will trust Him.”
What are the biblical instructions for times of crisis? 1 Peter 5:7, “Cast all your care on Me for I care for you.” Matthew 11:28, “Come unto Me, all you who are weary and overburdened and I will give you rest.” In the turbulence, it is our responsibility to exhibit “self-control”, not only to help ourselves but to give stability to those around us. As believers we are to OVERWHELM an unbelieving world with the calm, tranquil peace that only the Holy Spirit can give. We need to live above our circumstances when things are going terribly wrong. We need to be lights shining in darkness for those who are drifting on the raging seas of life. They need to see God in us and through our actions and reactions.
Can you see any area(s) where you might not be exhibiting “self-control” and “temperance”? If so, what do you think God would have you do about it? I cannot stop there but must say a little more on this matter so we will pause here and pick up next time with another question in our quest to discover and deal with ‘blind spots’ in our lives.
God bless you richly is my prayer and desire!