Self-Control: The Way Forward (Part 1 of 2)

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Definition Self-Control or Temperance is “a discipline of self, self-restraint, the will-power, strength of mind and your will to live up to your set principles”. It is the self-will to restrict indulgence in certain things that may seem irresistible to you. It is a gift of God by His grace but it is you who has the capacity to use it or not as you will. Galatians 5:22-23; “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law”.


Self-Control: The Way Forward (Part 1 of 2)

The old man will show up when you repent and come to God, the old man, which was living before tries to come back and relive your life again. The old nature will try to come back. It is your obligation to resist the same old person or he ruin your new life in Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17; “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new”.

If you were a prostitute/thief/adulterer/drunkard, or someone with a riotous temper, the devil will have a record of what he knows you really love and lust after. He will not waste time with too many things that he knows you do not like, but will put extra effort on your areas of weakness. If you were not a smoker before, the devil will not waste time giving you cigarettes. Instead he will get information from his intelligence officers about your weaknesses and hammer on those. If they tell him that you had problems with the opposite sex; he will tell his demons to focus on that area. Before you know it you feel the pinch that the old man is coming back to life. James 1:13-14; “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempts he any man. But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed”. It is apparent from the scripture that everyone is tempted by their own lust, something that you already have a taste for. Do not return back to your old ways of doing things. Proverbs 26:11; “As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool returns to his folly”.

YOU, AND ONLY YOU; CAN CONTROL YOU. To control any other person or any other thing is easy and is pleasant, no wonder why people fight to have control over assets and territories. But to control yourself requires great sacrifice and discipline, because you have authority over your life. 

The hidden things that you and I desire, include:
1. The way I respond when I see easy money,
2. How I respond when I get a substantial amount of money,
3. The way I eat when it’s time to break the fast and I see a heap of sadza/pap and a litre of fizzy drinks,
4. The thing that hits my mind when I associate with members of the opposite sex, how my heart gets excited in coarse joking, or
5. Dirt joking and dirty cell-phone/internet messages and how though I do not seem to like it I rejoice at the chance to just have a glance of pornographic material,
6. My secret and hidden agenda,
7. The way I feel when people talk good and praise the success of people I do not particularly like and my perceived competitors,
8. The way I feel when somebody I never expected becomes more successful than me,
9. The way I feel like responding to someone who speaks evil against me or when I have an argument with my spouse. Proverbs 12:16; “A fool's wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covers shame”. 
10. Proverbs 17:28; “Even a fool, when he holds his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutters his lips is esteemed a man of understanding”.

Ladies and gentleman it’s not you who has a problem but the problem is with me, the ego; the real essence that makes me, the hard-drive in me. The self in me has desires that oppose the nature and will of God. 


Self-Control: The Way Forward (Part 1 of 2)

The Apostle Paul puts it succinctly in this scripture:
Romans 7:18-25; “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God--through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin”

I once asked a certain Roman Catholic priest if he did not have had problems with the opposite sex coming to tempt him since he had done the oath of celibacy. He spoke to me very frankly and said, “Servant of God; I do not have any problem with any lady that tries to seduce me. It’s easy to quickly figure that out. The problem is when I feel for a lady and not when she feels for me”. Hey, I realized that the problem is not with them but with me. It is true it’s easier to control temptations from others but who will control me when I become the temptation. I now know that even God will not (not “cannot”) control me. If I decide to go to a bar right now, even with the level of anointing and vision I have, God will not force me to the pulpit, I will go to the bar, so this then means that ‘another person of me’ has to control me; in short me has to control me. I have to control myself. 

I cannot control you, your wife cannot, your fiance/ spouse cannot, your boss cannot, the police are not able, even the army may control my behaviour but not the me in me, God will not but only you are able to control you.

Control Yourself 
Deuteronomy 30:19; “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life that both thou and thy seed may live”. The choice is yours! It is apparent that when the things you used to do show up before you the lust within you will arise and claim that a short-cut is able to give you the gratification that the lust has raised in you. This is when you must decide to control yourself. Temptations from the old man will always come, but know that you are not the only one going through this. 

1 Peter 5:8-9; “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour. Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world”

1 Peter 4:12; “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you”.

Watch out for Part 2 of the article.

Notes from teaching by: Apostle Pride Sibiya 
18 March 2013


Self-Control: The Way Forward (Part 1 of 2)
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