“ A person without self-control is as defenseless as a city with broken-down walls” Proverbs 25.28 NLT
We live in a time where denying yourself anything one desires is not even a thought. Hence, our life can suffer without the virtue of self-control. We must control ourselves, our desires, our wants, or we will be as vulnerable as a city with no defenses. The enemy will attack, plunder us and our families, and lead us as prisoners. There is a reason “self-control” is a fruit of the Spirit of God (Galatians 5.22-23). Without self-control we will make decisions, that ultimately will have a high cost.
How would you rate yourself when it comes to self-control? Take some time and really ponder, meditate, and honestly reflect on these questions.
- Do you control yourself when it comes to your focused time of listening and learning from God? Do you make sure you are reading, learning, reflecting? Is this easy to skip? Can you go days without being alone with Jesus?
- Are you a slave to your phone and devices with no self-control? The desire and OCD to constantly invest your time and life to social media to keep looking at what other’s are posting in their lives, is a time-eater. How much per day get this part of you? What could you do to redeem this time?
- Can you say no to temptation? Without self-control we can fall into sin. The enemy tempts all. No one is exempt from temptation. Our heart can deceive us. Our flesh can attempt to lead us down roads we never want to go. Without self-control we can fall victim and make decisions that can ruin our lives and the lives of our family. We can choose sin over the Lord, and violation of God’s ways over our love for Jesus. We must grow our faith and walk, as that will build self-control, and our city walls will defend us from our enemy.
- How do you entertain yourself? Literally we have 24 hours of non-stop entertainment to numb us and gobble up our lives (time), and even infect our spirit. You can stream any movie, Youtube never shuts off, social media it always with us. We have any game available. We are connected and can watch whatever we want, almost wherever we want. Violence, pornography, lewdness, filthy communication, are available to all. Without self-control, one can participate in these things and literally forfeit your soul, and steal your passion and desire for the Lord and purity. We have to be honest, Christian or not, we are losing this front where self-control is desperately needed. The stats on those hooked on pornography is staggering. With its easy availability on every social media platform and our phones, the enemy has found a way to kill a person from the inside out and wreck the love of marriages and view of each other.
- How about your family? Do we serve them? Our flesh may never feel like serving, but a person that has control over themselves will serve, and when Jesus has control of you, they will love being with their family, investing in their marriage, spending time with their children. Hobbies and desires for leisure activities apart from family will take a back seat to a person with self-control. There will be time for them, but not at the expense of your marriage and family.
- How is your diet? Our society is sick because we have no self-control with what we eat or exercise. Capitalism has made food big business. So unhealthy food tastes the best, and sells the most, so it is available, in large quantities, everywhere. Many cannot go a day without soda, frappe, and drinks with hundreds of calories from sugar. Without self-control, our health will suffer, we will have no energy, or desire to be active, and we spiral downward physically, hoping a pill or a health gimmick will save us, but only self-control will. This battle is real and I am in it. I am determined to never give up on my diet and health. I want to have energy and healthy to be active with my grandchildren and children.
So, with self-control in a life, there is big benefits and blessings. Let me write down some observations I have seen with people you have the self-control of God in their lives.
- They grow in Christ and invest in their soul. They read, reflect,and have lives of prayer, thus building their “wall” and protecting their “city” lives (Proverbs 25.28). They enjoy making time daily to commune with the Lord, His Word, and the things that grow them and protect them from evil.
- They are not self-consumed, as self-control has sculpted them into being like Christ, being a servant. A person with self-control lives outside of themselves and goes out of their way for others, to glorify Christ.
- They accomplish things in life that bring purpose and glorify the Lord. With self-control one can get a degree, learn an instrument, hone a skill, enjoy a craft, start a non-profit ministry etc. They are people who are not afraid of trying new things and working hard to see things accomplished. They avoid wasting large bites of time.
- People with self-control are not followers. They don’t allow someone else to lead them into destruction, bad habits, sinful activities. They lead themselves, they are in control of their lives. They want to honor God with their choices. They don’t need to make someone else happy or have their approval.
- People with self-control do hard things that make a difference. They don’t take the easy road. They are up for a challenge. They enjoy the fruit of their goals, even if it takes years.
- People with self-control can love unconditionally, forgive, and live with healthy relationships, as they know Christ, and Christ forgives and the flesh that wants to be bitter, wants to hate people, wants revenge, is put to death, by the person that is in control of their emotions, as they choose to follow Christ.
- They don’t have to apologize much. They don’t lose their cool, say things they shouldn’t and treat people awful. They are in control of themselves, their actions, and what they say. This happens because they are first in control of what they think.
- They make wise financial choices. They can say no and control themselves to wait for the things they need or want. They don’t drive their families in debt and live in poverty because they can’t say no and deny themselves. They save, they wait, they are wise. They also have self-control to give generously to the work of the Lord on this earth.
- People with self-control have convictions about life. They go to work. They go to church. They serve. They give. They think about others. They grow. They are not given to addictions, bad habits, vices, and/or laziness with work or spiritually.
- They say “no” to their flesh. So they are protected from starting an addiction, an affair, a bad habit, or a pattern in life that will ruin them. They watch their health, try to eat healthy. They say no to the temptation of the devil. They say no when others try and get them to sin. They can say no to themselves. They are resolute in their convictions and desire to be faithful to the Lord.
Self-control is a critical attribute and no one is exempt. We need more of it in the day we live. Without self-control, one is going to have a very difficult life, and so will their family. With self-control, one will enjoy side-stepping and avoiding all sorts of problems in life, and will honor the Lord with who they are and who they are becoming with every great, godly, self-controlled choice. They will live a blessed life.
Scriptures to ponder
Galatians 5:22–23 (NASB1995)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Proverbs 15:33 (NASB95)
33 The fear of the Lord is the instruction for wisdom,And before honor comes humility.
Proverbs 11:10 (NRSV)
10 When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices;and when the wicked perish, there is jubilation.
Proverbs 12:11 (NRSV)
11 Those who till their land will have plenty of food,
but those who follow worthless pursuits have no sense.
Proverbs 12:24 (NRSV)
24 The hand of the diligent will rule, while the lazy will be put to forced labor.
Proverbs 13:3–4 (NRSV)
3 Those who guard their mouths preserve their lives; those who open wide their lips come to ruin.
4 The appetite of the lazy craves, and gets nothing, while the appetite of the diligent is richly supplied.
Proverbs 26:13–16 (NLT)
13 The lazy person claims, “There’s a lion on the road! Yes, I’m sure there’s a lion out there!”
14 As a door swings back and forth on its hinges, so the lazy person turns over in bed.
15 Lazy people take food in their hand but don’t even lift it to their mouth.
16 Lazy people consider themselves smarter than seven wise counselors.
2 Peter 1:5–6 (NLT)
5 In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness,
Source: Thy Kingdom Come…really?
I, by nature, am an encourager. The message this week is on sin and how Christ came to take away our sin as the “lamb of God.” (John 1.29). As I have been seeking God and praying about the message it dawns on me through illumination and the Logos Word of God, that God is pretty serious about sin. Sin in the believer and the believer. For us to understand the Gospel, know about Jesus, and to continue to willfully live in sin, apart from God, is a horrible decision. Communicating this serious Truth with grace and love will be the challenge this weekend. Freedom is enouragement and walking in truth is also.
Our greatest life is to be forgiven and honor God with our life. To walk away from sin, sinful behavior, sin of ignoring Christ and what we know, bring amazing joy, peace and freedom, and removes the wrath of God from our lives (John 3.36). Pray for me as I teach these truths. Pray for us all, that we would be aware of sin, and believe, be forgiven, and walk in grace with thankful hearts.
Pray for those who know all of this, yet seem not to care anymore.
Pray for those who will hear the Gospel for the first time.
Pray for those filled with spiritual pride that think this message is for everyone else, not them.
Pray for this pastor.
Below are the handout notes.
July 6, 2017
1.29 “ The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! “
“Lamb of God”
The Lamb provided to Abraham Genesis 22:8 “ Abraham said, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” So the two of them walked on together.”
The Passover Lamb- Exodus 12. 1-13
The Lamb of Isaiah-Isiah 53.1-5
The Lamb of Revelation (Rev. 5 1.1-10 Revelation 5:9–10 (NASB95)
9 And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. 10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.”
Sin- Gr. “harmartia” sin, evil actions, guilt
Two Types of Sin- 1)Omission 2) commission
Of the World- The atonement of Christ is comprehensive-
1 John 2:1–2” My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; 2 and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.”
- The foolish view
I don’t care about my sin. (God cares)
It does not bother me to sin. (you are deceived or heart has become hard)
I don’t feel guilty when I sin. Guilt could be covered by selfishness and rebellion
James 1:14–16” But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. 15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. 16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. “
- The significance of “sins gone”
The guilt of sin is gone Hebrews 10.22 Hebrews 10:22 (NASB95) “ let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. “
The punishment for sin is gone from us (1 John 2.1-2)
John 5:24- “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.
- The gift of “sins gone”
John 1.12- We are adopted as the Father’s Children
- The response of “sins gone”
We live thankful.
We walk in God’s Grace
We stop willfully sinnin
1 John 1:9 (NASB95)
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness
What about the Christian that continues in sin?
What if we do not stop, confess, and repent of sin?
The Effects of continued sin in our life.
- Drift happens
- Selfishness inflates
- God thoughts diminish
- Compassion begin to dissolve
- Love for God, becomes a doctrine, not an action
- Priorities of life become scrambled
- Desertion starts becoming complete.
We stop desiring to serve the Lord or honor him with our life.
Believe in Jesus as your Savior and have him forgive your sins by asking.
Acknowledge sin and ask forgiveness and be free.
Romans 13:12 (NASB95)
“The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.”
I am speaking this weekend at Compelled Church about the darkness not being able to overpower the Light from John 1.4,5. I decided this verse did not fit into the message, but the message of this verse is amazing.
Paul is encouraging the believers (us) and the Romans to “lay aside” acts of darkness. The word in the orignal Greek means exactly that, but I define it as “knock it off” or “stop it”. If God’s people are mingling light and right things in our life with darkness or deeds that are not of God, we need to knock it off. Deeds of action, thoughts, or speech do not reflect the Jesus in us, so He is our Armour of Light.
Think of this
- Are you involved in something of darkness?
- Are you ok with watching “dark” things?
- Is your talking light and life, or darkness?
This is good
Ephesians 5:7–17 (NASB95)
7 Therefore do not be partakers with them; 8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light 9 (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), 10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; 12 for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. 14 For this reason it says,
And arise from the dead,
And Christ will shine on you.”
15 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, 16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil. 17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
a final journal excerpt, reflections of Mexico – 4/28/16 Thursday (Malachi 1:1-10)
How quickly we can become in snared by yesterday’s, therefore allowing ourselves to be impaired for life today. As I look back on what was an incredible nine days in Mexico my mind rolls further to where and who I was before I left. It’s been four days back in the “real world” of everyday choices, relationships, decisions, responsibilities and a menacing cloak has begun creeping in. The quietness of my sprit has started to feel the noise of a transcending yolk of yesterday’s. As if it were reaching out to squelch every moment that God intended to be life altering and turn them into a static of mundane memories.
Such is the way we hear life, through the headphones of our past not receiving the clarity of a God who’s voice is outside our everyday frequency.
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A great read from my friend and family life pastor here at Compelled.
What are you standing on?
The Bible says is Psalm 75, “When the Earth quakes and its people live in turmoil, I (God) am the one who keeps its foundations firm.”
It is interesting to me to read that something can “quake” and yet be held “firm” simultaneously. How can this be? How can something be shaken and yet stand still?
As I think on this verse I am challenged….
I know for my life, I have been in situations where it felt as though the ground beneath me had been swept away, like the floor dropped out on me as though I had stepped into one of those crazy, spinning carnival rides. In those moments it is easy to forget where I stand. It is easy to forget what I am standing on.
I am challenged to let my roots grow deeper into Christ as if I wanted them to…
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Encounter Christ Deeper
A week ofSeeking the Lord with fasting
- For personal renewal and revival
- For Compelled Church ministries to reap spiritual and Kingdom fruit.
- For our communities.
- For people to be saved
- For your life and family.
- For our pastors and their families.
- For the church to grow in the grace and the knowledge of Jesus Christ.
- Missions and our Missionaries
- The Holland Campus
- All the prayer cards that were filled
Commit to prayer, and seeking, and participating with your church.
Fasting is also encouraged. Read Below for helps
Come early in the morning to seek God, read the Word, and soak in his presence. Come at noon to pray a psalm. Come and pray with our church family because “Without Him we can do nothing.” John 15.
I am praying we will have more people involved than ever. I encourage you to be part. Break out of the mold and thought that you are not a person of prayer. God is calling us all to prayer and we will reap the benefits if we take the challenge. If you can’t make it to the church, fast, and pray at home more than ever.
Physical and Spiritual Benefits Of Fasting
The benefits of fasting are innumerable. Here is just a partial list of the many benefits of this most powerful of spiritual disciplines.
* The Word of God comes alive
* Addictions and strongholds are broken
* We become more sensitive to God’s presence
* The physical body is purged of toxins
* It becomes easier to trust and obey God
* The sanctifying process is accelerated
* Faith increases
* Doubts and fear vanish
* God reveals to us our sinful attitudes
* Decrease of self-indulgence
* Decrease of self-righteousness
* Emotional scars are healed
Practical Tips for Fasting
* The early church gave themselves to fasting and prayer for a time. If they needed it then, we need it now! Every time you pray and fast for a certain amount of time, you are investing in a powerful kingdom – the kingdom of God.
* Set a definite time for your fast so you know in advance how long you will be fasting. Keep in mind fasting changes your heart. A one-day or one-meal fast can be very powerful when submitted to God as a sacrifice of yourself.
* Since you are denying your flesh and seeking the Lord, you may find yourself in the midst of spiritual warfare and thus becoming irritable or unwilling to pray. Some of these feelings may be physically induced just because of a physical reaction. Plan beforehand to “pray through” the spiritual battle.
* On longer fasts (2 or more days) the body is cleansing itself from physical impurities. Possible side effects from toxins include bad breath, headache, nausea, hunger, weakness, and leg cramps. To help prevent these problems, abstain from caffeine, sugar, and junk food five days prior to your fast. Drink pure water (distilled if possible) throughout your fast, it helps with elimination of toxins. The cleaner your system, the less discomfort. The less waste that is stored in the body when you begin your fast, the fewer toxins will be released.
* Try to rest if you feel weak and get some fresh air every day.
* Spend time in prayer, worship, repentance, and read your Bible. Use the time you would normally spend eating or preparing food for “spiritual exercise”. Many people have noticed that the Bible simply comes alive while they are fasting.
* Have specific spiritual goals that you desire to obtain while praying and fasting. Without prayer and a set purpose, fasting is only a glorified diet.
* Break your fast with grape juice, fresh fruits, and steamed vegetables, adding other foods in a day or two. Avoid meat, bread, and fats for several meals or days depending on the length of the fast. Keep in mind your stomach has been inactive and it takes a while to restore essential digestive enzymes and acids. Fasting is a very healing process for your body so do not undo your efforts with unhealthy foods.
* Some medical conditions are prohibitive to fasting. Get the advice of your physician if you have a medical condition. These conditions include diabetes, hypoglycemia, and heart disease. Pregnant and nursing mothers also should not fast because toxins will be passed on to the baby. Also, some medications need to be taken with food so use discretion. In these cases where you are unable to do a complete fast (water only) consider abstaining from television and dedicating yourself to prayer during this time.
* Other types of fasts include:
o Water, Honey and Lemon – This is considered a cleansing fast. Squeeze 1/2 lemon in a cup of hot water and add honey to taste. Drink water throughout the day. This can be used for an extended fast.
o Juice Fast – This is self-explanatory. No food, coffee, soft drinks, etc. Juice only–fresh carrot juice is excellent.
o Daniel Fast – Fruits, vegetables and water. This is a good fast for those who have physically demanding jobs.
Questions and Answers Regarding Fasting
* Is fasting for everyone?
Fasting is beneficial for anyone who desires to draw closer to Christ. Every Christian should do some sort of fast at least once a month. The Apostle Paul fasted often.
* What if I don’t feel called to fasting?
Fasting is a spiritual discipline, just like prayer and reading the Bible. It is not something we are called to do, rather we choose to obey Christ and sacrifice some of the pleasures of this life in order to please God. Fasting trains us in self-control and produces fruits of peace and righteousness.
* Why is fasting so important?
It reduces our appetite for carnal pleasures and creates a hunger for God’s treasures. We are commanded to walk in the Spirit so we won’t fulfill the desires of the flesh. Fasting helps us to resist the flesh and walk uprightly before the Lord – to live a life which is pleasing to Him.
* How do I get started?
Begin with a one meal fast and go from there. Some of the most powerful fasts can be one or two meals if you enter into it with pure motives and a desire to spend time with the Lord Jesus.
* What should I do while fasting?
Spend as much time with Jesus as possible. This is how we become more and more like Him. Read your Bible, worship with song and thanksgiving, be silent and listen. Silent reverence with repentance is powerful!
* Should I fast if I have dietary restrictions or am on medication?
You should seek the Lord and consult your physician if you have any concerns. Medical science has known for some time that our bodies purge toxins while we fast. Chapter 58 of Isaiah mentions healing as one of the many benefits of fasting. However, use discretion when doing a food fast and consider an alternate fast if you are medically restricted in any way.
* I really enjoy eating; do I have to do a food fast or are there other types of fasts?
The most beneficial fast for your body and spirit is water only. However, God will honor any type of fast if you have a sincere desire for personal revival and holiness. Here are some alternatives to a food fast.
o Daniel Fast- fruit, vegetables and water
o Juice Fast- fruit and vegetable juices only. If you are hypoglycemic, you might want to use a 50% water mix with the juice, especially if using bottled or canned juices. Fresh juices, however, are best. They may be purchased from a health food store or use a juicer.
o TV/Entertainment Fast/Facebook/computer games/
God will bless you mightily if you’ll shut your TV and computer off for a time to seek Him. You should also set aside newspapers, talk radio, video games and movie theaters. Instead, spend time with your family and the Lord. The purpose is to focus on God and avoid distractions.
* Why do I get headaches when I try to fast?
Your body is purging toxins which have accumulated from years of a poor diet, prescription drugs and bad habits. Headaches are one of the results of this cleansing process (usually the second day). Prepare your system prior to a fast by eating healthier. Avoid red meat, sugar, caffeine and bread. Eat lots of fruit and vegetables three or four days before going on a fast of more than one day.
* How will I benefit from fasting?
The benefits of fasting are many for those who continue faithfully in this discipline. Here are just a few (Is. 58).
o A significant increase of understanding and revelation from the Word of God
o Addictions and strongholds are broken–permanent changes take place
o Recognition of sinful attitudes or conditions of your heart that you haven’t noticed before
o Decrease of self-indulgence and self-righteousness
o An increase of faith; Fear and doubt diminish because of confidence in God rather than your flesh
o Supernatural release from bitterness and an ability to forgive others
o A much greater sensitivity to God’s presence
o The ability to hear God is greatly enhanced
o You increasingly become more like Jesus with a notable increase of love, humility and wisdom.
* Will all of my prayers be answered if I fast and pray the right way?
No, probably not. Fasting does not force God to do something He otherwise wouldn’t do. Your circumstances may actually worsen at first. If you’re fasting for God to change a particular person, it may not happen. However, there is no wasted time or energy when seeking God through fasting, prayer and worship. He will change YOU! He will soften your heart and give you a healthy perspective of your circumstances and relationships
What The Bible Says about Prayer and Fasting
* Moses (Exodus 34:27,28)
* Samuel (1 Samuel 8:5,6)
* Christians (Acts 13:1-3; 14:23)
* Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 20:1-3)
* John’s disciples (Mark 2:18)
* Nehemiah (Nehemiah 1:4; 9:1-3)
* Paul (2 Corinthians 11:27)
* Ninevites (Jonah 3:5-10)
* Apostles (2 Corinthians 6:4,5)
* Israelites (Judges 20:26)
* David (2 Samuel 12:16)
* Darius (Daniel 6:9,18)
* Anna (Luke 2:36, 37)
* Ezra (Ezra 8:21-23)
* Esther (Esther 4)
* Jesus (Matthew 4:1,2)
* Elijah (1 Kings 19:8)
* Daniel (Daniel 9:3)
Bible Characters Who Fasted
* Moses fasted twice for 40 days-Following his first fast, Moses received the Law. The second was to turn God’s wrath away from God’s sinful people. Deuteronomy 9:9,18,19
* Hannah, for a child. She was barren and deeply distraught. God gave her release from inner turmoil. Then He gave her a baby boy, Samuel, who grew into a mighty man of God. I Samuel 1:7,8
* Elijah fasted for 40 days while fleeing in fear from wicked Jezebel, who threatened to have him killed. God gave him comfort, boldness and instructions to go back the way he came and anoint new prophets. 1 Kings 19
* King David for seven days that God might heal his dying, infant child, conceived illegitimately with Bathsheba. The baby died, yet David experienced God’s wonderful peace through this incredible trauma. 2 Samuel 12:16-23
* Proclaimed by King Jehoshaphat – When he and his army were surrounded by enemies and destruction seemed imminent. After proclaiming the fast, they rejoiced with praises and God destroyed their enemies. 2 Chronicles 20
* Proclaimed by Ezra – Prior to a very perilous journey to Jerusalem. Ezra 8
* Nehemiah – For restoration of the city he loved (Jerusalem). Nememiah 1:4
* Proclaimed by Queen Esther – For the entire nation to fast for three days without food or water. They were on the brink of annihilation. Esther 4
* Daniel’s partial fast of 21 days – He received a vision and revelation of end times. Daniel 9
* Proclaimed by the King of Ninevah- With national repentance to avert disaster through God’s wrath. Jonah 3
* Jesus for 40 days. If God in human flesh fasted, how much more ought we? Matthew 4:2
* John the Baptist – He and his disciples fasted often, as did the Pharisees. Matthew 9:14,15
* Anna – A widow who dedicated herself to prayer and fasting and is honored in the eternal Word of God. Luke 2:37
* Paul the Apostle- He fasted for three days after meeting Jesus on the road to Damascus (while still known as Saul of Tarsus). Acts 9:9 He later wrote in 2 Corinthians 11 that he fasted often.
* Isaiah 58 is the fasting chapter. Read and study it to discover the many benefits of fasting when done God’s way.