Sunday, January 25, 2009

Self-Control (Living Beyond Yourself by Beth Moore)

Self-Control stops--say "That's Enough For Now." This last characteristic of the fruit of the Spirit is about mastery, authority and boundaries. It's not a question of what? but of how much?

In I Corinthians 6:19-20, our bodies are referred to as the temple of the Holy Ghost in us. Therefore, we need to take good care of our bodies to glorify God. We must not be mastered by anything according to I Corinthians 6:12 which says: Everything is permissible for me--but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me, but I will not be mastered [controlled] by anything.

This could be a variety of things that control us. Some people struggle with all kinds of addictions such as smoking, drugs, alcohol, food, TV, the Internet, gambling. My struggle is the last two I mentioned. According to I Corinthians 6:12, a little bit is okay (although not necessarily beneficial--the implication being we should choose things that are beneficial). I must keep my guard up and exercise self-control in the amount of time I spend on the computer that takes me away from more beneficial things and keep a set limit for playing that football pool! Moderation is the key here. Instead of eating a whole pizza at once, which I easily could do, especially while watching TV, I limit myself to just two slices and save the rest for another day.

Beth used the example of Samson and Daniel to contrast a person who did not have self-control and one who did. Although Samson finally brought glory to God in his death, Daniel did it in his life as we are told to do in I Corinthians 10:31: Whether therefore ye eat, or drink or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

Each morning we choose who we will serve--God or ourselves. "All sin boils down to an issue of authority. His will, or my will?" One point Beth made I felt was really good is that "any day not surrendered to the Spirit is virtually surrendered to the flesh by simple default!" That is why it is so important for us to seek God at the beginning of each day, confessing our sin, pouring out our concerns and asking God to fill us with His Holy Spirit so we can live beyond ourselves, letting Christ live through us! (see Galatians 2:20). Then through the day we should pray and praise God. At night, reflect on our day and see how God has worked.

What a marvelous and practical study this was! I highly recommend it!! God has so much for us when we completely surrender ourselves to Him!

4 comments:

A Gracious Home said...

A wonderful post and a great thought. It is our choice who we will serve each day. I went to a retreat about 20 years ago and heard Beth speak on this subject. She is a fantastic speaker and can sign beautifully to music. She signed to the song We Shall Behold Him. I will never forget it. I kept thinking that I would love to be that graceful. She commented that grace was like manna in that it has to be gathered daily. I do that by reading the Bible each day. God bless you, Doylene

tahtimbo said...

Thank you very much for this article. I used to start each morning with a prayer, this is something that I have gotten away from. I also used to read the bible on a daily basis. I need to start doing both. Thank you again!

Vivian On Life said...

I am in the middle of the Esther Bible study called, Esther: It's Tough Being a Woman. This is the second one I am taking with Beth Moore. I see that you agree. She is batting a thousand. Beth has a beautiful spirit. I have just started a blog of my own Vivian on Life. It's free. Practical ideas and suggestions to have a more prosperous life! I see how lovely and gentle yours is. Please feel free to visit my blog and make a comment.

Karen & Gerard Zemek said...

A Gracious Home--Glad to hear you like Beth Moore too and liked my post.

Tahtimbo--Hope you will get back into the Word daily and am glad if I had a part in giving you a little nudge.

Vivian on Life--I love the Beth Moore studies and especially enjoy her DVD's that go along with the workbook. I visited your blog today and tried leaving a comment you you have them restricted to members, whatever that means. You would get more comments if you changed that setting to anybody.

Anyhow, here is the comment I tried to leave for you: I think a lot of people pray by rote and miss the boat. I enjoy pouring my heart out to God and sharing all my concerns with Him.

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