Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control. Proverbs 25:28
Self-control is not something always talked about in reference to unconditional love. When we live with self-control, we are living a Spirit filled life. The scripture in reference above is what a person’s life is like when it lacks self-control. Back when that Proverb was written a city that did not have a wall around it was open to attack by raiding enemies. If the city did not have a strong wall around it, it might find itself being taken over by an army. Even a walled city with a weak spot can be taken as well. Self-control is a battle strategy that puts a wall between you and sin. It won’t mean the tempter won’t try different tactics to test your wall. The armies of old would test the defenses to see if they could find a weakness in the wall. Our enemy will do that. Just today I was having a great day remembering that this very month I began my journey for weight loss five years ago. Many awesome things have happened in the fifth month of every year since I began to lose weight. The first year I began the wellness program my doctor was giving a trial run to see if it would yield results, it did. The second year I began learning to run in the month of May and by the end was running my base run of 30 minutes. I ran my first real 10K the third year. This year I am finally achieving my dream and goal of becoming a certified personal trainer. Then someone said something today that hurt me and it made my day rotten.
Those probing attacks can find some weaknesses and exploit them. Sometimes the unexpected can happen and the enemy can find that chink in your armor. The good thing about this is you learn something about how to plug up that hole in your wall. Let’s talk about some self-control battle strategies that we can employ and what to do if the enemy does get through.
Self-control is a fruit of the spirit because it’s intentional living. If we live a proactive life-style we keep stress at a minimum in our lives. Just as a commander in charge of protecting a city, does not have to worry too much if the wall is strong around that city. The first thing we can do to live proactively is to read the scripture every day. Really, there is no excuse not to be able to read God’s word. We have it not just in book form today, but it’s in electronic form and where it used to cost a lot of money to buy an electronic bible, you can get it free on a smart phone application. You don’t have to lug a big book around, you have your sword in your smart phone. Not just reading it, but memorizing it as well. When planning for battle a good soldier always memorizes the plan of the commander. The best way to get scripture in your heart is not to just memorize, but to meditate on it. Meditation goes a long way in memorizing scripture.
The next strategy is to keep in communication with the commander of the city. If the communication center is knocked out then the commander cannot give orders to help resolve a breach in our city wall. The same with us, if we fail to pray we fail to get our orders or direction from God. The breach in our wall may get bigger and the enemy can gain a foothold in our lives. Sometimes we can get too busy to deal with that breach and leave our back door open. If you remember the first Golf War, our general employed the strategy of knocking out the communications hub the first priority. When he did that he pretty much had compete control over our enemy. Our enemy, uses that strategy very well, he will make you so busy with spiritual things that you really don’t see what is happening behind you.
The most important strategy that we can use to keep our wall strong and effective and is the main ingredient of self-control is unconditional love. The bible says that God is love. It also says that God is a just God. Agape love or unconditional love shows us that God can judge us right now and wipe us out if He chose to, but Jesus died to keep us from that wrath. Jesus is Agape love. He became our sin, so that we can live a life that is better than how the world lives life. When we use self-control to love ourselves, others and God, we are living a powerful spirit-filled life. We grow closer to God when we make the correct godly choices for our lives. Salvation is not just coming to Jesus and accepting Him as savior; it’s a process by which we make Him Lord of our lives. When we do this self-control becomes a much stronger force in life.
There are other strategies we can employ, but these three strategies are the basis by which we can start. If we read, memorize, and meditate on the word of God, praying, and loving unconditionally; will put self-control on steroids. Love is the center pillar of these three strategies and the most important. As I Corinthians 13 says, without love we have nothing of substance to our Christian life. If God is love, then we have to follow that example and love as He did and gave up His life for us. That is self-control on steroids.
[David Howard], [David’s Body Temple], 2011-2015.