The Believers Marathon Part 16: Self-control and Temptations

Self Control (film)
Self Control (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.  I Corinthians 10:13

The next part of Christine Caine’s book Run to Win, talks about runners have to have self-control.  She points out that self-control is something that this society does not really care about.  One example is the idea of if it feels good do it.  Another is follow your heart.  Our media is filled with bad examples of self-control.  We are a society that is out of control.  A perfect example in my own life was my out of control eating habit.  It was going to send me to an early grave.  Until I exhibited some self-control I could have lost everything.  The above scripture is not usually thought of as a self-control verse, but how God can keep us from going through with the temptation with which the enemy provides us.  With talking about our believer’s marathon as a runner, I have to have self-control and keep getting up early and training for the next big running event.  Self-control allows me to build the stamina and purpose for the future running event I will be dealing with.  Without self-control, I can’t make it to the finish line.

Taking the first part of the verse, everyone is tempted the same way you are.  With this being a shame free environment, we all are tempted the same way; no one is singled out with a certain temptation.  We should not be ashamed of temptation because Jesus was tempted in every way.  Therefore, we should take comfort in knowing we are not alone, with people or more importantly Jesus.  The main temptation with running is to quit, stop, and give up.  The best thing you can do is to start thinking about positive things and focus on those, not the pain that you may be experiencing or the fatigue.  In our believers marathon if we focus on positive things that we have achieved in the past for God we can get the stinking thinking out of our heads.  God gives this one out, for us to take.

Another out is the faithfulness of God.  God no longer sees us as a sinner as long as we have turned our lives over to Christ.  Jesus blood has cleansed away all sin, even future sin and past sin.  God’s faithfulness is steady and continuous.  If we know and understand this, we can withstand the attacks of the enemy with the temptations he throws at us.  Knowing how much God loves you is a great way to say no to a temptation and yes to self-control.

The next out that is discussed is not only is God faithful, but He won’t allow a temptation to overtake you.  Meaning the temptation is something you are able to handle.  What’s interesting here is that sometimes it feels as if we can’t handle the temptation, especially a habit that may be hard to beat.  The poor choices we make affect the future decisions on the temptations we may face.  When a temptation is intolerable in our own experience, it’s because of the prior work that we have done with our own decisions that shape that intolerance.  In other words, we give the enemy a foothold.  Starting to make good decisions can be a game changer and work that foothold out of our lives.  It takes time to build a foothold and it will take time to get rid of one.

As we start making those correct choices, we have the self-control God can bless and grow in our lives.  That’s the point of self-control, it’s putting self, under control.  God thinks that is the bomb, because He will bless it big time and give us even more resolve to continue on in the race.  He will show us a way out so that we can endure.  Self-control gives us endurance.  As a marathon runner knows well, endurance can get you to the finish line, but the biggest part is not the physical ability, but the mental battle you have to face as you run toward the finish line.

We all have to face temptation, but God is faithful and will not allow temptation to overtake you, unless you allow it.  Our poor choices fuel the bad in our lives and create a foothold to the enemy.  Self-control choices are blessed by God and will eventually remove that foothold in your life.  Self-control is a fruit of the spirit that is very sweet to taste, but means bitter defeat to the enemy.

© [David Howard], [David’s Body Temple], 2011-2015.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. I find that I have to stop my mind with the first entrance of temptation, otherwise it’s quickly a downward spiral! “Resist the enemy and he will flee from you!” We definitely don’t have to believe his lies that we have no resistance against his whispers. Great post! 🙂

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