Relearning the Discipline of Self-Control in a Society of Instant Gratification, Part 3

Ace Davis | September 27, 2018

In Part 1, we looked at what self-control is. In Part 2, we saw three areas in our lives where we can practice self-control. Now, I would like to give four walls to help us cultivate self-control in our lives.

We are reminded of Proverbs 25:28, “A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.” When the walls of Jericho fell, the city was conquered. In biblical times, the walls of a city were its greatest defense against the enemy. As Christians, we need to have walls up in our lives so that we can cultivate self-control and have a defense against the attacks of the enemy. Here are four walls to help cultivate self-control in your life:

Wall 1: Watch Your Life

Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. – Proverbs 4:23

As a Christian, you must guard your heart. We need to examine ourselves to see if there are areas in our lives where there is sin, whether in our thoughts, emotions, or actions. Confess all sin to God and repent of it and ask Him for forgiveness. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Wall 2: Walk in the Spirit

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desire of the flesh. – Galatians 5:16

We all have things we know we should not do, but because of a lack of self-control we give into temptation and fall into sin. This is the struggle that Paul talks about in Romans 7. But God has given us all the resources we need to practice self-control. We need to take hold of those resources through the power of Christ and the indwelling Holy Spirit and put them to practice.

Wall 3: Meditate on God’s Word

I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. – Psalm 119:11

The Word of God strengthens us and helps us not to sin against God. Jesus says in John 17:17, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” It is God’s Word that sanctifies us and helps us in our daily battles with sin. When we meditate on God’s Word, it will consume our thoughts. We must read it and plant it deep in our hearts, so that we might be renewed in our minds, walk in the Spirit, and live self-controlled lives.

Wall 4: Focus on Christ

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. – Titus 2:11-13

As we fix our eyes on Jesus, we will find help with the daily battle of sin and lack of self-control. As we look to Christ and His appearing, it reminds us that the battle will be completely over one day. We will live in complete perfection with Christ and will no longer struggle with self-control. We will be like Christ who practiced perfect self-control when He was tempted. This ought to motivate us to live a life of self-control and be found growing in godliness when He appears.

Remember that just as the walls are the greatest defense for a city, self-control is the defense for believers. But we must also remember that we are only able to practice self-control as we surrender control of our lives over to Jesus Christ and live in victory over sin as He enables us to practice self-control. We must practice the fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22–23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Ask God to help you with self-control so that you might live in victory over sin and glorify God in every aspect of your life.

Ace Davis avatar
Ace Davis is the pastor of Children’s Ministry at Grace Community Church. He earned a Master of Divinity from The Master's Seminary in 2017.

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