SELF CONTROL: FAITH, HOPE and LOVE
(an alpha-numeric communication amongst many Saints this morning...)
So WHY did Paul, given the chance to speak to a king about Jesus, decide in the Spirit to speak to Felix of “righteousness, SELF CONTROL, and the Judgment to come”? (Acts 24:25)
What does “SELF CONTROL” have to do with anything—other than losing weight or other forms of difficult restraint? Surely we “buffet our bodies daily” and we “make our bodies our slaves” to the praise of His Glory. But, what is SO significant about SELF CONTROL that Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, would use such a limited and rare opportunity before the nations and its kings to speak of SELF CONTROL?
Self Control is far from some isolated “good character attribute” of athletes and Pharisees.
The truth is, SELF CONTROL, in its essence, is really all about FAITH, and HOPE, and LOVE. And nothing could be more profound and practical than that. SELF CONTROL is a statement before God that YOU CAN by His Spirit and Life, AND WILL for His Glory, RESTRAIN AND REFUSE “instant gratification” of your flesh. You will “CONTROL SELF” and “deny your very self” as Rabboni taught us—by FAITH, for the HOPE of what is to come, and for the LOVE of the One who is Coming.
OF COURSE God’s Heart regarding “self control” is that it is always “for” and “in” Christ—not a prideful or man-pleasing exhibition of self-life or vanity.
SELF CONTROL—we willingly and Vertically restrain and deprive sensual indulgence of the eyes and flesh. We withhold immediate satiation of our own appetites, desires, and preferences of flesh—for the sake of Jesus and FUTURE Reward. Self Control involves what we are called to DO (yet do not desire), as well as the “desirable” things we are called to withhold from ourselves. THIS is Biblical “self control.”
Self Control is clearly an outward expression of an INNER “FAITH, and HOPE, and LOVE.” We choose to do what pleases HIM and so “for the joy set before us, endure the cross.” Self Control is an upward-looking choice, day by day, situation by situation, connected to the Head, and abiding in the Vine. We choose to act upon, to do or not do, what our flesh or desires or ambitions would not normally desire to choose. And we do it for His sake, for the greater Call beyond “immediate pleasure” or “immediate satisfaction” or “personal desires.” Delayed gratification, intentionally, for Jesus—that is SELF CONTROL. As Father therefore described it, self control is a “fruit of the Spirit.”
“From Him and through Him and to Him are all things!”
“Righteousness, SELF CONTROL, and the Judgment to Come.” Good News and Life that is Truly Life.
Self Control is but an outward expression and reality joined to Him… of FAITH, HOPE, and LOVE. Self Control, delayed gratification in Faith, for Him and others, and for the sake of the Blessed Hope.
For the Lamb of God who was slain, who rose from the dead triumphantly, and who is Coming again to claim those who are His. : )