The Freedom of Self-Control
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.Galatians 5:1
How can we be free in Christ if we do not have self control? God wants us to be free in Christ and not be burdened by a yoke of slavery to the world. We are either in control and free in Christ or we are slaves to the world.
Freedom in Christ means we have overcome the world. Everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. (1 John 5:4) This freedom requires faith, becoming a servant of our Lord, and self control. Without self control we can never be free in Christ and overcome the world. The world will always have control of us, exciting our emotions with such things as fear, anger, guilt, or impatience. When these emotions directly drive our words and actions, we are not using self control but we are acting as slaves to the world.
How do we overcome our lack of self control and reap the blessing of being in control through the Holy Spirit? We take to the Lord our fear, anger, worry, frustration, or whatever negative emotions Satan is tempting us with, and respond with Godly wisdom. Putting our faith in the Lord and having self-control gives us a feeling of confidence and security and takes away our negative emotion.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7) We take our anxious emotions and give them to the Lord through prayer and thankfulness, and he promises to give us peace. Believing this promise is the first step in obtaining self-control. My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. (James 1:19) This verse is the key that opens the door to self-control and to receive the promise from the Lord. However for this verse to truly give us self-control requires practice, with prayer and patience. Victory over an emotional response that is wired strongly in our brain takes positive motivation, determination, consistency, patience, and most of all, God’s divine power which we obtain through prayer, reading his Word, and fellowship with other Christians. Self-control is more than just mastering discipline, it requires a heart change.
Today seek to use self-control and not becoming a slave to the world around you. Experience the freedom and the contentment of being in control. Handle the tempting things in life with Godly wisdom instead of escalating the problem with anger. Pray that the Lord replaces all negative emotions with his peace. Put everything in the hands of the Lord and let him guide through life with self control, confidence, and wisdom.
Prayer: Lord, replace all my negative emotions with your peace and confidence. Help me to put everything in your hands as you guide me to victory through the Holy Spirit. I want to experience the freedom that comes only through Christ; I do not want to live in fear, worry, anger or any negative emotion from Satan. Lord I put my trust in you. In Jesus name, Amen