July 8, 2018
Ephesians 4: 25-27
We are going to wrap up our study on self-control this week. In the last two weeks we have discovered the previous four truths and we are now going to focus on two new ones:
1 Accept responsibility for your lack of self-control. (pt. 1)
2 Put your past behind you. (pt. 1)
3 Start believing you can change. (pt. 2)
4 Make yourself accountable. (pt. 2)
5 Do not give the devil any opportunities.
Avoid the things that tempt you. Stay away from situations that weaken your self-control. If you do not want to be stung, stay away from the bees. Do not keep cookies on the counter if you are trying to lose weight. Don’t acquire credit cards if you are an impulse spender. Get rid of the access to pornography if you are struggling with it. The Bible says, “Bad company corrupts good character.” (1 Corinthians 15:33) Avoid people and all situations that tempt you. Take drastic measures in order to avoid what is tempting you. If you have lived through repeated years of failure, then it is time to get honest and humble. It is time to pray and turn your heart toward God. Do not give the devil a foothold in your life. David said, “I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimly pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in Him.” (Psalm 40:1-3)
Has God lifted you out of the pit?
Has God given you a firm place to stand?
Has God given you a new song of praise to our God?
Will people follow you and put their trust in the Lord?
6 Let The Holy Spirit direct your life.
Depend on Christ’s power to help you. When the Spirit directs your life you will not seek to satisfy the desires of the human flesh nature. The sequence in this scripture is very important. Let the Spirit direct your life, that is the first part, and you will not satisfy the desires of the human nature. (Galatians 5:16) It does not say you won’t have those desires. Spirit filled people still experience the desires of the flesh, but with God’s power they do not submit to them. A person does not say as soon as I get well, I am going to go to the doctor. You need Christ in your life now! He has the power to help you change. Remember the pleasures of sin only last a season. They are temporary and fleeting. None of us would sin if it made us miserable. Don’t look for God to nullify the appeal of sin; ask Him for power to overcome the appeal. The Bible says, “For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose.” (Philippians 2:13)