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Self-Control


Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu Melekh ha’Olam asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tizivanu al sefirat ha’omer.

Blessed are you, Adonai our God, Sovereign of the Universe, who has sanctified us with your commandments and commanded us to count the Omer.

Today is ten days, which is one week and three days of the Omer.

Last week we began counting the omer as instructed in Leviticus 23:9-21 . We are in the second week and our attribute this week is Gevurah which is defined as "might," but as discipline or self-control more than a physical strength. In order to live in right relationship to the Holy God of all Creation, we must walk according to His commands and requirements. To control yourself, means that you restrict what you want to do, independent of outside influences, it's a sign of spiritual maturity.

As babies we are born into selfishness, to consider our wants and desires above everything else, seeking our immediate gratification in contrast to future consequences or rewards. The serpent may have been successful in manipulating Eve to eat what had been forbidden because he made her think God was holding out on something good. Eve was willing to satisfy her immediate wants without considering the consequences, and why would she have? It had been a perfect world, there had never been sin, so the idea of punishment or consequences would not have been relevant. Subsequently, we learn to make right choices because we have experienced the suffering related to our sin.

Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind ; and, Love your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27 NIV

To love others, requires us to put off our selfishness, our wants and desires, in order to attend to their needs. A parent demonstrates love for a child by attending to their care before their own. Love is also expressed when disciplining that child for wrong choices. The discipline is not applied through vengeance, but in love the parent desires for that child to be their very best, to be safe and grow in knowledge and understanding. The discipline helps the child be aware of what is required by the LORD, who desires a relationship with us. Through a parents loving application of discipline a child learns self-control.

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. Romans 7:15-20 NIV

As adults our choices and consequences are often more serious. Our poor food and beverage choices seem to stick around longer than they did we when were younger. Spurges on "toys" are more expensive. Squabbles with others may last longer than arguments on the playground. Is this because we are more prideful and think it doesn't effect anyone else? Perhaps we have selective hearing to the Holy Spirit calling us to accountability, or believe we are adults and can do what we want.

The context of the Fruit of the Spirit is an encouragement to walk in the Spirit, not out of legality, but for freedom from the consequences of the law:

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Galatians 5:13-25 NIV

Even though we are grown-ups, we still live in a fallen world and must apply self-control, spiritually might, and consciously choose the Spirit-filled life over earthly treasures of this world. Living a self-controlled life will help keep us in step with the Spirit providing a healthy relationship with the King of the Universe and avert the lasting consequences of poor choices.

Holy Almighty Creator God, Adonai Eloheinu, by Your divine power You have given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of You who has called us by Your own glory and goodness. You have given us Your very great and precious promises, so that through them we may participate in the divine nature, to escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, help me make every effort to add to my faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if we possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep us from being ineffective and unproductive in our knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:3-8 NIV)

#selfcontrol #omer #maturity #Luke10 #Romans #Galatians5 #dicipline

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