Friday, July 10, 2009

Off to get me some

Warning: Dear Friends and Family, this is a long one! Just so you know God is all over me and this is a very real and dear post to my heart...I am walking towards my God to get me more of Him! This will be up for awhile as I will be a taking a break for a few...hey it will give you time to make it through to the end of this post! I love you and more importantly your God loves and adores you!


Have you ever had a moment, day, week, month, year that felt completely out of control? Well I sure have…and the funny thing is I have caught myself blaming and pointing the finger at everyone else but myself!
Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control. Proverbs 25:28
control or restraint of oneself or one's actions, feelings, etc.

Self control is a wall for defense and protection.

Am I lacking in self-control?

How does lacking in self-control look? Sound?

’oh I can’t do that, that’s way to hard, I don’t have the strength to do that’

I can’t lose the weight

I can’t bite my tongue

I can’t exercise

I can’t eat healthy

I can’t quit smoking

I can’t love that person

I can’t walk away from that addiction

I can’t wash another load of laundry or make another meal

I can’t be their friend

I can’t stay in this marriage

I can’t work another day at this job
What is your "I can’t?"

Do you need to come lay it down before a God who can?
So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. Romans 12:1-2 (The Message)

Mastering self-control in some specific areas of our lives:

Our words

He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin. Proverbs 13:3

What we say, is it positive, uplifting, God honoring
Would we say that if the person was in the room?

What we spend our time doing

Serving self or others?
Time wasters?
Time with God each day?

Taking care of ourselves

What we eat
Working out
Do we have health problems that could be corrected if we ate better, worked out, sought preventative health care (ie physicals each year, dental visits)

Our attitude

Do we tend to act or react?
Are we defensive?
Impatient with others?

Our thoughts

Judgmental or ourselves or others?

Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies. Philippians 4:8-9 (The Message)

There are many things that we can be in control of in our lives and with the help of the Holy Spirit we can be filled with the divine power to achieve them!

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. Galatians 5:22-26

Oh and just a reminder: We shouldn’t let anything or anyone determine our values and standards in any area of our life. This is Gods job, and His alone!
What happens when we are out of control?

The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. 1 Peter 4:7 (New International Version)

I don’t know about you but when I am out of control, I am not focusing on my Jesus, I am not clear headed, and I am wasting a whole lot of time being stressed and worried. Friends this is not the life Jesus has for us. He has a life of peace and joy, filled with a whole lot of grace and love!
Where do we go from here?

So roll up your sleeves, put your mind in gear, be totally ready to receive the gift that's coming when Jesus arrives. Don't lazily slip back into those old grooves of evil, doing just what you feel like doing. You didn't know any better then; you do now. As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God's life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness. God said, "I am holy; you be holy." 1 Peter 1:13 (The Message)

We put our hope and faith in our Jesus and the future!
But what happens when we live God's way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely. Galatians 5:22-23 (The Message)

So I am off to go get me some self-control! By laying down my list of "I cant’s" and allowing Him to fill me with a whole lotta divine power that shouts I can!


Nicole said...

My friend, this is an amazing post! God has really been challenging me lately in this area. I have a list of I can'ts that need some help and self control. Thank you once again for your obedience, authenticity, and realness. It spurs me one. One of the areas that Evan and I are going to work on is eating better, and working out. We decided we need to have a goal and our goal is going to be to run a half marathon. WOW! That is absolutely insane crazy for me, being someone that hasn't worked out consistently for six years. It's been a long while! But I know I can with Christ's help. I could list quite a few more that need some help, but I will spare you. :) I'm so glad that He is able when I am so not! Love you so much! Praying for you this night!


More than Survival said...

WOW!! This one is some "meat"!! Chewing on this one will be good for my spirit!! Thanks for sharing and spreading God's word!!!

Tea With Tiffany said...

Hi Nichole,

Yes, I need some self control too. I had a moment of mouth today and it hurt my teenage son and me. Thank God I had the strength through Christ to say sorry. But it still hurts my heart. In my stress, I said things I regret.

I have lot of I can'ts that try to stick in my mind. Time to give them to Jesus tonight.

I've missed your posts. Hope God will allow me to improve on my time management. I definitely waste it.

Thank you for encouraging me through the Word and your heart.


Enjoy your time off.


Joyful said...

Nicole, thanks for being an "iron sharpener" for me today. I needed to hear this and actually JUST wrote to another friend about my lack of self control!!!!!!!

You are a messenger from God to me.
Joining you on this journey,

~*~KIMBERLY~*~ said...

Father, You are able. I lay it all down at Your feet. Thank You Father God, In Jesus' name, amen.

Tulabell said...

I am so blessed to have found your blog. You take the words right out of my heart. I hope you don't mind my listing your blog under mine where I enjoy "Feeding the Spirit"...Self Control has been the biggest issue for me and my life. While I "can't" be who I used to be now that I am born again, I "can" be better!" There are some can'ts in my life but I am learning them as I go and recognized what the Lord wants me to change them to...

THANKS and have a blessed day!

Sande said...

Nicole, I absolutely love your openness and honesty. This place is the best environment for Him to "renew our minds".

Can I suggest though that you already have self control. "Gal 5:22 The fruit of the Spirit is love ..... and self control." If you have the Spirit, you have HIS self control.

Even typing it I ponder why I don't always see or feel His self control in my life. Gal 25 goes on to say ... "Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. 26 Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another."

Possibly this is where we move from living in His Spirit to living in our own strength by not following the leading of the Spirit.

And having said that, I feel prompted to ruminate over Philippians 4:8-9 (New Living Translation)

8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

I guess in short, what we feed grows; what we sow, we reap.

It is so good when we can bounce off each other. This musing happens most often when I can bounce of others lives. ... work as a body.

Irritable Mother said...

How timely that I should be reading this while my son is sitting next to me doing math and his little brother is pestering him.
Read about self-control - deal with Mr. ADHD.
Read about words - stop short of a sarcastic comment.
Read about attitude - catch myself before I respond impatiently...

Ahhh, the math page is finished. And we've both had a lesson.

Lori said...

I've been reading and pondering over this post waiting for God to speak to me, and the wait was worth not only the icing, but the sprinkles he poured on top! This whole idea of Self Control seems to be something we are constantly after! Several years ago I took a class re: fruit of the Spirit by Beth Moore. Just this very morning, something she had us all memorize was made more clearly to me by God. I'm in awe when He shows us something from our past, and turns it into something of such relevance! I've been writing about this on Wendy Pope's blog, Sunday, yesterday, and today it all came together as God showed me what He was after.

He showed me that when we go through a trial we many times turn to our "self." Rather, than have the self-control to immediately seek God. With this particular situation, God allowed me to seek His presence. He taught me something during the trial...then today came the icing and sprinkles! He showed me that when we seek HIM, when we turn to HIM, when we don't do it our way, but HIS way, when we fix our attention towards Him to see what He is teaching us at the time...He does indeed bring out the best of us, and by doing this we feel so close to in-relationship with Him and so very trusting in HIM! The Word says, "he surrounds us, He walks besides us, He does not sleep, He watches over us." If we would seek Him totally, if we would trust him totally, if we could just let go of us trying to control the situation and allow His self-control to guide us...then we would experience the Fruit of the Spirit...
Self-control allows...(Beth had us memorize these statements...)
Love never fails.
Joy cometh.
Peace rules.
Patience waits.
Kindness tenders.
Goodness does.
Faith fights.
Gentleness bows.

Our awesome God is so big and so wants to be in relationship with us. Lord, how I yearn to walk ever so closely to you, I want so badly to feel your gentle touches as you guide me along the way. Lord, thank you so much for showing me some of your Glory this morning! Help me turn over my control and allow You to control me! A closer relationship is my deepest desire right now. Loving you with all of my heart! Amen.

Dear Nichole, thank you for giving us time to ponder over this post! This post is HUGE. Girls, let us read it and re-read it and pray to our Father, to let it sink in more and more. He has so much to teach us regarding self-control. I truly believe this fruit of the Spirit is the key to getting that much closer to our Father in our daily walk. Focusing on You Lord.

The key to self-control is not to allow our flesh, our world, or Satin to be in-charge of our life, but, to be filled with the Spirit--- which allows us to say, "no," "yes," and "not right now."

We fall apart without self-control...which is just where the enemy wants us to be...

Thank you dear sisters for your comments! Love, Lori - AZ

Wendy said...

I LOVE this!

Sue J. said...

"Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out."

I hadn't seen the paraphrase of the Romans passage before, and that's good stuff! Many of us in the blogosphere have been looking at this issue of right thinking under the pressures of the culture. There is so much in our world that is spinning out of control--and when we get tired and lose our focus, we decide it's easier to fall into the spin than it is to stay off to the side.

Proverbs focuses a lot on the heart and how our God works through that. "A joyful heart makes a cheerful face,
But when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken." (15:13) One of the participants in the study on my In-Between Time blog brought this up in today. All the time we mention "broken spirit," but do we understand that it comes when our heart--our mental, physical, emotional and spiritual center--is "sad," without the wisdom, direction and focus of God!

Without God's help, we cannot know self-control. We think that the word implies that we need to get control of our selves. Not so! As a fruit of the spirit, it is something that is grown within us and nurtured to fruition by God Himself. We need to seek Him out!

Find Him as you rest!! He will make Himself known in new places, Nichole, and He will show you what is next for you....what is GOOD! Enjoy!!

Pinkshoelady said...

Wow! Nicole!
I loved this! you are an inspiration and an amazing woman of God!

Thank you for being my friend. Thank you for the encouraging words over my "Almost Story" posts.

Your words of encouragment helped me to keep telling the story...even when I wanted to stop and run.

I love you my friend

Cindy said...

Oh Nichole,
It has taken me all week to want to come back and comment on this post.
I have read it several times this week. I am sososo out of control, over stressed, overwhelmed, filled with worry, attempting to trust in my Lord, yet feeling the loosening of my grip to Him.
Tired is an understatement.
Exhuastion too!
I just want to go to sleep and close my mind to it all.
However clinging to His truths!
Thank you as always sister and friend,

Edie said...

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

Have a spirit filled bloggy break sweet friend!