Summary: The secret of self control is Christ control.
Text: Prov. 25:28
Intro: It is evident that many personal and societal problems stem
from lack of self control.
Look at the evidence-lack of control in:
etc, ad nauseum
Theme: We want instant gratification now. Otherwise there will be the Devil
to pay. And pay we do:
mis-use of credit
abuse of credit
blatant, in your face, adultery
rampant, out of control STD 's
abortions on demand
fatal car wrecks by youngsters
fatal shootings, stabbings
illegal/abusive drug use by all ages
Not surprisingly, this lack of self-control can be traced back to
the beginning of the human race (Gen. 4:1-15); ever further, if we
consider Satan's rebellion in Heaven --- I. Why The Lack of Self Control
A. Cain will be our example.
B. SELFISH ATTITUDES
1. Cain refused to bring the best of what he had.
2. a mediocre sacrifice
3. Able brought his best-the first born of his flock (Heb. 11:4).
4. Cain was warned that sin was crouching at the door
( 1 Peter 5:8 ).
C. Questions/Exams for us-1 Cor. 11:28.
1. Do we hold selfish, arrogant attitudes?
2. Are we giving God our best in
a. church attendance
b. spiritual walk
c. temporal means
d. just giving Him the leftovers?
3. Do we, in our worship to God,
a. strive for excellence
b. give Him the best moments of our days
c. use our spiritual gifts to further the Kingdom
d. just make lousy excuses as to why full devotion cannot be
e. "Let temporal things serve thy use, but the eternal be the
object of thy desire."
_____Thomas a` Kempis
---- 4. What does this have to do with self control?
a. We begin losing control when we place ourselves ahead
of God in order of importance.
b. Sin lies at the door.
c. Proper perspective
(point of view) becomes lost.
illustration: If helicopter pilots in the air look straight
down, it is reported, they lose their proper
e. Sin gets its food in the door.
D. GIVING IN TO IMPULSIVE DESIRES
1. moments of rage-i.e., Cain
2. moments of lust-i.e., David
3. needful that the emotions be mastered
4. needful to control ourselves
1. i.e., Cain's flippant answer to God
2. The may be times when our attitudes say to the Lord,
a. "What gives You the right to question me?"
b. "Who do You think You are?"
3. During rebellious moments we become very ugly.
F. DEFENSES HAVE BEEN WEAKENED.
1. our text
2. There are no defenses when the walls are broken.
3. Lack of self control weakens our defenses and diminishes
levels of faith, honesty, and integrity.
---- II. What To Do About This Lack
1. self under control
(emotions, desires, actions)
2. Someone said, "...ability to break a chocolate bar in pieces-
then eat just one piece."
3. actually bringing ourselves under full control of the Holy Spirit
B. practical helps
1. Admit there is a problem/challenge.
a. James 1:14
b. Rom. 14:12
c. The Devil did not make us lose self control.
d. Dysfunctional parents or backgrounds did not make us do it.
e. Past abuses/painful experiences were not the cause.
f. We do bad things because we like to do them.
(Please, let us
pause for a moment for expansion on this thought. Admit
that, often, being our of control is enjoyable.)
1) Identify the areas of weakness.
2) Bring them to the Lord.
3) This is the starting point for developing self control.
4) Do not listen to these lies from the Evil One:
a) "once a failure, always a failure"
b) "tried before and failed in the effort"
c) "You can't change-no way!"
2. Forget the past.
a. Put the past behind--
b. Prov. 23:7
c. Anticipate a new functionality in the power of God.
d. Take baby steps while holding to God's unchanging hand.
e. Admit the needs to the Lord.
--- 3. Ignore negative, counter-productive emotions.
a. Do not give in. Resist. Say "NO!"
b. Titus 2:12 (The Message), "We're being shown how to turn
our backs on a godless, indulgent [tolerant, not bound,
liberal] life, and how to take on a God-filled, God-honoring
life. This new life is starting right now,..."
c. The supernatural strength of Christ is available to us.
1) As free moral agents we choose.
2) Christ strengthens us
3) Line up our feelings with what God says.
a) Start with the Ten Commandments.
b) Study The Beatitudes.
c) Read the Epistles of the New Testament.
d) Order your prayer life so you can hear from God.
e) Ps. 119:57
d. Use great caution when responding to feelings & emotions.