Do I control my desires, or do my desires control me? Today, during my time with God, I was greatly convicted and encouraged by this question. I was reading in Colossians 1, and kept mulling over verse 10, which says “…so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work…” Paul is praying for the believers in Colossae that God would give them knowledge of Himself and spiritual wisdom so that they can walk in a manner worthy of the Lord and please Him in all respects. Wow! Are my actions and thoughts each day worth of the Lord? Do I please Him in EVERYTHING I do? Immediately certain areas of my life (not pretty ones) started coming to mind.
Afterward, I picked up “Respectable Sins” and read the chapter on Self-Control. The Holy Spirit continued to bring to mind SO many areas in my life where I let my impulses and desires control my actions! My love of ice cream, my longing for Pringles in the afternoon, my desire to rest instead of exercise, my tendency to give vent to my angry heart towards a rebellious child, my speed at checking email or facebook instead of opening my Bible. Now, this may all seem DIScouraging, but what really brought me joy amidst the conviction is that “self-control” is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:23)! And since God, by His mercy has saved me, and given me faith and a desire to make HIM King instead of myself, I can trust that by HIS strength, I can have self-control! His redeeming work in me is WAY stronger than my own sinful self.
Looking back at Colossians 1, I can have the same hope and faith that Paul had when he prayed for the believers in Colossae, that God would help them “walk worthy and please Him in all respects.” In verses 3-6, Paul speaks of a hope which is laid up for us in Heaven, and that is the GOSPEL—and that gospel is constantly bearing fruit and increasing (v. 6) I can have hope, and really have victory over my nature to be lazy and seek comfort, and exercise the muscle of self-control, because JESUS CHRIST humbled Himself and came to earth, lived a perfect life, died for my sins, and raised again, and today sits at the right-hand of God in Heaven. And one day, I Will stand before Him and give an account for my life. And He will judge the motives of my heart, and He will reveal whether what I’ve built upon was wood, hay, and stubble, or gold, stubble, and precious stones. (1 Corinthians 3:12-15)
So, my hope for you is that today you might question yourself….are you living in a manner worthy of the Lord? Are you pleasing Him in every respect? I know I will have to keep asking myself that question every day, every hour, and then prayerfully ask Him to help me have victory over my desires. I have some ideas about how I’ll be applying this, but I won’t tell you yet :-)