“He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still.”
― Lao Tzu
The greatest enemy to us is not the devil but self,the greatest battle we need to fight is not that against the devil because he is already a defeated foe but it’s the battle against self,for if you can defeat yourself and put yourself under control every other thing about your life would be settled.
THE PRODUCT OF A SELF CONTROLLED LIFE AND A LIFE OF LACK OF SELF CONTROL.
- Moses was a man who was called by God to lead the children out of egypt,but he allowed the lack of control of anger to make him miss out from entering the promise land – God asked Moses to speak to the rock but the children of Israel vexed Moses and because he couldn’t control himself at that time,he struck the rock,and brought the anger of God on himself. Numbers 20:1-13.
Moses didn’t enter the promise land because he lost his temper and disobeyed God in the wilderness of Zin.
If we loose control we can loose something we may never get back during our life time.
Anger in itself is not sin,but when in our anger we loose control we can do things that we will regret and sin against God.Moses’ lack of control kept him from the promise land.The bible says “be angry and sin not,do not let the sun go down on your wrath” Ephesians 4:26.
The bible uses two words in Ephesians 4:26 “be angry and sin not,don’t let the sun go down on your wrath”.
Anger is a strong feeling of displeasure and the word translated anger here is “orgizo” meaning to provoke to anger,to arouse to anger,to bring a feeling of displeasure,that alone is not sin,but wrath on the other hand means vengeance or punishment as the consequence of anger,so wrath goes a step further to take actions on your anger that’s when it becomes sin,the word translated wrath here is “parorgismos” meaning indignation,exasperation,when anger grows to wrath its sin.
Proverbs 16:32 declares “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty;and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city” this tells you that self control is much better than been a warrior,a warrior that cannot control himself is certainly going to fall,samson is a clear example of a warrior who could not control his lust and he lost his glory.
- David a king that could not control his lust for sex – 2Samuel 11-12.
This is a very profound story,when kings were supposed to go to war King David stayed back and sent his men to go for battle,David was at the wrong place at the wrong time,he was supposed to be at the battle field and not at home,we must understand timing,we should be at the right place at the right time doing the right thing.
This was a sign of laxity,woe unto him that is at ease in zion,the bible teaches us to be sober and watchful,be at alert for our adversary the Devil moves around like a roaring lion seeking whom to devour,the period of laxity is the period of vulnerabilty,and now satan knew when to strike,David was alone and just woke up from sleep in the cool of the evening,the time,the place and the settings.
The common english bible said “David woke up from sleep on his couch,and he was pacing back and forth on the roof of the palace,from the roof he saw a woman bathing and she was beautiful and good to look upon” David was pacing back and forth,the king was alone and bored,also very vulnerable and he lost control the minute he saw the woman bathing from the roof of the palace.
This tells you that then,their bathrooms had no roof,for david to have seen her that much and of course the kings palace was huge,he sent for her and he had sex with her.The king lost control of himself and also used the control as king to get her to sleep with him,even when he knew she was married,who is she to say no to the king?
David had committed sin against God and against Urial the husband of the woman David slept with Bathsheba.David in his bid to cover the sin from the man Urial asked Joab to put Urial in the hottest part of the battle,where Urial was killed,this was a king out of control,one sin leading to another sin,now God who sees everything was angry,David thought his sin was covered,yes from man but not from God,how sometimes we commit a sin and try to cover it from man,but we cannot cover it from God,he will expose it in time.
Because of lack of self control David incurred the wrath of God.But was forgiven after he cried in repentance for mercy,but the son that was born from the Adultery was killed by God and also Rebellion was birth as a result of the sin,God had to judge the sin,there was no record of David indulging in that sin again.
- Joseph a man called the dreamer,who was hated by his brothers because of the dreams that God gave him,he was sold and traded to a rich man in egypt called portiphar,pharoahs chief officer and a commander of the royal guard,a man of influence in egypt,we will see how Potiphar’s wife had eyes on Joseph and asked Joseph to have sex with her – Genesis 39.
Joseph had grown to become a successful man,even in egypt as a slave to Portiphar and knowing that God was with Joseph,he made him, head over his household,Joseph was his direct personal assistant,and God blessed portiphar because of Joseph.The bible records that Joseph was well built a very handsome man and good to look upon also.
Potiphar’s wife had taken notice of Joseph and got attracted to him,she wanted him to have sex with her, “sleep with me Joseph,she said” but Joseph been a man who feared God and had respect for his master refused,to sleep with her,saying “how can I commit this great sin before God” it would have been a good opportunity for Joseph to have fun,at least there was no record of him having sex before now.
She continually stressed Joseph with the request to sleep with her and am sure she made him promises,but Joseph continually refused,then she nursed a plan against him,on a particular day,she sent all the other servants away,such that Joseph was left alone in the house with her,she tried to force herself on Joseph but Joseph struggled his way out of her hold,but she had his garment with her,he ran off almost naked.
On the return of portiphar,she accused Joseph of trying to rape her,this was what led to Joseph been imprisoned,imagine if Joseph had slept with Potiphar’s wife,he probably would have missed out of Gods purpose for his life.He put himself under control and he kept his eyes on where he was going,I wonder what you would do,if you were in Josephs shoes?
- Achans lust for material things cost him the wiping out of his lineage – Joshua 7:1-12,19-26
Achan took what belongs to God for himself,what was reserved for God,out of his lust for material things,this brought the anger of God on the children of Israel,that they were defeated in their battles.Joshua inquired of God why and God told him there was sin in the camp,Achan was searched out and discovered that he took a sacred thing,what belong to God,though he asked for mercy but the sin had to be dealt with and the camp cleansed.
How sometimes we toil with sacred things,that belongs to God,we attract Gods judgement on ourselves,because Achan could not control his lust, he and all that he had and all that was with him was stoned to death as judgement for his sin.God will always Judge the sin,the fact that you are forgiven does not mean that the sin will not be judged.
- Even Jesus was tempted by the devil,Jesus just ended his fast and the bible says he was hungry,satan showed up and tempted him but Jesus defeated the devil with the word of God still,though he was hungry,he didn’t allow his hunger to make him fall for the devil,he stood his ground,he had control over his stomach “Man shall not live by bread alone but by the words from the mouth of God” Matthew 4:1-11.
To be successful in our walk with God we must like Paul put ourselves under,discipline ourselves constantly,so that we will not be a cast away,after we have preached the word to others we miss the prize,God forbid.Self control is important for success in life and in our walk with God.
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified 1Corinthians 9:24-27.