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Self Control

Leading the Way / Michael Youssef
The Truth Network Radio
July 17, 2019 1:00 am

Self Control

Leading the Way / Michael Youssef

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Hello audio have to confess to you, but at the outset that this is not one of the easiest messages for me to prepare as most of you know that we been going through the fruit of the spirit. And this is the ninth one and it's about self-control and the struggle I had to go through is how can I preach on self-control. In a world that's corn self-control.

Everything else that is surrounding us. All of us still make all of us scorning self-control. Even those of us parents in bringing up our children. One of the greatest struggle in teaching our children the subject of self-control because they are surrounded with a sea of self-indulgence and then we have to train them in the area of self-control. I mean, talking to about self-control in a world that scorns it is like swimming upstream and I'm aware of that. Believe it or not, I'm aware of it as I preach this message.

Some of you is not gonna like what I have to say, but at least I wanted to listen.

In fact, I read this week in a Christian magazine, a pastor in the Midwest who was bemoaning how terrible it is that the influence on television upon our children. And he wrote in his letter. He said I tried to teach my little girl to memorize the fruit of the spirit and finally she came and was very excitedly said well I now memorize the fruit of the spirit and the dad was very enthusiastic about it and she stood there and she started enumerating them love, joy, peace, patience and kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, and remote control is not the fruit of the spirit. I can tell you that in fact in many a university campus. The word self-control is a dirty word is another word, and to illustrate what I mean young man went to see a psychiatrist and is that there's a dark. I have no ability for self-control and often find myself doing the wrong thing and my conscience is bothering me and the psychiatrist said to Mrs. well I suppose you want something to help you strengthen your will is it all know Doc you don't understand. I want something that would weaken my country and that is truly what is going on in here. We are commanded by God himself, of the Lord Jesus empowered by the Holy Spirit to preach self-control to proclaim self-control is a fruit of the Spirit filled life. You remember back in the book of Nehemiah when Nehemiah homeland. He was in exile.

He was working for the king of Persia, but then he heard that his hometown of Jerusalem is in ruins. But then he hears the walls of the city is broken and at that point Nehemiah becomes broken in his own spirit is there, but he already knew that. Why is the brokenness of the wall really got him out of shape. Why did this breaking so much that he cried uncontrollably and I'm going to tell you exactly why because the brokenness of the walls of the city is a symbol of a total collapse. You see in the Middle Eastern countries and towns and cities. When the walls are broken in any given city. It's a sign of destruction. It's a sign of loss of that city's identity as city without the wall is a city that is vulnerable to all sorts of enemies come in and removed and steal a city without walls is a city that has lost complete control over its destiny. And that is why in the book of Proverbs. Write them down.

Chapter 16 verse 32 and chapter 25 verse 28.

It tells us in no uncertain terms that lack of self-control is like a city that is without walls, there is a definite connection between the two that lack of self-control is a calamity we may not take it seriously. But let me tell you it is a calamity beyond description.

It is a calamity to even than the brokenness of the city wall why because it means that an eternal soul has reached the final state of decay.

Beloved friends. I want to tell you, please listen to me. I don't want you to misunderstand me, but I want to tell you that our generation's lack of self-control is Satan's way of preparing us for destruction. Our generation's lack of self-control is the broken walls that is going to lead him into our very souls that our generation's promotional self-indulgence is the first Toward making us vulnerable to every wild and godless enemy. Our generation's race for discarding every vestige of self-control is opening our spirits to the man of lawlessness that the Bible talks about our generation's push for unrestrained passion and uncontrollable temper is Satan's strategy to leave us open to all forms of antichrist. In fact, in Ephesians chapter 5 verse 18.

The apostle Paul draws an analogy between a person who loses control of his senses because of drunkenness and a person who loses control of his life because he or she is filled with the Holy Spirit of God is a different spirit both the drunk and the spirit filled give up control of their lives to another force. The drawing gives up control to alcohol. The spirit filled beers up control of the Holy Spirit of God in his life or her life, and I will declare to you that the Christian self-control is impossible without the power of the Spirit filled life and to be filled of the spirit of God is a decision, just as the person who picks up the drink and gets drunk is makes a decision, you will be filled of the spirit of God, begins with a decision that I'm going give up control to somebody else. His name is the Holy Spirit, the alcoholic says. I don't want to be in control. I want alcohol to control me saw the Spirit filled believer if he wants to have self-control. He must surrender control of the Holy Spirit of God, not of the world. This is gibberish but you believers understand what I'm talking about.

And when the Holy Spirit of God comes in when the Holy Spirit of God moves in. When it comes into your bloodstream and into your mind and your heart he will love through you. He will make your bubble with joy even in tough times, he will tranquilize you with peace. He will subdue you with patients here would make you hilarious and kindness. He will absolutely fill you with goodness he will endow you with faithfulness, he will give you meekness which is strength under control here will give you Holy Spirit self-control. That's how being filled with the spirit, moment by moment works and how the fruit of the spirit born in your life and mine well before get carried away. I have three things I want to tell you about self-control. Three things that I have learned the hard way about self-control.

Number one self-control is not self-mastery. Self-control is not self-mastery. Secondly, self-control is not self-improvement and the third thing I want to tell you about self-control is that it has a focus. It has a goal and it reaches for self-control. That is the fruit of the Spirit is not the same thing as self-mastery that motivational speakers talk about the two different things altogether. The Bible is talking about self surrender, not self-mastery. In his the contrast between the two. Listen carefully please is a contrast between the two self-control is being empowered by the Holy Spirit of God. Self-mastery is dependent entirely on your power on your will. Self-control is what takes place in your life, out of the abundance that springs out of your love for Jesus Christ. Self-mastery is designed to make you take control of your destiny. Self-mastery is what the Pharisees practice and they practiced it really well as a matter of fact from the outside. The life was so disciplined that when they walk by people should wow look at him. His knee got great discipline is the holy man you know about Jesus, the one who sees on the inside said is that you are nothing but a white supplicant that is painted white on the outside and inside is nothing but the bones because outside discipline my full people but starting for God, the Lord Jesus himself talked about the heart and the discipline of the heart because his Holy Spirit is the only one who can give it to us to see only the Holy Spirit can give you the assurance that all is under control. You know what the best about self-mastery at its best when your soul is naked before God you're all alone with God. You know that things are out of control. No matter how much older and older all the motivational stuff that's fine, but when you're all alone before God deep down you know that things are out of control and only the Holy Spirit of God can give you the you know the storks were really the cousins of the Pharisees, when it comes to that area though worshiping at the shrine of the sovereign self-will. If there the gritted teeth to make it happen. What kind of people of our modern-day that the storks but you know what when they are confronted with the unexpected. Listen to me when they are confronted with the unexpected. They become fatalistic and morbid because there's nothing below the surface to hold the map as a Holy Spirit of God does for the spiritual believer. I heard the other day about a man who really wanted to be so disciplined and he was willing to do anything only if he can live 300 so he went to the doctor and he said not dock. He said what can I do to live to be 100. I don't care what it is I got self-mastery and I can discipline myself, just tell me whatever it is I can do it. The doctor said well first of all, you gotta give up takes in cookies and ice cream. No problem within you have to give up red meat and potatoes and bread. No problem. You have to give up soft drink of all, coffee and tea man said it's all right. He said the it's okay but were you telling me that if I do all this while this to be 100 the door so I can guarantee that but if you do all that it will certainly feel like it.

Self-control is not self-mastery, and secondly biblical self-control is not self-improvement. I want to say this at the beginning because I don't want to review to misunderstand me. I am all for self-improvement, not preaching against so understand that the doubts it all I'm saying is that it is not the same as biblical self-control, biblical self-control is for the Christian simply because of the new divine nature is only possible because of the new divine nature that became ours when we become born-again look at second Peter chapter 1 verse four, second Peter chapter 1 verse four is what the apostle Peter say to say we are participants in the divine nature and escape from corruption of the world which is caused by evil desire to rewrite there is no such thing. Listen to me. Please. There is no such thing as putting your spiritual growth on autopilot and go to sleep, spiritually speaking.

There is no such thing.

It cannot happen, it will not happen if I want to enjoy the power of God working in my life I have to cooperate with God in that controlling process. I have to be willing to cooperate with God's sake, cooperate, and what and controlling all the junk that I have inside of me inside you have joined inside of you on the go. Talk to you and me tell you something. The junk inside of you is even worse. Of course I have junk inside of me. Listen, my old nature with which I was born wants to be out of control and that once or twice all day long. My old nature with which I was born wants me to have no boundaries in my life. My old nature by which I was born wants to run wild and do everything to access my new nature that was given to me through rebirth and regeneration was to glorify God in the way that glorifies God is by putting the brakes on my old nature. My new nature cannot work together in tandem. That is an impossibility that a lot of Christians out there.

The putting 1 foot here 1 foot. There was happening to you either. Exhibit one or the other self-improvement says do the little bit of time as you making progress.

It's okay. You don't lose weight overnight. I'm aware of that than I know it, you gonna quit cold turkey buildup to it. Just like at it and you will be happy for whatever progress you have made that self-improvement, but it is not the self-control. The Bible is talking about is a fruit of the spirit in the Christian life.

You cannot get those two natures to cooperate together, they will not. They cannot they of necessity in with each other. You either exhibit the one all the other whether some people who confuse the Christian life was self-improvement and they think that the Christian life is self-improvement program and is not so what they do they work on the most troublesome area of the life and is ongoing to control a better whatever is addiction whatever it maybe under the stop that I'm going to do better and they really genuinely in their will and that hard methods are they really do they want to. Before long, they find themselves in much worse shape than they were before. What has happened here what's going on. I'm going to Jesus till he was happening here. Okay is not me my opinion that Jesus speak to you if you have your Bibles. You can turn to Luke 11 because there as far as I'm concerned. One of the great gyms in the Scripture that teaches us the difference between self-improvement and self-control under the part of the Holy Spirit of God hears what happens. Jesus said when you decide to kick out the unclean spirit out of the house of your heart is generally the unclean spirit is going to get out the house of your heart is empty you have not asked the Holy Spirit to come in and fill it not only at that moment, but the moment by moment day by that you have not invited the Holy Spirit to come into your life and strengthen you every single day, every single moment of your luck you have not been back. So what's happening to your house of your heart. It's empty soul cleaned up his tidy and neat. Meanwhile, where is that unclean spirit is not very far just hiding behind the column here and you know what he keeps looking over their like every two seconds. He hasn't gone very far. He gets looking over he keeps looking over and he waits for an opportunity for a weakening in the wheel well we can another Czar and his what Jesus said he goes out there and he brings seven spirits were sent here is a new movement about house and take over and listen to the words of Jesus in verse 26 of Luke chapter 11. He said the last state becomes worse than the first. Any of us and I say us because I'm with you. I have tried that who have tried on the strength of our self will to get rid of anything be delivered from anything we bombed out again and again, not on ask you to say amen if you she experienced a lot of experience until I couldn't understand what Jesus is saying in Luke 11. I couldn't understand why I cannot overcome because every time I kick the butt of the devil does not bring some strength I can do it alone. Strength is words of Jesus. And what happens the last state becomes worse in the first and that is why self-improvement program for Christian living is a disaster. It will not work.

But when the spirit of God and wills you the fruit of the Spirit is going to kick the works of the flesh kingdom come. Self-control is not self-mastery. Self-control is not self-improvement but thirdly I want to tell you that self-control must have a focus must have a focus first Corinthians chapter 9 verses 24 and following what is Paul doing here. He is using the analogy of the athlete with which he was very, very familiar in the Greek culture. The Greeks were just as crazy about sports as we are in this day is not worth and he sees it everywhere he goes within the Greek the Roman Empire and all the influence of the Greek culture and Hill of the apostle Paul is saying look at in the verses in first Corinthians chapter 9 beginning at verse 24 and you and I take our walk with the Lord as seriously as a committed athlete to his sport we going to be in business is a rough translation but it's accurate. Anyone who knows anything about successful athletes. They know that they are very focused. They are extremely focused all of the training and all of the discipline. All the sacrifice.

All of the hard decisions all the taking place. Why because there is another event. The athlete is focusing on the performance of that day. So what is the apostle Paul saying the Christians would turn up at church five or 10 minutes after worship has begun arriving on prepared for worship ill-equipped for worship, arriving frazzled and hassle is what Paul would say he was saying that you are not as serious about your commitment to Christ as the athlete to his sport equity site. The athlete is at the stadium hours before the event even the spectators are there hours before the events but not in the church of Jesus Christ. The athlete is there ready with his equipment with his gear with uniform in hand, he is ready.

The athlete is the air-conditioning his mind conditioning his body for the great event why because he is serious about learning this year is about winning because it is is goal oriented peers purpose oriented and his goal is to learn is to exercise self-control is to exercise perseverance is to watch his weight peers to watch his stamina. Why Santa spoke Christian when as you focus with you focus today was a focus of your life.

Please, for God sake is with yourself where you focus. I mean if if you asked me today to run a 26 mile marathon.

I'll do it now.

Surprise some of you but I'm going to get to the finish line. Two days from now. Well, his daughter ran a marathon in Washington this year, you're going to literally practice for a year and 1/2 to get the 26 mile marathon. Why would I get there.

Two days from now because I have not practiced for hunger prepared for equipped for training for what if I spend less than 30 hours a week in preparation of the message that I bring to you from the Lord Sunday after Sunday I'm going to come up here and understand all you go to see and hear is the east wind beloved friends. Please listen to me.

The goal of every believer should be the crown in heaven. The purpose for which you strive should be the crown in heaven. Nothing else.

All the other things you do are basically subgoals that lead you into the big goal that big purpose, but that crown in heaven. Listen to me will not be had without self-control, without self-discipline, without self giving is what Paul is saying is that after the athlete focuses on work so hard on a crummy read, how much more should be our striving for a real crown with the self-control means means to me at least tells me that it requires for me to know my weaknesses. It requires me to know my vulnerabilities it requires of me to know what likely doors and windows that I'm inclined to leave a jar for the enemy to come in and set up his strongholds that are designed to deprive me of my crown and the reason many Christians live a life that is spiritual shipwrecked is because they do not take careful stock of the weaknesses, let alone take meticulous steps in order to surrender them to the Lord and be spirit filled day by day, moment by moment in order to have his power and have victory over those areas was a boy by the name of Thomas Thomas was an unpopular young boy's family was very rich and very influential in the community. But Thomas was not interested in the wealth managers in the family wealth which frustrated his parents no end. Finally, at the age of 14. His father sent him to a private boarding school and when he got there. One of the teachers witness to him and led him to the Lord and he received Jesus as Savior and Lord. The other students. Of course, ridiculed him mercilessly about his commitment to Christ. Then one day in class. Thomas had to debate the existence of God and suddenly become very clear to everyone that this boy's true thinker that all that focuses for a reason.

He surprises peers he he he amazed his teachers with the brilliant arguments and in his grasp of logic. His commitment to the truth of the Scripture brought him respect, but also the stain on the part of others.

His family were really embarrassed about his commitment to the Lord and they wish that he would just give that up. Family expected him to come back and get involved in the business and become more prosperous, but he refused.

His older brothers were all playboys. They decided one day to kidnap him and they detained him for a year, but not in a prison cell. They detained him for a year in the lap of luxury. They provided him with everything that money could buy. They tried to get him to lose interest in this in the Lord Jesus Christ. They got him to lose interest in that absolute commitment that he has. They gave him money. They offered him to self and set them up in business. They even brought prostitutes to the house and Thomas rejected all of this by the power of God the Holy Spirit. His commitment to Christ gave him true biblical self-control. His brothers were bewildered and confused and that he would refuse power sex and money and all of that so they gave up finally and left them alone and Thomas went back to the University and he became the most influential thinker in all of our Christian history, whose name was Thomas Aquinas's writing field 18 large volumes.

He practically wrote a comment you in every book in the Bible.

How come because he understood that this self-control is not self-mastery that this self-control is not self-improvement but this self-control that comes as result of in the filling of the Holy Spirit is a gratitude to the God who loved him and died for him see it's not just do it now. When your heart is filled with gratitude to the God who died for you to pay the penalty of your sin and the wages of your sin, to give you power and victory over sin, you can not help it but give yourself to him my gratitude to our God produces in us biblical self-control, Lord God, you are the senior and the watcher in the knowing of all that goes on in our lives. Your word said you know is better than we know ourselves. In fact, many times our own hearts deceive us and therefore we come to you in absolute gratitude and thanksgiving and heart that is bursting with thankfulness because when you loved us. He loved us to the end. There were no half measures in your love was no half commitment in your love and father I pray that as we seek to be filled of your Holy Spirit today and every day in every moment of every day that will bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit including self-control we surrender to you and you control the Queen have made upon our lives. Thank you for answering our prayers because we pray, in accordance with your will and in Jesus name, amen. Thanks for listening to this message from Dr. Michael.

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