“God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble. Submit yourselves, then, to God. . . Come near to God and He will come near to you. . . Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.” ~ James 4:6-10

We hear a lot today about regulations that control what we can or cannot do. We all have an independent spirit because of the freedoms we have enjoyed since the day of our independence as a nation. Therefore, when a new law is passed to instruct us of something else we can’t do, we have a tendency to be rebellious. Some laws are passed just because we have people in authoritative places who want to exercise their power of control, for this reason we have been overwhelmed with laws. But, some laws are for our good. For example, seat belt laws and baby/child seat laws have been passed for our good to keep us from being thrown around in the car when involved in an accident. Stats show 3 out of 5 automobile deaths possibly would have been prevented had people been buckled up.

Have you given thought to self-control? In his letter to the churches of Galatia the apostle Paul has listed the fruit of the Spirit and the last one on the list is “self-control.” (KJV-temperance) These spiritual characteristics are given to us for our good also. In reality the fruit of the Spirit (the results of God’s Spirit within a believer) is more “God-control” than self-control. But it is both.

For the spiritual fruit (results) to be experienced there must be submission to the Lord on our part. The submission comes when we decide to do things God’s way. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

To do that we must:

  1. Ask for God’s help and trust Him to give it.
  2. Be aware of situations we try to control our way.
  3. Be patient, continue to expect God’s help while waiting. Don’t be to quick to respond by taking control.
  4. Accept the fact that His response will be better than ours would have been.