Love And Self-control

The quote in C. S. Lewis’s, The Screwtape Letters kept drifting through my mind when considering this post on self-control. When I came across the quote in another post, I knew I had my answer. Let’s take a look at the quote.

Boy on a Rock Center of His Wheel Erik Cox copyrightNo longer desiring

 Spiritual deserts can leave us dry and empty.

Still intending

Where else do we go when He is everything?

Every trace of God has vanished

Storms can erase every trace of His hands…for a while. Of course, we know even when we can’t see His hands, we can trust His heart!

Asks why

Have you ever asked why? I have.

Feels forsaken

In certain circumstances, the enemy will try to convince us that God has forsaken us.

Still obeys

So what makes a person obey when their life is in shambles, and there seems to be no evidence of God’s hand in their life?

For me it’s Love.

When I think of my relationship with the Lord, I think of marriage. When I fell in love, I had eyes for no other. My heart was pledged to one. In good times or bad times, I know he loves me even when I don’t understand him. Hubby’s love gives me strength.

It’s the same way with our relationship with the Lord. His love gives us the strength to face the hardest circumstances. Our love for Him and the work of the Holy Spirit in us produces self-control in us. We shouldn’t take pleasure in doing things that would displease Him. Just as we shouldn’t take pleasure in doing things that would displease our earthly spouse. Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Falling in love makes everything easier.

Storms will come. At times, there’ll be no sign of deliverance. But if we love Him as He loves us, then we will still obey.

Your turn. Tell me what keeps you intending and obeying. Both actions require self-control.

 

Fruit of the Spirit

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 KJV

But the fruit of the Spirit is love Center of His Wheel BlogThe word temperance comes from a Greek word meaning strength. Paul describes temperance, or self-control, as a fruit of the Spirit, thereby declaring a difference between self-control and self-reliance.

Self-reliance is relying on our own strength. Self-reliance says, “I can handle this.”
Whereas, self-control says, “I can’t do this on my own. I need help, Lord.”

Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit produced inside the heart of the believer as she yields her heart to Him. Therefore, we cannot produce self-control.

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. John 15:5 KJV

The scion (grafted limb) can do nothing without the stock (the plant stem). The stock (Christ) is the root-bearing part of the tree. Without the roots, the tree cannot absorb the minerals needed for the branches to grow and bear fruit.
Knowing this truth, I understand two things:

• I can do nothing in my own strength.
• The areas in which I struggle are evidence of my refusal to yield.

The areas in which I struggle Center of His Wheel blogIt isn’t about self-reliance, but self-control. It is yielding to the Holy Spirit’s work in my life and putting into practice that which I know to be true. This includes my actions, reactions, emotions, and thoughts.

Peter said, “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:5-8 KJV

If I practice what I know, then I will be fruitful and grow in understanding!

Self-reliance is something I am familiar with. For years, I leaned on my own understanding and strength. But eventually, I learned there is a better way. Relying on the Lord’s strength gives me what I need for this journey!

What say you? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Anna Lucia, Book 2 Casa Bella Chronicles

Life hasn’t been kind to Lucinda Stewart. Unforgettable heartache, loss, and unspeakable violence mark her heart and her face. Twenty years have passed and she’s yet to put the fractured pieces together. Now a spinster without hope, Lucinda resigns herself to live a quiet life with her brother. For who would dare love a physically and emotionally scarred woman?

But when she and her brother travel to Italy, Lucinda’s life is hurled back in time. When they arrive at Casa Bella, she’s introduced to Vincenzo Castello. Something about the dark Sicilian haunts her. Memories dance inside the shadows of her mind, but never close enough to the light for her to remember. Is he a friend or a long lost enemy returned to finish her nightmare? Why should she trust him, a complete stranger?

Liz Galvano Book Meme

Vincenzo Castello is a God-fearing man haunted by the past. If he could go back… When Lucinda Stewart waltzes back into his life without a memory of that night, Vincenzo’s doesn’t know what to do.  Does he tell her the truth inside his heart and fill in the gaps of her memory? Will that truth set her free or tighten the chains that now hold her? Can he convince her to trust him and his God? Can he and the Castello family protect her from the one man threatening to take her life?

Liz Galvano transports her readers to faraway places through the lives of unforgettable characters. In her latest novel, Anna Lucia, Book 2 in the Casa Bella Chronicles, she shares her love of family, food, horses, and fencing. Yes, fencing! And she wraps it all up with God’s amazing gift of love and compassion for the hurting.

I give Anna Lucia five hearts because it is the story of two people overcoming the obstacles in this journey we call life. They have seen heartache, and still, they choose to trust a faithful God whose love never fails. The characters love hard and fight harder. Galvano doesn’t sugarcoat the war we must wage to become overcomers. It isn’t a short or easy read. But it is worth the time, belly laughs, and tears.

Happy reading!

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I was given a copy of this book by the author and was under no obligation to publish a favorable review. All opinions are my own.