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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Self-control Peace

Amazing, beautiful irony. Can you wap your mind around this? Self-control is a FRUIT of the Spirit. Not so fast, think about that, let it sink in. Self-control has as its root and power and fulfillment, the Spirit of God. Once again even in the area of self-control there is no room for boasting. People with a natural ability to control their actions, have to be completely broken of all "trust" in their will-power or stamina. The broken and contrite are the ones who can truly receive and walk in this fruit. They have surrendered any idea of being a 'self-made man.' They will never claim to have picked themselves up by the bootstrap.' They are and ever will be counter-cultural. They, with Paul, proclaim their weakness, and then and only then find strength. Praise God for the jagged path that breaks us of self-reliance and brings us into the realization that "self-control" is a fruit of the Spirit, and has nothing to do with self. It rises out of the ashes of our pride, with shouts of "Grace, Grace to it!"

This fruit is most dramatically displayed in situations that would normally cause despair. Like joy, it is not based on circumstances or events. The foundation of peace is found in the deep trust that develops between a disciple and his Master. Trust that grows as God displays His faithfulness in all the areas of our life where we choose to rest in Him. Peace is tied to the scripture, "We walk by faith and not by sight." How often does the 'liar' whisper, "This isn't the way it should be. He is nowhere. He will not carry you this time." God will faithfully give you a word that speaks of His goodness. There is a danger in "picking" a scripture that speaks of a specific outcome, peace is not based on that, it is based on His goodenss, His wisdom, His knowledge of all thing. HIM. What joy it brings to His heart to see one of His beloved resting in the keel of a storm-tossed boat. Peace was in the heart of Jesus long before He spoke to the wind and the waves. God gives us this peace.

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