Self-control is probably one of the hardest things to master. How often have we been defeated by a bad habit, a bad attitude, or a wrong mindset? We make promises to improve. We ask someone to hold us accountable. But deep inside, we know that we don’t have the will or the ability to change. We can talk, we can plan, we can read from books, can pray but we still find it difficult to overcome and control many of the things that are inside us!
Thankfully, we know our God knows our weakness, and He also knows the medicine which we need! The Bible says, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Gal. 5:22–23). The only way to gain self-control is by allowing the Holy Spirit to control us.
God is not nearly as concerned with our ability as He is with our surrender.
In other words, our key focus is not effort but surrender—to live moment by moment submissively trusting in the Lord rather than in self. Paul says this is what it means to “walk by the Spirit” (v. 16).
Are you ready for a change? You can change, for God is in you and in us. As you surrender control to Him, He will help you bear the fruit of His likeness.
So our new year can be started like this: “I am in need, Lord, of your power so that I might change and grow. I surrender myself to You. Please help me to understand how to be submissive to You that I might be filled with Your Spirit.”
Written by Bulbuli Mollick, Bangladesh, NCFI Board Member