The Battle For Self-control – Dr. Charles Stanley

[Music] there's not anything in your life you can't give up when it comes to sin if you are willing to surrender your life to Jesus Christ and tell him I've made a blunder of my life I've messed it up I've heard of the people I've sinned against you have sinned against my self sinned against the people I love the most God can you help me here's my life will they help you change your life [Music] four decades ago we started in touch ministries to lead people worldwide into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ throughout the years we've seen God's greatness his love and his blessings in such awesome ways that we just want everyone to know him so let's open God's Word and seek Him together next on InTouch the battle for self-control is there any area of your life that you would consider as being out of control what about your finances the out of control what about your moral life would you say that's out of control what about your relationship with other people it's out of control what about your attitudes towards some people like jealousy when you think about your life is there any area of your life that you say well I think that's out of control for example you drink and maybe you take drugs well maybe you gamble a little bit you say and what about gossiping what about just having a critical spirit what about being lazy none of those fit who we are that's why Paul said to the Galatians the fruit of the Spirit is love joy peace patience kindness goodness faithfulness gentleness self-control so when you think about your life would you would you say that your life is not in control would you say that there are some areas of my life certainly are not in control well it's a battle and that's the title of this message the battle for self-control we all want to be in control of our lives and now what I mean by that is this we want to have the relationship with our Lord by which we are submitted to him to the point that we're not always battling because watch this when things are not right between you and God it's like a tug of war God wants you to do the right thing you'd like to but but but you don't and so there's tension and stress and uneasiness and oftentimes unhappiness like a peace lack of joy and lack of all the things that's all just mentioned you see you cannot be living a life of disobedience to God and have love joy peace goodness and all the rest you can't use their lump sort of happy the way I am Sola but you cannot have real happiness real joy real peace real love when you in the Lord Jesus Christ the nun in agreement with about your life so I want us to think about this whole issue of the battle for self-control in our lives because all of us either have had a battle or in the battle right at the present time so think about this would you say that your life is under control that you have a sort of a healthy attitude about all of these things the desire for acceptance by others how strong is that desire that you have that you want to be accepted by everybody else the desire to be loved by others do you want people to love you that is have a close relationship what about desires for all types of pleasure does that characterize you there just whatever is fun whatever makes you feel good for the moment that's what that's what you're looking for what about sex d/f sexual desires that outside the will of God we're living in a very secular oriented society and Paul lived in a society there was a cesspool of immorality and so he knew about it what about desires for wealth and security where is that rate on your list of important things wealth and security what about desires to achieve in to excel is that a healthy desire you have or do you want to excel above other people you want to be better than what about the desire to be have no rights in Fame you see this is the reason people do such atrocious things it's murdering other people there get the name on television and the picture and in the newspaper but look what it costs them what about would you say that you have a strong desire for happiness if that's true what are you doing to be happy what do you being to be happy what about your desire for personal attractiveness is that wrong though it's not wrong but there's that demand a lot of your time both of you thinking do you just want to look good or do you wanna look good better than somebody else so you feel the friction of that if I could just if I could just fix my hair like she fixes hers well if I could just dress like a light like she dresses or he dresses what about a desire to control do you have a desire to control over people somehow you you just got to be number one and in your business you are not number one but you'd like to be you want to be and then for example a desire for self-acceptance I just want to be able to accept myself the way I am you and I will never be anyone else so thinking about that no matter what you are how you see yourself what you intended your life you will never be you will never be like someone else God made you just the way you are now whether we distort that by our actions and our attitudes that's another question but as you think about all of these would you say that your life is under control that you have a sort of a healthy attitude about all of these things now let's talk about what self control this self control is basically thinking before you act which is what a lot of people do not do thinking before you act and considering seriously the possibility of the results that you have would you say that's true of your life your life's other control you think before you act so the battle for self control now beginning in the 19th verse of the 5th chapter Paul saw sets us up for the fruits of the spirit by saying verse 19 now the deeds of the flesh notice what he says there are fruits of the spirit that is this is the these things we just mentioned love peace and joy these attitudes come from the work of a holy spirit within us but notice how he contrasts that in verse 19 in the fifth chapter now the deeds are actions of the flesh the way we live are evident which are and the first three of them have to do with sexuality sin he says immorality impurity sensuality then a dollar tree sorcery enmities strife jealousy outbursts Lavanya disputes dissensions factions Indian drunkenness carousing things like these of which I fall on you just as I have forewarned you that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God now watch this verse you may be seated here or out there someone you're saying then I guess I'm not going to heaven because I've done than one of all those things the key word in this passage is that I have warned you those who practice such things and so I won't get into the Greek of the overview but what that means is it's a way of life not not that that has not happened in your life because more than likely when I look at this list all of us that some degree have it was sometimes probably committed one or all of those but it's not a practice it's not a way of life for us when you trust in Jesus Christ those things do not fit who we are so he's saying those who practice such things it's their lifestyle a person who drinks all the time it's their lifestyle person who's always into something sexual it's their lifestyle you can just go out and then bliss if this is your way of life this is what you're committed to he says you'll not inherit the kingdom of God so we're not saying that a person who does one of these is not your to heaven but if you've come to the place in your life you practice those it's the way you think that's who you are it's because you're not saved you can't live like that continuously and gonna be saved you say well now I thought no listen to what he said those who practice those things will not inherit the kingdom of God so that's our actions but what about the fruit of the Spirit so let's think about that for just a moment and ask ask you a few questions and well not think about that and think about the society in which you not live think about the fruit of the Spirit versus what we live around and ask yourself the question would you be considered a follower of Jesus with your conduct the things that you do you can see and the think places you go how you spend your money the words are all those things in your life that you consider important that they fit who you are when you trusted Christ as your Savior you turned your back on sin doesn't mean that you'll never sin again turned your back on sin and so your commitment to the Lord is to be obedient to him to walk in his ways because you want the fruit of the Spirit in your life of love and joy and peace and goodness and gentleness and all these fruits you want in your life because you're gonna be more satisfied you're gonna be more secure you're going to be able to relate to other people totally different than what you used to so as you look at your life would you say at this point that you are walking in the spirit and those who know you would you say they know you as a person who walks in the spirit something different about you or do they see in you this tension this stress this anxiety this it's like a tug-of-war how do you break that tension stress and all the rest by surrendering to the Lord by turning your life over to him by saying God the way I've been living it doesn't work that's not the way I want to live in my life and I think about people who live their whole life captured by some sin living in slavery in their hearts and their minds many people live and die and never experience the love of God the goodness of God the freedom of God the gentleness of God the rewards of God live they live the whole life and never experienced that so if somebody should say to you today well at this point in your life whatever your age where would you say you are would you say that you're a person who experiences the love of God a person who recognizes that he's the source of everything would you say that you're a person who loves other people you're happy when you see other people being blessed you're happy when you see other people be saved you love listening to the Word of God could they be said of you or would you have to say I can't exactly explain it but I'm really unhappy I'd like to be different there are things in my life I'd like to get rid of but there's some things in my life I've done I just can't give up yes you can there's not anything in your life you can't give up when it comes to sin if you are willing to surrender your life to Jesus Christ and tell him I've made a blunder of my life I've messed it up I've heard of the people I've sinned against you have sinned against my self sinned against the people I love the most God can you help me here's my life will they help you change your life change everything about you self come so would you say that your life is under the control of God if not let me ask you a question are you happy no you're not you satisfied with how you're doing in life no you can't be living outside of God's will and plan and purpose for your life and be happy you cannot not real joy and not real peace not any of those fruit of it that's not going to be in your life the fruit of the Spirit not of the flesh and the thing that concerns me most is how people live their lives and look back and think well what did this happen to me well what what if well why was it not blessed was it not because you didn't listen to God if you live disobediently before God you suffer the consequences in other words all of us who claim to be followers of Jesus there is no acceptable excuse for our not attempting to live a godly life whereby the Holy Spirit is in control about thinking and of our actions and when he's in control I think before I act and my actions will follow his purpose in his plan in his will for a life so what is the key to our self-control and so this brief passage of Scripture is Paul's way of giving us an opportunity to examine ourselves to see where we are in our relationship to the Lord so self-control requires that we think before we act you want to get that down self-control requires that we think before we act and this is the problem people act before they think and then they're sorry and so you must have a strong desire to obey God if you don't have a strong desire to obey God you're not gonna live a godly life you're not gonna overcome most anything without that strong desire for him in your life to enable you so you've got to believe in your heart that the Holy Spirit who lives within you is going to enable you not thinking about this jesus knew all about temptation and trials and everything else therefore when he promised us the Holy Spirit he knew how awful society was in those days when you trusted him as your Savior the Spirit of God came into your life to enable you to live in whatever society you live in to overcome all types of sin so it's not just you against your environment it's you the Holy Spirit who's promised to give you whatever you need to be victorious he's there for the asking and the yielding of your life so when you think about that you think about you have someone to help you through this so you should consider seriously the following questions think about it for a moment before you do anything ask yourself these questions how will this affect me spiritually but secondly how will it affect me financially and how's it gonna affect my health many people today or where they are physically because they have violated the physical laws that God has given us and then they wonder while they're where they are so oftentimes it's a violation of a principle God's given us so think about how they're gonna affect me spiritually financially has take my hell and how will others how's it gonna affect how others see me will they look at you and say she's really committed to the Lord I can tell he's really committed to the Lord you will never talk them and they go in a place like that they will never allow that in their life that is when you think about your life how do others see you not perfect none of us are perfect but do they see you watch this do they see you as a true believer do they see in you a person who not only claims to be a Christian but person who lives it out not perfect but they see the difference in you and so you ask this question all these questions and ask this question what are the consequences of my actions to the people I work with do they see me as having live the Christian life do my friends see me as someone who is honest today in this situation do others see me as somebody who's very reckless with my money reckless with my morals reckless with my attitude knowit's is the fruit of the Spirit evident in our lives every day all day now think about this for a moment God has provided his very very best for you and listen I didn't say the best was easy it's not easy it's difficult sometimes to have God's best but let me ask you a question what's better than God's best nothing and so when Paul wrote this hold a book of Galatians he listened to what he says for example he says in the last chapter do not be deceived God is not mocked whatever a man shows this he will also reap all through this these four six chapters he's encouraging us to live a godly life and what does he say don't be deceived I was don't believe the devil's lie you know as you you can't you can't mark gods I don't believe in God and all the rest whatever a man shows he will also reap although he believes it or not he God is not marked for whatever man shows this he will also read period you saw I don't believe you always reap what you sow that's what you're saying God lied I'll tell you another reason you can believe it look around you look around your friends who drink who are on drugs who are living in immorality day after day after day who cheat when they can live when they can and brag about getting away with it you know you don't want to live that kind of life because listen you cannot change the law of God you can't change his long as laws listen whatever we sow will reap and think about this you've been sowing something all these years they God says you're gonna reap a harvest does God miss anything no there's God it's he a judgmental God know what the problem is we hear what he says but we don't believe what he says for example if somebody said to me I'll tell you what Esther if you just step out all the way down here and here's what's gonna happen if you do that you'll break your leg will not be foolish to look down four steps and say well I'm gonna do it anyway you know what that's exactly what people do when they hear the word of God they listen to the Word of God they say oh yeah I do believe that walk right out and there's something totally opposite now listen carefully it is it is a dangerous thing to listen to the Word of God and then deliberately willfully knowingly disobey God dangerous because whatever man shows he's gonna reap reap forty souls more than it's over later than so we don't like that part just because you're not having a bad time at this point you life and you've been getting you think you've been getting away with sinned you haven't gotten away with it I'll tell you why God loves you too much to let you get by with it he loves you too much for it besides then he would not be being himself God has chosen the very best for those who willing to listen surrender and walk in his ways he's got the best don't look around and compare yourself with somebody else God has a plan for your life he's got the best plan for your life ask yourself this question what am i doing in my life that's watch this carefully what am i doing in my life that's cheating me out of God's best what is it what are you doing that's cheating you out of God's best create your stress and tension and strife tug-a-war in your life what is it in your life that you just can't let go what is it in your life that you want that you don't have what is in your life that you're doing that slam the door on the blessings of God when I think about how awesome loving God is and then people who hear the truth and walk away thinking there are no consequences listen to me carefully if you will listen carefully you'll hear the devil tell you this the devil to say you don't have to believe all that you don't have to believe all that but on this side yawn is saying you're gonna reap what you sow we have a choice and I will say to you it's a dangerous thing to hear the gospel it's very dangerous viddy to listen to the gospel and turn it off walk away because then you're responsible but knowing the truth denying the truth and say no to God it's a dangerous thing to hear the gospel and it's an awesome wonderful thing to hear the gospel it depends upon how you respond how you react let's pray father in Jesus name what a critical moment this is the people seated hearing people who are listening and watching their eternity may hinge upon their decision in this moment Oh God may your love sweep over them may your love surround them and undergird them may they be wise enough to recognize that your God the only true God and you have the best the best plan possible for them from this point on if they're willing to say yes Lord yes yes yes Lord in Jesus name Amen if you've been blessed by today's program please visit us at e in touch leading people worldwide into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and strengthening the local church this program is sponsored by in touch ministries and is made possible by the grace of God and your faithful prayers and gifts