Daily Reading & Prayer
Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
It is just six days into the new year, and it’s possible you've already wrestled with a lack of love, felt sadness, lost your peace, or found yourself impatient or angry. Self-control—now that's a tough nut to crack. How many times have we battled bad habits or struggled with our attitudes or mindsets? We promise to do better, seek accountability, yet deep down, changing seems like an uphill climb. We talk, we plan, we read self-help books, but those internal struggles persist.
On a fateful night in 1871, Mrs. O’Leary simply lit a lamp in her barn to milk her cow. That small act unleashed the devastating Chicago fire. The cow kicked over a lantern, and flames from its burning wick spread quickly throughout the barn as strong winds fanned them. The fire raged for more than 24 hours, wiping out the central business district of the great city of Chicago, and destroying 17,450 buildings in an area covering three and one-half square miles. At least 300 people were killed, and another 90,000 were left homeless.
Fire, when tamed, serves us well in homes and factories. But when it rages out of control, it wreaks havoc. It's a reminder that harnessing our God-given energy—whether mental, physical, emotional, or spiritual—requires careful control.
That's where the Holy Spirit comes in. Enkrateia, the original Greek word for "self-control," embodies the mastery over oneself. It's about ruling ourselves under the Spirit's guidance. Surrendering control to him fosters self-discipline—the fruit of the Spirit.
The focus isn't just about exerting effort; it's about surrender, living each moment, trusting in the Lord's guidance rather than relying solely on ourselves. When we hand over the reins to the Spirit, that's where true self-discipline blossoms. We can't read enough, study enough, try enough to bring true change. It is all about surrender and allowing God to take control as we listen to him and follow his instructions.
Surrender your areas of struggle to God. Read James 1:5. Set small, achievable goals to develop discipline. Whether it’s in managing time, resisting temptations, or controlling reactions, use Scriptures like 2 Timothy 1:7 and Titus 2:11-12 to guide you.
Heavenly Father, I know I face struggles controlling my emotions, thoughts, and actions sometimes. I surrender these to you. Help me discern areas that need discipline and give me wisdom and guidance through your Word. Give me the perseverance to set achievable goals and the wisdom to seek accountability. In Jesus' name. Amen.