Powerful People

Powerful People

Recap

We have been looking at honour in recent weeks. I have shown you how God has purposed that all His life flows through honour.

Honour is like the pipe work that the blessing flows. They have created an automatic bee hive that has mechanisms that collects the honey from the honeycomb frames and sends it into a pipe which you collect he honey from.

Now if what I have said is true that honour is the pipework that the life of God, the honey drips down through then we need to know with all our being how to position ourselves under the ends of that pipe, to access honour and more than that what keeps the honey flowing out of the pipe.

We looked at the Culture of Honour a few weeks ago. We need to create an ecosystem where honour can exist.

We looked at the three pillars of honour: Love, Freedom, Truth.

Today I want to look some more at one of the essential components within FREEDOM pillar that we touched on, that of control.

The good news is that we need lots of control in order for us to have a happy and successful life.

The bad news is that it is not other people we need to control in order for us to have the culture of honour. We need something the Bible calls “self control”.

It is one of the fruits of the Spirit

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.
Galatians 5:22,23

 

The Least Favourite Fruit: Self Control

Self control seems to be our least favourite fruit. We like the love fruit, we like the joy fruit, the kindness, patience, fruit, the goodness fruit, and the gentleness fruit. Self control is a bit like tomatoes. People dislike tomatoes so much that they don’t call them a fruit.

Christians dislike the idea of self control so much that we play spiritual tennis with God with it:

ME: “Well you know God I don’t have full control of my actions because I am a sinner and as a sinner I am possessed by a sin nature that controls my being. So I am not responsible for my actions.”
GOD: “Well you know my child, when you got born again, I forgave you of your sins past present and future, and more than this, I killed your sin nature and hardwired you with the same nature Jesus has which is orientated to do my will. This means that your natural inclination is to want to do my will. Following my will is easy for you”

ME: “God, I surrender my all to you. Be in-charge of me.” 
GOD: “Thank you my child for surrendering to me. I am happy to be your King. But I have not interest in controlling you or for you to be my robot. After all, it was for freedom that Christ set you free, no longer to be subject to a yoke of slavery. That yoke of slavery includes me my child. I have no desire to control you. You control you” 

ME: “God, it is not much fun exercising self control. Life feels so scary when I have to be self responsible. God you know you’d rather show me what you want me to do with my life. I’ll do whatever you want me to do. Please tell me.”
God: “My child I did not hardwire you with the Spirit of Stupid but the Mind of Christ. What is on your heart for your life? What are you passionate about? When you do those things you fulfill my destiny for your life. I trust the ME in you! And by the way, when you stray from that path, my peace indicator will start flashing… And if you keep by some chance ignoring my will, look out for the talking donkey.”

ME: “God, “I can’t” is my very favourite thing I like to say.”
God: “My child, so what are you going to do about that? What is it that you have tried? What else could you try?”

ME: “God, you know my struggles in life are because I am a victim of my spouse. They made me do it.”
God: “My child, I know life gets hard sometimes, but you the only one responsible for your actions and your behaviour is you. You are powerful. You have the capacity to keep your love on regardless of how another person is treating you.” 

 

Definition of Self Control

Self control is not simply the ability to say no to sin, it is me being able to self determine my responses.
Self control gives you the power of choice.

 

WHY WE ARE FREE

1. Our Old nature has died

Jesus death removed the sting of sin.

Jesus said that everyone who sins is a slave to sin (John 8:34).

Yet, Jesus died so we would no longer be controlled by sin.

This is why John the Baptist said that the “Lamb of God took away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

2. You got Jesus’ righteousness

For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!
Romans 5:17

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 5:21 

Righteousness, according to these verses is a gift. A gift is something that is given not earned nor maintained.

Your status is that you are the righteousness of God.

What you do doesn’t affect this status. You can live below this status. You can’t even mar it.,It will never change. 

When God looks at us, He cannot see anything wrong, only what is missing… He does not deal with our fear, He comes as perfect love and overwhelms fear. In our anxiety, He offers a new place of rest and renewal instead. In our worry, He focuses only on our fresh revelation of peace.

God does not help us work on our anger because it is dead; instead He empowers us to become gentle. He displaces irritation with patience, bitterness with gratitude, and turns sorrow into joy.

The old has passed away, and He is only working on the new, real and true us in Jesus.

Graham Cooke

A sin doesn’t change your identity:

  • If you got drunk it doesn’t make you a drunk. You are a righteous person who chose to drink to access.
  • If you got angry if doesn’t make you an angry person. You are a righteous person who responded in anger.

It is not that these sins don’t matter. Part of being powerful is that we take personal responsibility for our actions and we clean up our mess. However, it doesn’t change our status.

3. Jesus killed the flesh

18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me.22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Romans 7:18-25

Paul says 47 times in chapters 5,6,7 of Romans that God killed you and your old nature.

He is not trying to restore your old man, He killed it and He made you a new man. He tore down the old house and He made you a new house… You don’t have that house anymore. God ploughed it over and built a new one…Kris Vallotton

If you had an old nature in you battling against your new nature that only goes away when you die, then death, not Jesus is your saviour.

I used to feel so defeated believing I had an old nature in me. Because I believed I had the old nature living in me I sinned by faith. If you are controlled by outside forces then your decisions are not truly your own.

Romans 6:12,14 it says:

12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. … 14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.
Romans 6:12,14

“Do not,” implies a choice.

We are not victims as we once were.

If a believer sins it is because we chose to.

Listen to this:

No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. (1 John 3:9)

This verse tells you that sin is totally incompatible with who we are, and it’s the last thing we want to do:

For the rest of our lives, we’ll continue to prove our new birth, one way or another. We’ll prove it by expressing Christ and being fulfilled, or by sinning and being miserable.
Dr Andrew Farley

We are free to choose because our old nature has been killed.

Sinning re-enslaves us to sin

When we sin we give sin authority in our lives to someone else. When we choose to lust, lie, rage, we give up our self control and hand control over to the enemy of our soul.

That’s why Romans 6:16 says:

Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?

Notice that it is only when you offer yourself to someone that you become their slave. This implies you were not prior to the offering. This means that you can re-enslave yourself as a Christian to Satan.

If you remove the sin and Satan no longer has control over you in your life.

Jesus is the only one that removes sin. How does that happen. Repentance.

“Re” means to go back. “Pent” is like the penthouse, the top floor of a building. Repent, then, means to go back to God’s perspective on reality.
Bill Johnson

Most people who when they have done something wrong, tell God what they have done wrong and apologize for it – I am really sorry for what they did and they they say they repent.

God is not so much interested in your sorry or apology! In fact you have been pre-forgiven for everything you have ever done before. He is more interested in your repentance. He wants your repentance and He wants to know what you are repenting of? 

Repentance is to do with a change of mind not a change of heart.

Repentance is the Greek word, “metanoia.”

Strongs: a change of mind, as it appears to one who repents, of a purpose he has formed or of something he has done

You sinned because you believed something wrong! The Devil strung you a lie. When you embraced that lie it caused you to sin.

“Eat this and you will get this…” “Do this and no one is looking…”

Until you know what you are repenting of you are doomed to repeat the same sin over an over again.

Once you know what it is that you embraced you need to repent of the lie.

Then you can receive His forgiveness.

We also need the cleaning of our conscience.

The conscience is a spiritual organ within us that the Holy Spirit speaks to when He convicts us of sin. Our sin stains our conscience and only blood can please our conscience of this stain.
Jonathan Welton

How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!
Hebrews 9:14

How to exercise Self Control

Jesus killed all powerlessness in the New Birth by destroying the power of sin, forgiving us, and giving us His new nature.

This is why in Galatians 5:1,13 it says,

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.

We can choose to exercise self control as a believer to follow God. Self control looks like:

Decision >>> Self Control >>> Holy Action 

Imagine if we had a slow motion camera and could slow down the process of Christian self control what would it look like?

For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!
Romans 5:17

I want to show you that God’s grace empowers us to do self control.

Grace has commonly defined as God’s unmerited favour and love. But grace’s function in the life of a believer is that it empowers a believer to live victoriously.

God’s grace partners with the gift of the Holy Spirit living in us which produces self control.

He said to me, “Son of man, stand up on your feet and I will speak to you.”As he spoke, the Spirit came into me and raised me to my feet, and I heard him speaking to me.
Ezekiel 2:1-2

God told Ezekiel to stand up, the next thing that happened was that Holy Spirit stood Ezekiel up. Previous to this instruction Ezekiel was involuntarily laying prostrated before the Lord unable to move. The Lord gave Ezekiel the power to fulfil His command to stand up. That is grace. And we see grace play out in similar ways through scripture. God commands us to do the impossible in healing the sick.

If we do not understand that self-control is empowered by the grace of God then we will try to control our flesh by the strength of our flesh and it will fail. God’s grace empowers us to walk in any fruit of the Spirit including self-control.

Decision >>> Self-Self Control >>> Frustration

What Is Grace?

Before salvation, grace is typically defined as “unmerited favour.”

After Salvation: What Does Grace Do? In the New Testament, grace is frequently demonstrated as the power and ability to do God’s will.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
2 Corinthians 12:9

“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Hebrews 4:16

“Grace: Everything you need to do God’s will.” Jimmy Evans 

“Grace comes with an inbuilt ability to obey what was commanded.” Bill Johnson 

“God’s grace is His divine favour toward us, and it gives us the desire and power to do His will.” Bill Gothard 

“Grace is God’s power given to us to enable us to do with ease what we could never do with any amount of struggle or effort.” Joyce Meyer 

Grace helps us during our time of need, empowering us to do God’s will. 

How Do We Get Grace?

Decision >>> Surrender >>> Grace >>> Self Control >>> Holy Action

Grace is a gift, but we appropriate it when we humble ourselves:

“God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
James 4:6–7

Pride is saying, “I will do things my way.” Humility is saying, “God, I will do things your way.”

Grace keeps us relational, moment by moment.

Here is the key. Yielding to the command activates grace in our lives. This is why James 1:21 says, “… humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.” Salvation’s ability is in the Word.

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