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Mon, May. 2nd, 2005, 08:43 am
lil_blue_monkey: Practicing His Presence

1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified

The Bible shows us that self-control is the crowning Fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22). Without this Fruit, a believer has little chance to really experience the blessings of God. But this Fruit doesn’t just appear as a natural trait. Devine discipline requires a purposeful action to receive the Holy Spirit’s power.

This discipline must be applied to both our outward behaviors and inward feelings. Psalms 19:24 says our words and actions as well as thoughts and passions must be acceptable to God. A believer’s disciplined life involves a genuine, personal commitment to obey God’s laws. This life frequently requires lifestyle changes.

A big help for me in obtaining self-control has been my accountability partner. She and I are honest with each other, as we should be with God, about our temptations and feelings. When we feel we might be doing something God would not approve of, we call the other one and talk about it. And, every so often, we ask each other how our struggle with that temptation or problem is going. I know that, even if I have faltered on that temptation, I can tell her. She accepts that I am human and will not always make the best choices, but she also knows one way to keep me from those mistakes is to pray for me and have unconditional love for me as God would. Just because I don’t keep away from unacceptable things 100% of the time doesn’t mean she will give up on me and quit loving me. As Christians, we should always be there to support each other with acceptance, affirmation and accountability to help other believers grow.