I have come to realize more and more that I really can't control myself.
There. I said it. =)
It seems that the more that I try to control myself the more I find my mind wandering, words slipping out that are anything but graceful, my eyes rolling...I find that my attitude sort of disintegrates when I'm trying to be in control.
2 Corinthians 11:3 says, "But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ."
So often I find my thoughts dwelling on things that are not of Christ. Most of the time I'm not thinking of things that are really "sinful," but when they are taking a higher priority in my life than Christ, they become sinful. My thoughts are constantly being, "led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ." Webster's New World College Dictionary defines "Pure" as, "free from any adulterant; unmixed." The "unmixed" really got me, what would unmixed devotion to Christ look like? Oh, it would be glorious! To have thoughts, dreams, desires, aspirations, words, actions that all show an unmixed devotion to Christ would be...Is there an adjective that could describe that kind of beauty?
A dear friend and I have been praying over the phone together nearly every day for the past few months and I have found that the more she prays the Armor of God and the Fruit of the Spirit over me the less I think of things that I ought not, the less I say things that I end up regretting and the less I have a bad attitude in general. I won't lie, I still have a horrid attitude far more than I wish to admit, but it's getting better, and I know it's not me.
I certainly don't believe that we are God's little puppets, but I do believe that without Him we don't have the strength to accomplish just about anything meaningful and lasting.
John 14:16 says, "And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever." Isn't that amazing? The Lord knows so well that we are not strong enough or wise enough to be able to do much at all by ourselves, so He gave us a helper, the Holy Spirit, to live with us and guide us.
He wouldn't command us to, "Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil," ( Ephesians 6:11) if there was no way for us to do that. He gave us the Holy Spirit, our "Helper," so that we can, "Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." (Ephesians 6:14-17)
He is who surrounds us with His truth. He is who covers our hearts with His Righteousness. He is who protects our feet, makes them ready for everything that He calls us to do and gives us His all encompassing peace. He is who makes our faith strong enough to, "extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one." He is who protects our thoughts, our words, and the things that we hear and see with His glorious salvation. He is who gives us His word and trains us to use it for His glory. We can do nothing without Him, and we can do anything with Him.
I do not have the strength, the will-power, the wisdom, the...ummm, anything to protect myself from the evil one, much less fight back. Oh, but He does!
For so long I have lived in fear of giving up control. Now I realize that I didn't really have much control over anything anyway. Now I am filled with awe and wonder and joy at the thought that the God who created the universe, the God who created microorganisms and black holes in outer space is the same God who is my helper.
So, I don't have to control myself, I simply have to let Him control me, to work through me. Somehow surrendering non-existent power isn't as hard as I used to think it would be. =)
Over and out,
P.S. I know, I changed the blog again...I'm still in the process of a re-design, but it should be done soon and then I'll let it be for awhile =)