If I _______________, then I lack self-control
You can fill in the blank. I could make a long list. I was feeling pretty convicted at the Revive 2017 Conference when Mary Kassian gave her talk. It only lasted 20 minutes, but it seemed like an eternity to me, a woman who is trying to hit the mark, but my arrow is falling far short.
A talk earlier that day from Susan Hunt, a dynamo for the cause of Christ, got the ball rolling that God was pitching for a strike against all my idols. I had a lot of pins to knock down that weekend. She was telling me that my whole reason for being here on this planet was to “Glorify God and enjoy Him.” My desire of trying to do everything “right” was clashing with this idea.
I looked in the mirror this morning and didn’t like what I saw. I had too much salt yesterday and too little rest last night and the puffy eyes were the evidence. This is what I see “here” but Susan shared:
2 Corinthians 3:18: “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
I want His glory to be showcased in my life, (who cares what the package looks like, I’ll be trading it in one day.) Susan spoke the truth “We become what we behold.”
I like this mirror image better. The one that reflects the glory of the Lord. How is this even possible?
This brings the two speakers together. Self-control is biblical in the sense that we do have a freewill. We may know what to do, but the follow-through is up to us most times. So how and where do we get the “want to” for follow-through? Susan says it comes from the gospel. “We become what we behold.” Says this wise woman.
The dictionary definition of the word “behold” is “to observe, look at, see.” It is intentional. Imagine our loving Lord, cupping our faces gently with His strong hands and causing us to look at Him for the self-control we need. Beholding causes focus. From reading our Bibles and meditating on Scripture, God speaks to our hearts and ignites a passion to be more than we are, but for Him. To do more than we think possible, but for Him and His glory. Not because we are strong, but because we are weak and weak is a good thing.
Did I mention that Susan Hunt is 77 years old? She knows what she is talking about because this “little old lady” exuded more strength than you can imagine. She lives out the beauty of the gospel and tells it like it is ladies. I wrote in my notes, “Jesus is the story – not us – don’t worry about our story.” When we pray for grace to finish strong, we must finish weak because His power is made perfect in our weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9) She tells us that the sooner we recognize our weakness, the sooner God’s strength can show up. (2 Corinthians 13:4)
I needed a new perspective on self-control. I needed to go to God with my weakness and choose to allow His strength to do those things I procrastinate away. That way He gets the glory for anything I am accomplishing and becoming. And this is so right, because if I boast of being anything apart from His grace I am prideful and a liar. Every single breath is a gift from Him.
It is my prayer that this post encourages you to exercise self-control, but not just so you can accomplish “things.” But so you will acknowledge your weaknesses, give them to Jesus, and become the woman of God that shines His glory and likes what she sees in the mirror that matters.