The Struggle is Real

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The Struggle is Real

So you’re at your favorite restaurant, trying to decide if you want a cheeseburger (with fries) or a salad.
What will it be?
The cheeseburger and fries sound so good but you know you should behave and have salad. Maybe you feel like Paul in Romans 7:21-23… “It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, [my flesh] take[s] charge. {MSG}
This is a conundrum for all of us at times: combatting our flesh.
#thestruggleisreal 
Today, we’ll take a look at the third part of our three-part being, our body. The body is the “temple of the Holy Spirit {1 Cor. 6:19} and is connected to our flesh (habits, behaviors, actions). In Scripture, we are told to “crucify our flesh” {Gal. 5:24} and not live “according to the flesh” {Rom. 8:13}. To do this, we must cultivate self-control.
Self-control is described in Merriam Webster’s Dictionary as the restraint exercised over one’s own impulses, emotions or desires.
So how do we practice this “restraint?”
When my children were very young, I began thinking one day, What kind of example do I want to exhibit for them? What am I doing or saying that I do not want them to emulate?
Those thoughts were sobering! You see, I had become backsliden in college and had carried my lack of self-control into the early days of my marriage. It was time for me to grow-up and become what God intended for me to be! And most importantly, I wanted them to walk in His perfect will.
“It is the Spirit Who gives life [He is the Life-giver]; the flesh conveys no benefit whatsoever [there is no profit in it]. The words (truths) that I have been speaking to you are spirit and life.” {‭John‬ ‭6‬:‭63‬ AMP}
There was no benefit in my four-letter words and certainly not for those tiny little lives that the Lord placed in our care. And God was definitely speaking to me about it.
I got on my knees one day and asked Him to change me, to teach me how to control my tongue and my actions. At first it wasn’t easy, but as I continued to read, study and confess the Word, it became easier because my mind was being renewed by what I was reading and saying.
My spirit had taken control of my words and brought life into my household. I never even think about cursing to this day because my spirit is in control. The same thing has happened in other areas of my life, but I’m still a work in progress. Everyday is another step towards bringing my thoughts and actions into submission to Him. 
So how do we start down the path of self control, from taming our tongue to eating the right foods, or controlling our budget? 
1) Ask the Lord to help you. Ask Him to show you the root of the struggle and to satisfy those empty places that your flesh is trying to fill.
2) Find scriptures that speak life to you about your particular struggle.
3) Copy them on a 3×5 card and keep them in front of you, memorizing them in the process.
4) Each time your flesh rises up, speak your scripture over that temptation and invite the Lord into those broken places.
5) Repeat all of the above until your flesh is in obedience to the Word and your heart is overflowing with that Word.
And finally, remember that when we do give in to our flesh and mess up, there’s no condemnation in Christ. God’s grace is always big enough to turn us around and set us back on the right path. (a.k.a. we all had cheeseburgers yesterday)
The struggle is real. But it’s a fight you’re sure to win!
xo,
Brenda
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