Today’s Bible reading is Numbers 36 and 1 Corinthians 7.
…so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. (1 Cor 7:5)
Your one and only God-given heart is the most precious territory of your existence. From it flow the “springs of life” (Prov 4:23). This precious territory needs to be guarded with vigilance. When passions are at war within our hearts, we quarrel and fight with others (James 4:1). When desires are lured from without and our affections give chase to temptation, sin is born within (James 1:14-15).
It should be no surprise, then, that self-control is a frequent prescription for disciples of Jesus. Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22), a goal of our training in grace (Titus 2:11-12), and a vital supplement for our spiritual health (2 Pet 1:5-6). In its absence, the gateway of the heart is left open to temptation. Without it, we are giving the devil an opportunity (Eph 4:26-27).
In 1 Corinthians 7:37, the apostle Paul provides priceless details for the one who is looking to take this spiritual struggle seriously:
- A “determination” must be made: only One has the rightful authority to reign on the throne of my heart; I’m not him and neither is the devil
- Desire must be brought “under control”; this is the will of my true and rightful King (1 Thes 4:3-5)
- By his grace, with the strength that God supplies, I can be “firmly established” in heart, equipped and alert to “keep” it “with all vigilance”
Your one and only God-given heart is the most precious territory of your existence. What will you do this week to secure it, guard it, and use it as a platform from which to glorify God as your Savior and Lord?