Gain Control Over Me

God helping me, I will readily accept and avail myself of what God has done and is doing.

The sayings of our mouth and the meditation of our heart.

Ps 19:14 – Let the sayings of my mouth, And the meditation of my heart, Be for a pleasing thing before Thee, O Jehovah, my rock, and my redeemer! (YLT)

What do the sayings of your mouth and the meditation of your heart reveal about who you think you are? Are they in agreement with the sayings of the Lord God’s mouth and the meditation of his heart?

Read the words of Scripture slowly and reflectively. Let them settle deep in your soul and take root.

Everything is permitted. Not everything is helpful.

1 Cor 6:12-20 – You say, “For me, everything is permitted”? Maybe, but not everything is helpful. “For me, everything is permitted”? Maybe, but as far as I am concerned, I am not going to let anything gain control over me. “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”? Maybe, but God will put an end to both of them. Anyhow, the body is not meant for sexual immorality [idolatry] but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body. God raised up the Lord, and he will raise us up too by his power.

Don’t you know that your bodies are parts of the Messiah? So, am I to take parts of the Messiah and make them parts of a prostitute [an idolater]? Heaven forbid! Don’t you know that a man who joins himself to a prostitute [an idolator] becomes physically one with her? For [as it is written], “The two will become one flesh”; but the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit. Run from sexual immorality [idolatry]! Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the fornicator [idolater] sins against his own body. Or don’t you know that your body is a temple for the Ruach HaKodesh [Holy Spirit] who lives inside you, whom you received from God? The fact is, you don’t belong to yourselves; for you were bought at a price. So use your bodies to glorify God. (CJB)

What words or thoughts have caught your attention? Why?

“I am not going to let anything gain control over me.”

Does this commitment require discernment to know what is helpful and what is not?

Does this commitment require careful attention to who and what we join ourselves to?

Control.

Are you aware of an ongoing internal jockeying for your attention and alliance by opposing sources of influence? Which one generally wins your allegiance? Consider the following two sources of control.

Rom 6:12 – So, do not let sin control your life here on earth so that you do what your sinful self wants to do. (NCV)

Rom 12:1 – I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. (ESV)

Your body.
Sin controlled.
Living sacrifice.
Your body.
Your life here on earth.
Your spiritual worship.

Sin: a missing of the mark. To veer from the perpendicular, upright position. A change of direction. A principle or source of action, or an inward element producing acts contrary to God’s nature. A governing principle or power, acting through the members of the body or the will. The state or condition producing acts of wrongdoing.1

Sacrifice: the act or the victim, literally or figuratively.2

The living sacrifice.

Ps 69:30-31 – I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving. This will please the Lord more than an ox or a bull with horns and hoofs. (ESV)

Heb 13:10-16 – We have an altar from which those who serve the tent have no right to eat. For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy places by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp. So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. (ESV)

Let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured
Through him then
Let us continually
Offer up a sacrifice of praise to God
Offer up the fruit of lips
That acknowledge his name.

Acknowledge: to assent, i.e. covenant; confess, profess, give thanks, promise; at the same place or time; together; something said, a topic of discourse, reasoning, motive, the Divine Expression, i.e. Christ.3

Offer up the fruit of lips
That acknowledge his name.

Ps 124:8 – Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth. (ESV)

Pause. Listen to the sayings of your mouth and the meditation of your heart.

To what or whom do you regularly yield your various parts?

Rom 6:16-19 – Don’t you know that if you present [yield] yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, then, of the one whom you are obeying, you are slaves — whether of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to being made righteous? By God’s grace, you, who were once slaves to sin, obeyed from your heart the pattern of teaching to which you were exposed; and after you had been set free from sin, you became enslaved to righteousness. (I am using popular language because your human nature is so weak.) For just as you used to offer your various parts as slaves to impurity and lawlessness, which led to more lawlessness; so now offer your various parts as slaves to righteousness, which leads to being made holy, set apart for God. (CJB)

By God’s grace.
Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

By God’s grace
Set free from sin.
By God’s grace
Being made righteous.
By God’s grace
I am not going to let anything gain control over me.
Therefore, by the mercies of God,
I consciously and intentionally present my body as a living sacrifice to him.
My help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

By God’s grace
Being made holy.
By God’s grace
Set apart for God.

There are two states of existence. Our life experience, our state of being, control is shaped by who we entrust our heart and our various parts to moment by moment.

State of lawlessness.
State of being made holy, set apart for God.

God’s grace.

Titus 2:11-14 – For God’s grace, which brings deliverance, has appeared to all people. It teaches us to renounce godlessness and worldly pleasures, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives now, in this age; while continuing to expect the blessed fulfillment of our certain hope, which is the appearing of the Sh’khinah [glory] of our great God and the appearing of our Deliverer, Yeshua the Messiah. He gave himself up on our behalf in order to free us from all violation of Torah and purify for himself a people who would be his own, eager to do good. (CJB)

God’s grace
He has appeared to all people.
God’s grace brings deliverance.
God’s grace teaches us to renounce godlessness and worldly pleasures.
God’s grace teaches us to live self-controlled, upright godly lives now.
God’s grace teaches us to expect the blessed fulfillment of our certain hope.
God’s grace,
The Messiah gave himself up on our behalf to free us from all violation of law.
The Messiah gave himself up on our behalf to purify for himself a people who would be his own,
A people eager to do good.

God’s grace
He has appeared to all people.

Do you know God’s grace?

Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

Read the texts again. Chew upon the words. Turn them over and over in your mind. Ask the Lord God what he wants you to receive from them and how he wants you to respond to them.

Does a word satisfy? Encourage? Convict? Prod? Instruct? Empower? Give hope?

“I am not going to let anything gain control over me.”

Can we accomplish this through an act of our will? Or can we only experience it by letting go of our will as we present our body as a living sacrifice, surrendered to the will of God and his grace, and only then discover complete freedom as we awaken to our real selves?

My help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

Of the Spirit.

Rom 7:14 – For we know that the Torah [Law] is of the Spirit; but as for me, I am bound to the old nature, sold to sin as a slave. (CJB)

Of the Spirit.
Of the old nature.
The Law is of the Spirit.
I am bound to the old nature. A slave to sin.
So how can I keep anything from gaining control over me?

The apostle Paul described this lawless state of being.

Rom 7:15-25 – I don’t understand my own behavior — I don’t do what I want to do; instead, I do the very thing I hate! Now if I am doing what I don’t want to do, I am agreeing that the Torah [Law] is good. But now it is no longer “the real me” doing it, but the sin housed inside me. For I know that there is nothing good housed inside me — that is, inside my old nature. I can want what is good, but I can’t do it! For I don’t do the good I want; instead, the evil that I don’t want is what I do! But if I am doing what “the real me” doesn’t want, it is no longer “the real me” doing it but the sin housed inside me. So I find it to be the rule, a kind of perverse “torah,” that although I want to do what is good, evil is right there with me! For in my inner self I completely agree with God’s Torah; but in my various parts, I see a different “torah,” one that battles with the Torah in my mind and makes me a prisoner of sin’s “torah,” which is operating in my various parts. What a miserable creature I am! Who will rescue me from this body bound for death? Thanks be to God, [he will]! — through Yeshua [Jesus] the Messiah, our Lord! (CJB)

Are you aware of this ongoing internal jockeying for your attention and alliance by opposing sources of influence? Which one generally wins your allegiance?

My inner self, the real me
And my various parts, the sin housed in me, inside my old nature
Are at odds with each other.

What a miserable creature I am!
In my inner self I completely agree with God’s Law.
But in my various parts a different law battles with God’s Law.
Who will rescue me from this body bound for death?
Who will rescue me from the sin housed inside me, inside my old nature?
Who will help me to not let anything gain control over me?
Who will empower me to do what is good as I want to do?

Thanks be to God, he will!
Through Jesus the Messiah, our Lord!

O Lord, I am your servant

Ps 116:16-17 – O Lord, I am your servant; I am your servant, the son [daughter] of your maidservant. You have loosed my bonds. I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the Lord. (ESV)

O Lord, I know who I am! I am your servant. You have loosed the bonds of my old nature. Joined with you, no one and nothing can gain control over me.

Thank God! He will rescue me through Jesus the Messiah, our Lord!

Who are you? Whose are you?
O Lord!
O Lord, I am your servant.

My inner self.

Rom 12:1 – So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life — your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life — and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. (MSG)

God helping you,
Embrace, readily accept and avail yourself, of what God has done and is doing for you.

Follow the psalmist David’s example:

Ps 40:1-4 – I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord. Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie! (ESV)

Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust.

His trust: a refuge, security, assurance, confidence.4

Praise the Lord.

Ps 117 – Praise the Lord, all nations! Extol him, all peoples! For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord! (ESV)

Read the texts again, setting aside your own thoughts, perceptions, judgments, your own agenda to allow response to the words of the Lord God to rise from your inner depths. What do you discover?

 

But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand. (Job 32:8 ESV)

Become aware of your breath. The breath of the Almighty in you.

Breath by breath. Become conscious of the presence of the Almighty in you. Surrender to the influence of the breath of the Almighty.

Inhale.
Exhale.

You must rely on the breath of the Almighty, the Spirit of God who lives inside you, to make you understand Gods words, to discern the thoughts and intentions of your heart, to seek the interests of Jesus Christ and not your own.

With your inhalation draw the words of the Lord God deep within you.

With your exhalation empty yourself of all your own ideas, plans, thoughts, imaginations and words to make room for the words of God to take possession. Open yourself completely to what the Lord God wants to reveal to you about yourself and about him.

Rom 12:1 – So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life — your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life — and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. (MSG)

Inhale: (draw the words of the Lord God deep within you)

I place my everyday, ordinary life before you, Lord God

Exhale. (empty yourself of self to allow the words of God to take possession)

I embrace what you do for me.

My inner self.
Of the Spirit.

Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, his security, his confidence,
Being transformed from within through Jesus the Messiah, our Lord.

God’s grace
He has appeared to all people.

Wait, watch, listen, be still, be willing for the Lord God to transform you from within, revealing who you really are. Strive and reach for the goal, alive to the energy that he powerfully works in you as you rest, completely dependent upon him to reach the goal, united with the Messiah.

Inhale.
Exhale.
Breathe the Lord God’s words all day every day.

2 Peter 3:18 – But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (ESV)

*****

Resources/For deeper study:

1SIN. A. Nouns. 1. hamartia (<START GREEK>a(marti/a<END GREEK>, NT:266) is, lit., “a missing of the mark,” but this etymological meaning is largely lost sight of in the NT. It is the most comprehensive term for moral obliquity. It is used of “sin” as (a) a principle or source of action, or an inward element producing acts, e. g., Rom 3:9; 5:12,13,20; 6:1,2; 7:7 (abstract for concrete); 7:8 (twice), 9,11,13, “sin, that it might be shown to be sin,” i. e., “sin became death to me, that it might be exposed in its heinous character”: in the last clause, “sin might become exceeding sinful,” i. e., through the holiness of the Law, the true nature of sin was designed to be manifested to the conscience;

(b) a governing principle or power, e. g., Rom 6:6, “(the body) of sin,” here “sin” is spoken of as an organized power, acting through the members of the body, though the seat of “sin” is in the will (the body is the organic instrument); in the next clause, and in other passages, as follows, this governing principle is personified, e. g., Rom 5:21; 6:12,14,17; 7:11,14,17,20,23,25; 8:2; 1 Cor 15:56; Heb 3:13; 11:25; 12:4; James 1:15 (2 nd part);

(c) a generic term (distinct from specific terms such as No. 2 yet sometimes inclusive of concrete wrong doing, e. g., John 8:21,34,46; 9:41; 15:22,24; 19:11); in Rom 8:3, “God, sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh,” lit., “flesh of sin,” the flesh stands for the body, the instrument of indwelling “sin” [Christ, preexistently the Son of God, assumed human flesh, “of the substance of the Virgin Mary”; the reality of incarnation was His, without taint of sin (for homoioma, “likeness,” see LIKENESS)], and as an offering for sin,” i. e., “a sin offering” (so the Sept., e. g., in Lev 4:32; 5:6,7,8,9), “condemned sin in the flesh,” i. e., Christ, having taken human nature, “sin” apart Heb 4:15, and having lived a sinless life, died under the condemnation and judgment due to our “sin”; for the generic sense see further, e. g., Heb 9:26; 10:6,8,18; 13:11; 1 John 1:7,8; 3:4 (1 st part; in the 2 nd part, “sin” is defined as “lawlessness,” RV), 8,9; in these verses the KJV use of the verb to commit is misleading; not the committal of an act is in view, but a continuous course of “sin,” as indicated by the RV, “doeth.” The apostle’s use of the present tense of poieo, “to do,” virtually expresses the meaning of prasso, “to practice,” which John does not use (it is not infrequent in this sense in Paul’s Epp., e. g., Rom 1:32, RV; 2:1; 5:21; 4:9); 1 Peter 4:1 (singular in the best texts), lit., “has been made to cease from sin,” i. e., as a result of suffering in the flesh, the mortifying of our members, and of obedience to a Savior who suffered in flesh. Such no longer lives in the flesh, “to the lusts of men, but to the will of God”; sometimes the word is used as virtually equivalent to a condition of “sin,” e. g., John 1:29, “the sin (not sins) of the world”; 1 Cor 15:17; or a course of “sin,” characterized by continuous acts, e. g., 1 Thess 2:16; in 1 John 5:16 (2 nd part) the RV marg., is probably to be preferred, “there is sin unto death,” not a special act of “sin,” but the state or condition producing acts; in v. 17, “all unrighteousness is sin” is not a definition of “sin” (as in 3:4), it gives a specification of the term in its generic sense;

  1. hamartema (<START GREEK>a(ma/rthma<END GREEK>, NT:265), akin to No. 1, denotes “an act of disobedience to divine law” [as distinct from No. 1 (a), (b), (c)]; plural in Mark 3:28; Rom 3:25; 2 Peter 1:9, in some texts; sing. in Mark 3:29 (some mss. have krisis, KJV, “damnation”); 1 Cor 6:18.

Notes: (1) For paraptoma, rendered “sins” in the KJV in Eph 1:7; 2:5; Col 2:13 (RV, “trespass”), see TRESPASS. In James 5:16, the best texts have No. 1 (RV, “sins”). (2) For synonymous terms see DISOBEDIENCE, ERROR, FAULT, INIQUITY, TRANSGRESSION, UNGODLINESS.

(from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)

2Sacrifice: NT:2378 <START GREEK>qusi/a<END GREEK> thusia (thoo-see’-ah); from NT:2380; sacrifice (the act or the victim, literally or figuratively): KJV – sacrifice. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

3Acknowledge: NT:3670 <START GREEK>o(mologe/w<END GREEK> homologeo (hom-ol-og-eh’-o); from a compound of the base of NT:3674 and NT:3056; to assent, i.e. covenant, acknowledge: KJV – con- (pro-) fess, confession is made, give thanks, promise.

NT:3674 <START GREEK>o(mou=<END GREEK> homou (hom-oo’); genitive case of homos (the same; akin to NT:260) as adverb; at the same place or time: KJV – together.

NT:3056 <START GREEK>lo/go$ <END GREEK> logos (log’-os); from NT:3004; something said (including the thought); by implication a topic (subject of discourse), also reasoning (the mental faculty) or motive; by extension, a computation; specifically (with the article in John) the Divine Expression (i.e. Christ): KJV – account, cause, communication,  concerning, doctrine, fame,  have to do, intent, matter, mouth, preaching, question, reason,  reckon, remove, say (-ing), shew,  speaker, speech, talk, thing,  none of these things move me, tidings, treatise, utterance, word, work. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

4His trust: OT:4009 <START HEBREW>jf*b=m! <END HEBREW> mibtach (mib-tawkh’); from OT:982; properly, a refuge, i.e. (objective) security, or (subjective) assurance: KJV – confidence, hope, sure, trust.

(Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

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