I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)
I woke up one-morning feeling disappointed in myself. Like other times it was an "after the fact" situation. For those who may not understand that terminology, it's when you do something at the moment to gratify the flesh and then regret that you did after the fact, whether it be immediately or sometime later.
I am a sucker for a good Southern TLC from Zaxby's. There have been many times I would consciously push beyond the feeling that tells me not to go. It would be for several reasons. I could hear my conscious speaking, "You have food at home." "This money could be put to better use." It's too late to be eating greasy fried food." Although my conscience presented such valuable arguments, I found the will power to suppress the feelings of caution and justifying my need for the quick fix. So yes, this is why I felt so bummed and sluggish the next morning.
An "after the fact" moment often occurs when we display a lack of self-control (restraint exercised over one's impulses, emotions, or desires). Several "after the fact" moments combined seamlessly thread together and create a sticky web of regret.
So how do we get past this struggle? How do we strengthen this area of self-control? Because Lord knows the lack thereof can take its toll and affect our lives negatively, and that's not what God desires for us.
Proverbs 25:28 says that a man without self-control, who has no rule over his spirit is like a city broken down, left without walls. [ESV and NKJV]. I love how the Message Bible translates it, "A person without self-control is like a house with its doors and windows knocked out."
One of Satan's methods of destruction is temptation. So when we lack self-control, it gives open access for him to our hearts and minds, which explains the guilty feelings that come and leave a trail of negative thoughts. I know for myself there are times I have played the scenario in my mind over and over. With each cycle, I beat myself up even more. Instead of shaking it off, repenting, forgiving myself, and work towards a resolution, I re-live the moment, which prevents me from living in the present moment.
Eating unhealthy is one area that I struggled. I often have cravings for greasy food, sugar, and caffeine. I enjoy it at the moment, although none of whichever leaves me feeling good. Unfortunately eating unhealthy is not the only area. I have displayed a lack of self-control and experienced hardship regarding my spiritual life, finances, and my purpose. I've wondered many times if I would ever conquer this struggle.
The answer is yes because I know that my Heavenly Father has already established my victory concerning this. The Word of God reminds me that God did not give me the spirit of fear. He gave me a spirit of power, love, and sound mind [2 Timothy 1:7]. The Word of God reminds me that I can do all things through Christ, who is my strength [Philippians 4:13]. So with confidence, I will hold tightly without wavering to the hope that I affirm [Hebrew 10:23]!
Jesus is the Way, Truth, and Life, and when we connect to Him, we received the divine guidance and strength to overcome the snares of the enemy. When I connect to the word of God, allow it to take root in my heart, and to be a lamp unto my feet and light unto my path, it produces Godly wisdom. No, all of this won't keep Satan from his attempt to tempt me, but it does give me weapons to fight effectively.
I want to encourage you. Your struggle is not too big for God. But I must add that there has to be a willingness to surrender. We have to make Him Lord over our lives. We have to let Jesus sit on the throne of our hearts. Invite Him in. Whether you are receiving Jesus as your Lord and Savior for the first time or need to rededicate your life to Him, stop at this moment and take a minute to pray this prayer.
Heavenly Father, I come to You in the name of Jesus. You said in Your Word that whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10:13) I believe Jesus died on the cross for my sins, that He rose from the dead, and He's alive right now. Jesus, come into my heart. I repent of my sins and surrender myself totally and completely to You. By faith, I now confess Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Now teach me to love you with all my heart, to love others in a manner that aligns with your word, and to put away my self-gratifying, sinful way of living. Today I receive Your love and your guidance. In Jesus' name, Amen!