1 Peter 5:8 - Be sober-minded;be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
Proverbs 25:28 - A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.
Ephesians 6:10-11 -Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.Put on the full armor of God,so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
Galatians 5:16,22-23 - But I say,walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience,kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness,self-control.
A team’s defensive core is often referred to as their ‘blue line’ – a reference to the zone line where the defensemen often position themselves. It’s hard to overstate the importance of a good defensive core – as the saying goes ‘offense wins games, defense wins championships’. You won’t succeed in hockey if your team doesn’t have solid defense. In the same way, it’s hard to have a strong faith or successful relationship with the Lord if you don’t have any defense.
Just as in hockey where we have an opponent trying to break through our defenses, in our faith we have an enemy who is looking to break through our defense and tear us down (1 Peter 5:8). A strong defense in our faith is putting on the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) and being filled with the Holy Spirit so that we exhibit the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) – mainly the last one self-control.
Proverbs 25:28 says a man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls. Walls were a means of defense, built to keep intruders out. Without the walls, anyone can come and in have their way in the city. Perhaps if written to hockey players the proverb would say ‘a man without self-control is like a team without any blueliners, unable to stop the opponent from scoring’. It makes for a very frustrating game when the opponent can walk into the offensive zone, control the puck at will, and unload on the keeper (goalie). Life can be very frustrating when we have no self-control, and our enemy has ability to unload shots at us – to tempt us into the lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, and the boastful pride of life (1 John 2:16).
It can be disheartening to play against a team with amazing defense – to bring your best play against them and not be able to crack through. With every goal they score, you wonder if you will be able to get back into the game. This is how I want my enemy to feel. The power of our defense does not come from our own strength – but rather from Jesus Christ. I find it interesting that self-control comes from the Holy Spirit – not from self as the name seems to imply. It’s the Spirit given ability to control ourselves.
A man without self-control is like a city without walls, or a team without a blue line – but a man with self-control is like a city with high, fortified walls, or a team full of all-star defensemen. Which one are you?
How strong is your ‘blue line’?
How can you grow in self-control and the other fruits of the Spirit?
For additional reading – 2 Corinthians 10:3-6, 1 Corinthians 16:13, Romans 13:12-14
Posted on Tue, December 17, 2013
by Todd Lohstreter filed under