Last November, I started this blog by fasting and studying the book of Nehemiah. I felt lead by God to fast while studying Nehemiah which was confirmed when a good friend told me that she was feeling lead to fast. I began writing this blog so she and two other friends that were praying for me could follow along with me in Nehemiah. At that time, I had no idea that I would continue blogging through my personal Bible study; however, what I found was that my study deepened because I wanted to make sure what I was putting out on the internet was biblically sound and so I would research further than I would have if I just read through the Bible. I believe that whole process was a result of a prayer where I asked God to stretch me and make me hungry for His Word in a whole new way. Nehemiah was significant because I was praying for my broken family of my childhood, but what I found was that I was rebuilding and repairing some spiritual walls that I had let go into disrepair as a result of poor self control with spiritual disciplines. Please look up Proverbs 25:28.
In our society, walls have been given a bad name because we talk of putting up walls that keep us from interacting with others. We put up high privacy fences around our yards which would be a literal wall, or we can build up figurative walls that keep us from emotionally getting hurt. However, when you look at the use of city walls in biblical times, they were a form of protection from attack. The bigger and stronger the wall around a city was, the less likely the city would fall into the control of an outside force. God views self control so important, He tells us that we are like a city with broken walls if we do not exercise self control. The consequences of a lack of self control can be obvious such as gaining weight from eating foods that are not healthy; they can also be harder to see on the surface such as having a weak spiritual walk as a result of not reading the Bible. Either way, we are weakening our defenses when we lack self control. Please look up Ephesians 6:10-18 and see where we need to be exercising self control to build up our defenses.
Without going into every piece of the Armor of God in this post, you can read through this section of scripture and see that each and every piece that we put on requires an act of self control. Just like soldiers practice drills every day so when there is an attack they are ready; we are to practice every day (even in peaceful times) so we are ready for attacks. It is only through self control that we learn to lean on God’s strength and wisdom and it is only through self control that we will experience consistent growth in our walk with God. What helped me exercise self control was having a spiritual friendship that pushed me and challenged me to remain consistent. My friend prays with me and for me as I do for her which Paul points out is so important in verse 18. If you read on in verse 19, you can see a personal request for prayer that Paul has; he knew that he needed God’s help for the task that was given to him.
Are your spiritual walls torn down? Where do you need to exercise more self control to build up your defenses? Do you have someone praying for you?