God Control

Devotional material is taken from Today With The King, written by Robert A. Cook. Copyright © 2017. All rights reserved. Used with written permission.

Add to your faith...temperance. (2 Peter 1:6) Read also 2 Peter 1:8.

We usually associate temperance with abstinence from alcoholic beverages or with some other form of self-control. While that is not totally inaccurate, it seems to me that a truer assessment of what temperance is all about lies in the concept of *inner strength.* We*ve all heard the expression, *He lost his temper.* Or, *Hold your temper!* It derives from the process whereby steel is tempered, or toughened, by heating and working it until it has the proper degree of hardness. This is the kind of inner strength and toughness that God produces in us by faith.

Paul prayed for his friends at Ephesus that they might be *strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man* (Eph. 3:16). Indeed, scriptural temperance, as I understand it, is not self-control, but rather God-control. It involves our bringing to Him every area of our lives that needs changing. Then we must start trusting Him to change each defeat into victory. And He will! Another important dimension of temperance is its moderating aspect, illustrated in the maxim, *Justice should be tempered with mercy.* Perhaps you*ve experienced this firsthand in a situation where you have let someone *off the hook* rather than exact your full *pound of flesh.* How wonderful that God by His blessed Holy Spirit is building our inner strength as well as our capacity to temper justice with mercy in dealing with others.

Small thought here. God may not always change your circumstances in answer to prayer, but He will change you--in the circumstances--and make you a victor instead of a victim. That*s true temperance!

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