God wants our longings to be fulfilled in Him, because He wants us to have joy—not passing pleasure in temporary things. Joy! In Christ!
Why do I so often turn to cheap substitutes that only last a moment when His lovingkindness is forever? How could I forget His goodness to me? Perhaps because it’s hard for me to wrap my mind around the depth of God’s love. Could the God of the universe really care enough for me to shower me with His favor and joy, and grant to me not just a moment of pardon in His presence, but a place in His kingdom for all eternity?
In the presence of Jesus is fullness of JOY!
Realizations like this one make me want to burst out in rejoicing with Paul, "Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!"
But before I float away on cloud nine, I must confess, this might be my frame of mind some mornings when I first wake up, but usually not at the end of a long, trying day! (Somehow it's always in those evening hours when it seems the world is coming to an end, am I right?) When I let my emotions control me instead of me controlling my emotions, I open myself up to enemy attack. It is then that I am most vulnerable to temptation.
In other words, I've lost control.
And you know what else I've lost? Joy. Because a lack of self-control leads to wrong decisions, revealing that I've lost sight of Jesus, in whose presence is fullness of joy.
New concept? I didn't discover this on my own. Mary Kassian and Nancy Leigh DeMoss point out in the following True Woman 201 video clip why, contrary to popular opinion, Scripture teaches that reining in our fleshly desires and appetites is not unjust deprivation, but the key to freedom and joy.
Did you catch where self-control comes from? Mary says it at 0:17—it’s a gift from God given to us “through the power of His Holy Spirit” (Gal. 5:23). This understanding is crucial to our ability to cultivate self-control, because if we don’t have God’s Spirit within us, we will fail every time. But the good news is,
"[God’s] divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence"(2 Peter 1:3).
These are some great thoughts to chew on. (Not a bad substitute for that bag of chips, eh?) To dive deeper into this study on self-control (and nine other elements of biblical womanhood), visit TrueWoman201.com, and get your copy of True Woman 201: Interior Design.