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Living Free - November 16, 2016

Who Is in Control?


"So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace." - (Romans 8:6 NLT)


When we live behind our defensive wall of anger and isolation, we may think we are being in control, but we actually can be pretty hard to be around. People may feel as if they have to walk on eggshells around us and are likely to stay away from us, reinforcing our isolation.

Galatians 5:22-23 identifies self-control as a fruit of the Holy Spirit. This is not a self-centered kind of control. Rather, it is self-control that flows from the knowledge of who we are in Christ. Seeing the other fruit described in the same passage (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and gentleness) makes it clear that they are all other-centered, not self-centered.


In our misguided attempts to get our lives under control, we often push away people who really care about us . . . allow our feelings to shape our identity . . . and become slaves to a pattern of isolation. True self-control does not take place when "I" am in control but instead when the Holy Spirit is in control.

Sometimes we focus on the symptoms and not the cause of life's problems. If we look at the fruit of the Spirit as something we must work on, we are likely to soon conclude that we can't do it. This kind of godly character develops only as we submit to the Holy Spirit flowing through our life.


Father, so often I try to become a better person on my own. My way. My wants. Help me instead to focus on you, to submit to your way, allowing the Holy Spirit to be in control. In Jesus' name . . .


Understanding Depression: Overcoming Despair through Christ by Donald G. Miles, Ed.D.

This study deals with depression, a condition common throughout the world, and is suggested for use in support groups and Christian counseling.

Understanding what depression is and how it affects relationships
Understanding the relationship between depression and spiritual warfare
Ways to fight depression with scripture, prayer, and mutual support
Understanding the special prayer needs of depressed persons
Bible-based coping skills
How to pray for healing and what to expect
Serves as a powerful evangelistic tool by providing a way to minister to people's felt needs and then lead them to Christ



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Originally published November 16, 2016.