North Santa Rosa

Living with Purpose

     There is a right solution to every conceivable problem in life. Christianity teaches that in all the difficulties, problems, and circumstances of this life God is nearer than you might think. Many times the struggle to win in life is the struggle to win over self. There’s an old saying, “He did it to himself.” It’s part of our human nature. There is within us a part that always wants to make self the center of its own universe. In this selfish way, we try to take God off of His throne and put ourselves up there. The best way to win over self is to conceive as God being our partner in all things. A basic truth found in the Bible is that God is with us. In fact, Christianity begins with that concept. When Christ was born he was called Immanuel, meaning “God with us”.

     Selfish will has been the downfall of many people. The basic fact is man has the ability to achieve many great things in this physical world, but why do we find it so hard to conquer ourselves? A great teacher and minister once said he has more trouble with himself than with any other man. Everybody thinks of changing humanity and nobody thinks of changing themselves. In getting help for ourselves we must practice the idea that God is as real as your closest companion: your spouse, your children, or your best friend. Practice talking to Him, depend on Him, lean on Him, and tell Him everything that concerns you (1 Peter 5:7). Believe that He hears you and has solutions that are good for you and those you love.

     The whole world screams at the top of its voice—take it easy, pursue comfort, indulge in every available opportunity to satisfy your physical appetites. But Jesus says, we must live a life characterized by self-denial (Acts 17:11). We ought to take Christ’s way because I’ve found if you always pursue ease, comfort, and pleasure it’s a sure way to become soft. And it’s going to be harder to bear the weariness and tough times of life. Jesus says to take up your cross and “follow him”.

     In the business of solving personal problems, particularly the problem of self, it’s important to realize the power to solve them correctly is within you. Remember, the Kingdom of God is within you (Luke 17:21). This means you have the tools, the power (Holy Spirit) to meet life’s challenges, to rise above your circumstances, and to gain victory over your weaknesses. Get in touch with God, connect with Him, work out a plan and expect success. The reason many people fail in winning over self and personal challenges is because they go it alone and ignore God in the whole process. Christians possess a power inside them that can overcome every problem internally and externally. A person who seeks to develop their faith calls upon the power of the Holy Spirit and does not allow this power to lie dormant. This explains why some people demonstrate greater force than others in dealing with difficulties.

     I can give you four (4) keys to winning over self. First, make a DECISION…a definite one. Many people have difficulty deciding which way to go. Some try to hold onto God with one hand and the devil in the other. What a conflict of interest! Don’t do this to yourself. To win over self, we must be firm in our decision for Christ, leaving no bridge unburned which would facilitate turning back.

     Next, we must practice DISCIPLINE. Most people are self-indulgent; self-denial and restraint are foreign concepts to many people. But they’re critically important to your personal victory. You can make positive changes in this area by setting rules and limits for yourself. Live by a high standard. We win over self by staying as far from Satan’s territory as possible. “Blessed is the person that endures temptation” (James 1:12).

     Thirdly, we need to be DILIGENT in our devotion to God (Matt. 6:33). Faithful church attendance, daily prayer, and Bible reading, plus sharing Christ with others; these bring victory over self. It’s a choice you make every day—Do I follow God or the other three guys (me, myself, and I). We win over self by being daily devoted to God.

     Lastly, DETERMINE to follow Christ. This means to reject the wrong and take your stand for the right thing. Many times it’s as simple as that and that’s what it comes down to, right vs. wrong. Determine to do the right thing. Prepare yourself today for the greatest battle…the battle against self. Never give up. No matter where you’ve been or what you’ve done—God will forgive you. Overcome self and put God first. You start by surrendering your will to His and asking Jesus to come into your life and help you to live a better, more complete and abundant life.

     We must quit making excuses for ourselves and do what we know is the right thing to do. Don’t choose hit or miss methods. To win the battle of the wills and to win over self: 1) Make a definite decision, 2) Exercise discipline, 3) Practice daily devotion, and 4) Possess determination. These are the keys to victory. Find a home church so that it’s members can help encourage you to stay accountable to God’s ways.

This weekly column is written by Matt Dobson. A graduate of Florida State University, Univ. of West Florida, and Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, he is Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in Jay, Florida and a 1LT Chaplain in the U.S. Army Reserves. Matt can be reached by email: He welcomes your thoughts concerning faith, belief, and Christian living. Visit the Living With Purpose website at

Posted by on Aug 4 2013. Filed under Living With Purpose, Local. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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