Like the swing of a pendulum, the children of Israel went from one extreme to another. When urged to advance into Canaan, they dragged their feet (Numbers 14:2). Then, realizing they had missed a great opportunity, they rushed forward in their own strength (Numbers 14:44).

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As Christians, we have a similar problem. When we know we should do something, we often put it off. Then after it's too late we kick ourselves for not acting. Or we may plunge ahead with some plan or project, only to find later that we should have gone more slowly. Extremes, we are all too familiar with them!

In his book Spirit Life, D. Stuart Briscoe gives a formula that can lead to better self-control. He says, "I have found it helpful, to ignore the aspect of truth that comes easily and concentrate on the one which may require some degree of discipline. For instance, when I find myself in a situation where it is easier for me to relax when I ought to be taking action. I concentrate on naked obedience. On the other hand, when I confront a situation to which I instinctively react with drive and determination. I consciously try to remember to depend on the resources that are mine through the Spirit."

November Brother J (1)

Outright obedience when we prefer to relax, and conscious dependence on God when we feel like forging ahead, will release the Spirit's power in our lives. And when we are under His control, He will keep us from going to extremes.


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