Faith is the way to move from this corruptible nature into this divine nature.
2 Peter 1:3-9
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.
If knowledge is power, then there is responsibility with that power. Once you know something to be true you have to now do something with it. I am now responsible for owning that truth. My knowledge has now shifted my reality that I live in.
But often, what you know to be true and what you want are often at war with one another.
If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.
What you know determines how you live.
You either miss the mark or live in accordance to what we know to be true.
We must spend time harnessing our passion and move them towards good and subjugate them to what we know is true.
Self control is harnessing your impulses.
Knowledge and goodness is not enough. People don’t actually care what you know. What they care about is how you live it out and does it show up in your life.
- What are some examples in your life where you’re seeing what you know is not being congruent with how you live?
- What would it take for self control to presence itself in that knowledge?
It’s in the context of community that self control is infused with knowledge and it transforms life. Knowledge without self control is just a nice idea. When you have no self control it invalidates what you say you know to be true.
Out of all the things Peter writes about in the list of supplements to your faith, self control seems like the one that takes the most work. But God wouldn’t ask you to engage in something that He wouldn’t abundantly provide for you beyond what you could ask for.
As you connect to God, your spirit begins to change and it makes a container for everything good.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
As you connect to God, he will pour out everything that you need. All of these fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control – all of them are poured out to you at the same time. It’s all fruit. He doesn’t just pour out some love and joy but leave out the faithfulness and self-control.
If you want to know how your life is, look at the fruit your life is producing. The evidence that your life is connected to Jesus is more love, peace, kindness, etc. If it isn’t, just reconnect back to the source… Jesus. Self control is one of the things that our life naturally produces when we are connected to the source of Jesus. So self control is provided for you. It naturally is there. And it’s provided for you abundantly.
As you control yourself, your world around you begins to shift. When you control yourself, God now can pour power into you.
- Have you ever felt that you’re stuck or in a standstill? Consider what are in your life might be lacking in self control. Discuss with your group.
- What does trusting God look like in this process?
Self control makes us vulnerable to others. It is us trusting God to deal with us, them or the circumstance.
A lot of times, self control to us looks like white-knuckling. Like with food. I know I can’t have that, so I will grit my teeth and force myself to not have it. So self control ends up looking like something that God wants to deprive us of that we want. This flys in the face of God being a God of abundance.
Because freedom to us looks like i do what I want. But if you’re committed to living a free life, self control is naturally built into freedom. Self control is what transforms your vision for your future into presenting it. It’s not “No, I can’t have this.” Rather it’s “This is the life that i want.”
Self control is not an act of releasing or gripping onto the past. It’s gripping into the future and pressing in with everything that you have. God is always in the act of calling you into the future. He won’t ask you to white knuckle something that holds you in the past. Self control presences the future right here and right now.
2 Timothy 1:6-7
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
God didn’t give you a spirit of fear. It’s of power and life and self control. You cannot have power and love if you do not have self control. Power without self control is absolutely useless. There’s a breaking of yourself if you want to use the power for something good in this world. If you can’t serve the world with that power, then having that power is useless. We must break ourselves from the pattern of greed and lust if we are to make a difference in this world.
- Pray with your group and ask God to reveal the areas in your life that need self control.