Take the time and the trouble to keep yourself spiritually fit. 1 Timothy 4:7
She understood that the hardest times in life to go through were when you were transitioning from one version of yourself to another.
Sarah Addison Allen
The Bible says that when we first come to Christ, we drink milk as do babes; but after we grow into maturity, we begin to eat solid food. Solid food in the bible are things that take on self control and discipleship. If we are mature believers, then we know our prime calling is to be conformed to the image of Jesus. This means that we set aside our own agenda, our plans, our preferences and as common sense would tell us- we have to get rid of the carnal nature, even inclinations.
Holiness, means we are set apart for God.
Godliness means we are like God; the quality of being devoutly religious; piety.
To be self-controlled and upright is not considered godly, because the bible makes distinctions between the three. We are to live in upright way, loving justice (fairness) and mercy. Self control, is necessary for every aspect of live, whether we are Christians or not. To be godly is to be like God. How is God? The knowledge of the truth is what leads us to godliness.
Just like building muscles, building a spiritual life takes time and effort! Just like attaining a fit body, requires CHANGE! Physically we need to exercise, we need to eat differently, sleep more and get rid of bad habits! To become God-like, requires effort and discipline. The more disciplined we become the more God can trust us. Self control and discipline, means God can trust us. The problem with many of us, is that we are still in carnality and do not see it fit to surrender to God. Some have misconceptions of God’s nature: seeing Him as boring, strict or even a cold-hearted/unloving God. Others have deceptions in the area of self worth and love, giving way to being worldly and self pleasing or self sufficient. And for the most part, maybe like me we have different types of fears, like persecution, fear of the unknown or rejection etc. Although nobody talks about these battles we face as believers, the truth is that it is a life long battle since we will always be in this human body. Remember, the flesh and the spirit are in a constant war. Some people grow in certain areas faster than others, but we are ALL being perfected. We should avoid comparing ourselves to anyone else, because nobody undergoes the same life, just like we all have different fingerprints- we all live different lives. What we must do is compare ourselves with the Word of God.
God wants us to deny ourselves AND carry our cross (Luke 9:23, 14:23).
Lord, thank You for the love and care you show me. Thank you for the people You have divinely placed in my life, who desire you and seek your face. I pray for increased discernment in areas where we believers need more precision, and caution. I pray for wisdom to be our best friend, and that you would be sanctified in our hearts. I pray for you to rebuke those who know better and do not choose to do better, and those who are slacking in their walk with you. I pray for each person to receive strength and courage to follow through with the scriptures, according to what they learn in church and on their own. I pray for peace for each person who may be battling with their flesh, and I rebuke condemnation. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.