“Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

// 1 Peter 1:13

When we prepare for action, preparing to live out the call that God has placed on our lives, we must sober our minds – detoxing and cleansing all the things that are not of Him. Only then may we be filled with God and God alone. When we throw away the clutter in our minds and fix our focus completely on God, we will experience a freedom like no other.

When we are saved and have committed our lives to Christ, we are given seeds to plant the fruits of the Spirit. These seeds need to be watered with love and protected with the Word. As they grow, they are pruned and purified. When we put our trust in Jesus – who has radically delivered us from all of our sin and brought us to a new life, completely set free – we desire to give back. After all that we have experienced in the rescuing, we trust Him and want to please Him.

It says in 2 Timothy 1:7 that we have been given a spirit of power, love, and self-control. So we can conclude that self-control is a gift from the spirit of God. Therefore, it is impossible to have true self-discipline without Christ. We learn obedience in our relationship with Jesus because, like any relationship, when we experience love we begin to trust, and when we begin to trust, we desire to do what pleases the other person. Ultimately, we end up loving what they love, and they love what we love.

To possess true self-control, we have to choose to move our relationship with Jesus from just being mere acquaintances and toward becoming His friends. Jesus said that if we obey Him, we are His friends [see John 15:14]. Though He is the Lord, we can become His friends; but if we are to be His friends, we must receive Him as the Lord. We must take initiative to move past just consuming, and toward true receiving; when we receive His lordship, we recognize what isn’t from His heart and we want to be rid of it. We want self-control. Therefore, we must “clean house,” setting aside all anger, jealousy, competition, pride, laziness – anything that is not of God – and throwing it in the garbage. To grow in maturity with Christ, we must make a decision to serve, not because we want to get something but because of what we have already been given. When we receive the spirit of self-control through faith we are able to do all things through Christ.

// Paula Buresh