In 1 Peter 4:7 we read “the end of all things is near.” I blogged about how knowing the end is coming helps encourage me to finish well. You can find that post here. The phrase “the end of all things is near,” peaks my interest, I want to know more. However instead of telling us more, he tells us what to do in view of the end. He first says be clear minded which I blogged about in part two you can find it here….That one is difficult for me, but what is even more difficult is what he tells us to do next. 1 Peter 4:7 says, “The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled…”
Don’t some people have it and others don’t? There are those who are neat and orderly and others who are not. I am part of the not group. My house is often a mess, a pig sty, a disaster. I am a pile-er. If I don’t know exactly what to do with it, but I can’t throw it away, I put it in a pile. I kick off my shoes and don’t put them away. I always thought I would do better in my own house, in my own space. What I have discovered is that I don’t have the gene that helps me stay neat and tidy. I would love it, I strive to be disciplined in that way, but I am not. However God never said being self-controlled was easy. In fact the last time I checked self-control was a fruit of the Spirit – see Galatians 5:22-23. Since self-control is a fruit of the Spirit, I can’t conjure it up on my own. Only God’s Spirit can produce that fruit in my life. So the bottom line is that self-control is a work of God’s power in my life. When we are motivated, we are often willing to discipline ourselves for our goal – be it running a marathon, having a clean house, losing weight. However, in order to achieve those goals, we become addicted to or chained to our goal. We run and ignore other important things. Our house must be spotless before we allow anyone in the door. Often our “discipline” is at the expense of other things in our lives. Self-control, on the other hand, is allowing God’s power in my life to work in such a way that all I do reflects His character. Does that mean I won’t ever mess up and sin? No, but it does mean that my life is under control from God’s divine power to show off His character in me. When I am self-controlled in the godly sense, I often find the piles are getting smaller and my attitude is much better. All because I can say no to my natural reactions, to my sinful me and say yes to God.
Oh Heavenly Father, forgive me for not being self-controlled. Help me to live in such a way that I am clear minded and self-controlled. Remind me that I am living in the end times. Help me to be an appropriate reflection of You. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
What do you need to say, “no,” to so that you can say, “yes,” to God?