Self-discipline is something we all clash with from time to time. While I was searching for scripture to hang on my mirror, I came across 2 Timothy 1:7, which reads, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.”
I recognize the Holy Spirit gives us the power to defeat the flesh, but I never equated it with helping us to be self-disciplined. We always try to rely on willpower. Willpower has repeatedly failed us at one point or another. We start the new year with the resolve to eat healthy and exercise, but six weeks later, the snooze alarm overtakes us. Have no fear because Paul is telling Timothy, we can rely on the Holy Spirit God gave us. The Holy Spirit (God) is powerful enough to crush the flesh, which is what beats us when we do not rely on him.
So, how do we rely on the Spirit? First, declare we are powerless and cannot succeed without the help of the Holy Spirit. We need to realize when we admit our weakness, and we call out to God for help, he makes us strong. If God’s Spirit is in us, we have the power to overcome anything the flesh throws at us.
Second, we need to know the promises God made for us. The Bible is full of promises God made towards humanity. When we seek the wisdom of God and his character, we are strengthening our knowledge of God and who he is to us. He is more than just our creator; he is our Father who cares for us better than any earthly father could ever care.
Third, we need to talk with God. I am a firm believer that you can be respectful to God while thinking of prayer as a two-way conversation. Think for a moment; I call us to send our petitions to God, which is one-way communication. And God calls us to listen to him, that is another one-way communication. Therefore, prayer is a conversation. Remember, you have two ears and one mouth, so listen twice as much as you speak.
When you pursue God and know all his promises, you know that we are weak on our own. However, we can be strong when we depend on God. the Spirit we have within us gives us “power, love, and self-discipline.” God’s Spirit will never fail us.
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