Employing Every Effort to develop your spirtitual life

2 Peter 1:5-8 5For this very reason, adding your diligence [to the divine promises], employ every effort in exercising your faith to develop virtue (excellence, resolution, Christian energy), and in [exercising] virtue [develop] knowledge (intelligence),    6And in [exercising] knowledge [develop] self-control, and in [exercising] self-control [develop] steadfastness (patience, endurance), and in [exercising] steadfastness [develop] godliness (piety),    7And in [exercising] godliness [develop] brotherly affection, and in [exercising] brotherly affection [develop] Christian love.   8For as these qualities are yours and increasingly abound in you, they will keep [you] from being idle or unfruitful unto the [full personal] knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).
As we saw yesterday, God gives us everything we need to live a fruitful life in the spirit, but we have to do our part too. My husband gave a great analogy once. He said he knows if he gets on the treadmill every day he will lose weight. He can talk about how he needs to get on the treadmill, and he can think about how effective his exercise program will be. Having that knowledge is great, but unless he actually gets on the treadmill and starts running the weight is not going to come off. It’s the same way with the things of the Spirit. We can know what we need to do, we can think about what we need to do, and we can even say what we need to do, but unless we actually apply what we know to our lives, we will never see the change we are striving for.

We have to work at developing our spiritual man. We see that as we exercise our faith we acquire virtue- or Christian character. Virtue develops knowledge, which develops self-control, which develops steadfastness, which develops godliness, which develops brotherly affection, which develops Christian love. As we build these qualities in our lives, we will change and grow in the spirit and our personal walk with God will go to a whole new level. It starts with exercising our faith. Throughout the New Testament Jesus uses the words faith and believe interchangeably. We don’t have to make faith something difficult. It is simply what we believe.  As we begin to exercise what we believe, as we begin to put it into practice in our lives, we will become more developed in our Godly character. Over the next week or so we will dissect this scripture, but for today- purpose in your heart that you will do your part. Make the decision that you want to operate in the fullness of everything God has for you. Commit that no matter how difficult it may be and no matter how long it takes, you will develop your inner man to produce spiritual fruit in your life.

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