I just wanted to share something that God revealed to me in my quiet time this morning.
I've been studying some scriptures that talk about sanctification, and through that study I came across these verses, I'm sure you're familiar with them.
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 1:5-8
In the past while reading these verses, I've always gone away with a mindset that I have to go and work really hard to possess these qualities. I've always focused more on the last verse, looking for the end result rather than studying the first verse for wisdom on how to get there.
Today God opened my eyes to see the very first part of this passage, where he says "make every effort to add to your faith..."
Meaning that it all starts with faith. So I started thinking about faith.
What is faith? It's the beginning and foundation and base of our whole belief system as Christians. It's what God gives us when He opens our eyes to the truth at the very beginning of our walk with Him. It's our understanding of our need for His grace, and our acknowledgment that He is sufficient to meet all of our needs, and trusting in His power to overcome every one of our sins.
Then as I thought more about this, God made me think of knitting needles and yarn.
I used to knit a lot (not very well, but I understand the concept).
When you begin knitting something, the first row of stitches you make are different than all the ones to follow. You have to know how to "cast on" your first stitches. This creates the base of your project so that you have something to work off of as you begin adding rows to whatever your making.
In thinking about the verses in 2 Peter, I realized that having faith is like 'casting on' your first row. If you don't have that base of faith, you can't add rows of goodness, knowledge, self-control, and so on. The stitches cannot be formed correctly unless you have that vital first row, which requires a different technique than the rest of the stitching.
Having faith initially is different than adding to it.
God gives faith, and you receive it. God also gives the Spirit, which enables you to add 'rows' to your spiritual walk.
I realized that a lot of the time, I look for shortcuts to complete my 'project'. And so often I've tried to stitch rows without using my faith-base. I see now how that can cause a walk with God to feel like it's falling apart.
I'm so thankful for this revelation today and I hope it helps you somehow, as well!
I hope hard-core knitters aren't upset with me for using unofficial knitting terminology, if I did.
Bye for now!