This is going to be a long one… I’m going to break it up into little manageable segments, publishing the whole thing into two or three separate posts.
I’ve been stuck on that same verse I blogged about just a little while ago. 2 Peter 1:5-8 says “… 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.”
It dawned on me that there’s a process to what Peter is saying. It all starts with faith; however, I can’t just jump from having faith to knowing how to love like Jesus does. I have to climb the ladder. The first step is getting on, and that takes faith. Stepping on takes guts because I could fall, I could freeze, or the ladder could lead to nowhere. It takes faith to step on and stay on, trusting that Jesus has got my back and won’t let me fall or freeze. I need to recognize that the rest of the way up the ladder my faith has to be my backbone. I need Jesus to give me the courage, the strength, and cue me on the correct timing as to when I should take another step.
When I look at the ladder, it’s not all that impressive. It looks old. Beat up. Neglected. I left it chillin’ in the attic for so long and now that I’m finally pulling it out it makes me afraid to take that first leap of faith. Jesus says, “don’t worry child, don’t be afraid. I’ll be holding that ladder and holding that hand of yours every step of the way. Oh, and the ladder might look old and from this view, but just wait till you get to the top!” Huh… what? Well I’m curious now, it seems like quite an adventure!
Once I’m on the ladder, some time later Jesus says “okay, you’re ready to take another step.” That next step is goodness. Without the Holy Spirit inside me I’m just no good. I do not think about doing good and I don’t care about doing good. But once I take that leap of faith and get on the ladder I find myself wanting to good for others like He has done for me. Once I’ve been hanging out at goodness for a while Jesus says, “okay, you’re ready to take another step.”
That next step is knowledge. Sometimes knowledge can get in the way. Looking back… the original Greek the word for knowledge is gnōsis. It pretty much means head knowledge. This is the step on the ladder that introduces intense Bible study. Delving into the Word is SO important but one can’t be forced into the Bible before s/he has a foundation of faith and has practiced using that faith for good. Remember… there’s a process and there’s a reason for this process.
I’ve spent a lot of time here on this step. I just can’t seem to know the Word good enough. However Jesus says, “you can’t stay here forever. I just wanted you to learn the importance of knowing My Word and to practice learning how to read it and make it a part of your daily life. It’s time for you to move on to self-control.”
…to be continued