As I work my way through the characteristics of 2 Peter 1:5-7, this is one where I feel like writing, “I’ll get back to you on this one.”
This word carries the connotation of one who has mastered their desires. The word refers to sensual desires. Not just sexual desires, but anything to do with the senses. Control.
In Galatians 5:23, it’s listed as a fruit of the Spirit.
In I Thess. 5:6 we are encouraged to keep awake and stay sober. It’s a call to have our mental faculties sharp. We are alert, not distracted by our selfish desires.
In I Peter 4:7 the call is to be serious and discipline ourselves for the sake of prayer. Chasing our fantasies and not having our physical desires under control distract, especially in prayer.
The call in effective Christian living is to stay alert. It’s a discipline. Self-control is one of those tough deals we need to have and Peter has to put it right in the middle of this list! Self-control comes before godliness, mutual affection, and love. There is a call to bring our earthly desires under control. Quit chasing sensual desires without thought to what those passions might mean.
Again, it’s not just sexual. What pleases our senses can get out of control. It can be food. It can be material things. For guys, it can be the incredible sound of a Harley and our fantasy to own one of those things, even if we don’t have the resources to afford one. We too often let our passions control us and we get into all kinds of trouble.
Lord, help me rein it in. Help my mind be ready for action! Help my spirit rise up and my passion for you overtake all other passions. Help me to learn to enjoy the stuff of this life in balance with my passion for you.