2 Peter 1-3
If you knew your time in this life was growing short, what would you do? I know the answers will vary, but for Peter knowing that the time was near for him to leave this earth and feeling the responsibility of being a spiritual leader compelled him to remind believers of some very important truths.
The first thing that Peter reminds us of is that in Christ we lack nothing when it comes to living a godly life. God is not withholding a single thing from us. But while God has given us everything we need to live a godly life it doesn’t mean that it automatically happens. There is a moment-by-moment tension for the believer because while we have been saved from sin, we are still living in a sin-riddled world with sin-riddled bodies that constantly desire to go back and indulge in sinful desires.
So how do we live godly lives in the midst of the constant temptations that plague our minds and hearts?
Peter gives us a list of important things in 1:5-7 to implement into our lives in response to what God has given us so that “we can escape from the corruption of the world.”
“In view of all of this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence and moral excellence with knowledge and knowledge with self-control and self-control with patient endurance and patient endurance with godliness and godliness with brotherly affection and brotherly affection with love for everyone.”
What we fill our minds and our hearts with is what we eventually will become. In response to all that God has done and given to us let us fill our minds with these truths and principles.
Here is an illustration to give us a picture of what Peter is talking about: We are bound to the ground we stand on but when we are saved God gives us wings to fly giving us freedom from the ground if we choose to use our wings to fly. Once we are flying, we have to keep flapping our wings in order to stay off the ground. But it can be tiring work and we will feel a force around us which of course is gravity trying to pull us back to the ground. When we start to feel that pull it is easy to shift our focus onto staying off the ground instead of looking upwards to fly higher.
What this means is that God has given us the means (wings) to escape the sinful desires (ground). The wings will not automatically fly for us, we need to choose to use them and then continue to choose to use them even when it gets hard and tiring. Lastly, if we try to do this on our own, our focus will be on not sinning instead of growing closer to God. Drawing strength from the Lord is something that will take time and effort, but it is crucial and rewarding as we strive to live godly lives.
The Prophet Isaiah said it well in Isaiah 40:31. “But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on eagles’ wings. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”
Living a godly life definitely doesn’t happen overnight. It happens throughout life as we learn to make moment by moment choices to follow Christ. It’s not easy, but then again it was never meant to be easy. It was meant to give us an opportunity to grow in Christ. Let us then take hold of what God has given us to live for Him who has given everything to us.