2 Peter 1:7-9
Knowledge of God involves more than just who He is but also His will for you and your life. As a believer we are each designated to serve a purpose for a kingdom we can’t fully imagine. We each make up one loop of a carpet of which we cannot fathom the greatness. True knowledge of God shows us that we can never fully know Him. God’s ways are far above man’s. (Isaiah 55:8-9) For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Knowledge of God allows us to develop wisdom, which is seeing the world from His point of view. We see all people as His children, and all the world in His care and control. This knowledge replaces fear with joy and peace.
2 Peter 1:7-9
As God works in your life and changes your heart to resemble His Spirit and not the darkness of the earth, your goodness will flow from you. All good comes from God. (3 John 1:11) Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God. Your goodness comes directly from Him as the source. The goodness that comes from you separates you from a life in darkness and guides you into the light. You also become a source of light as you reflect the light of Jesus to the world. Goodness requires selfless action. When this goodness of God through a believer changes their perspective of life, they begin to seek all the goodness of God and that leads them toward the next step which is knowledge. Only in Jesus can we see what the goodness of God looks like without being tarnished by our sin and the influence of this world.
2 Peter 1:7-9
Faith is the initial step to salvation. Faith that Jesus died in your place as a sacrifice to God for your sin. Faith that He rose from the grave and was seated at the right hand of God. Faith that Jesus will return at the end of this time to bring the faithful into the presence of God where they will have their inheritance of eternal life. As that initial faith develops it becomes faith in God’s work in this new life. Faith that He has a better plan than our own, and that we will find joy in His plan for our life. A joy that far surpasses the happiness we are content with when we walk alone. (Romans 8:28) And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. A complete faith comes from giving God complete control and all of your trust. When you accept God’s lead and follow Him in all things including your daily walk, you can understand His goodness. That goodness can now pour forth from you to others as they see the work of the Lord in your life.
(2 Peter 1:5-9) 5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 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. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.
Godliness-> Mutual Affection
Mutual Affection-> Love
This passage refers to what is to happen once a believer has been saved through acceptance of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit matures in the believer and here are what might be viewed as steps in the maturation process. A solid foundation on one step allows for secure ascension to the next. The highest step is love which happens to the ultimate command/desire of God, both for Him and others.
(Matthew 22:37-39) “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Believers are meant to be the light for the world, an example of the power found in God’s grace and guidance. People see believers and their focus falls on those times where the faith and obedience of the believer falls short of holy. They use these moments as opportunities to point out their perceived fallibility of God. The lost see the ‘world’/darkness in a disciple (the part missing God), and that is where their focus falls because is resembles them and takes away their conviction. When believers don’t let their light shine for others, they will focus on the darkness and the light of God can’t blind them to conviction and softened their hardened hearts. They won’t feel the presence of God and turn to Him when there is too much worldliness intruding that life. They have to see the glory of God to get their attention and lead their eyes toward their Lord.
The world is drifting toward self-focus. Between cameras on the front of phones, an actual name for a self-portrait (selfie), and a stick that allows for better self-portraits; the world falls deeper into inward focus. The more we give to God the closer we are to Him. The giving doesn’t include the material things of this world that also attract so much attention. This refers to the giving of ourselves, that is, our life. Our presence on this earth is meant for a purpose desired by its creator. When we serve God’s purpose and honor His desire we find peace and prosperity. The more that we try and take on ourselves, the bigger the handhold of the deceiver. His desire is that we rely on ourselves and believe that we don’t need God or His salvation. His relocation to hell is because he thought he deserved to be ranked alongside God. When we try and do what we desire for our lives we are committing the same offense. As we drift inward toward self-centeredness we drift away from the light of God. Leaving this world with that inward focus will leave us in the darkness, as opposed to the light found in the presence of God.
God is selfless!
Satan/This World is selfish!
An Example in Adversity
In the midst of hard times and adversity people tend to wonder why God would put them in such a difficult position. The truth is that we cannot know the mind of God. His ways are above our ways and His thoughts above our thoughts. I believe that adversity in its many forms (stress, finances, relationships, deaths, etc.) can be an opportunity for the light of Christ to shine forth from His faithful. We live in a world where everyone has something to say and those words hold less value as their number increases. As Christians we must live as an example to the lost so that they desire the peace and joy found in us. What better way to show them than when times are difficult? We can be examples of obedience, dependence, and faith when they would be inconsolable. The words of our mouths are weak in comparison to the example set forth in our life of obedience. Not only does God desire that we draw closer to Him but that the safety found in Him be a light to the dark world.
Walking with God and desiring that He lead our lives sometimes leaves us with many questions.
Am I supposed to be waiting on God or did I miss the answer?
Does God will ________ for me?
Is the deceiver interfering with me hearing God correctly?
Do I attempt to counsel this wicked person or just be an example?
What’s God’s purpose for me?
What’s my place of service in His kingdom?
Why does God feel so distant?
The answer is found in our own quietness. We must spend daily time in the word, pray for what we find spoken to us in the word, and then be still with God so His ‘fine tuning’ can take place in our heart. Without this time we will only find frustration and fear. We will seek the world to compensate for the guidance we don’t allow and then rest assured the deceiver has his way to draw us off course. This could happen to anyone, it’s God’s grace and mercy that make it possible to get back on the path that God has designed for us. All man has fallen and failed, that’s why God became man to make sure we could find the path to Heaven.
We have a tendency as fallible human beings to view people through a filter of our own life experience. We see people through our strengths. It’s hard to be vulnerable in a world that looks to devour us. (1 Peter 5:8) Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. It may seem dramatic to call the world the devil, but there is no doubt that the traits that exemplify the earth (selfishness, pride, greed, lust, anger, hate, racism, etc.) are representations of sin and thus the deceiver. It is extremely difficult and vitally important that we show compassion and sympathy for individuals as we focus on the fact that our battle is with the spirit and not the flesh. (Ephesians 6:12) For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but… against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. God has created all people, some to serve as a guide we imitate, some as a guide to show us what not to do, some as an opportunity to ‘come along side’ and grow with. Every person we encounter is an opportunity to learn and grow in relationship with God in the process of sanctification. We cannot allow our life experience and our expectations (of others and for ourselves) interfere in the opportunity to mature, learn, and teach as God places people in our lives daily. How many people can you think of that you have rejected in judgement? Can you look at that person and see what they have taught you without anger in your heart? Can you develop wisdom (viewpoint of God) and love them for what they have taught you? True maturity comes through perseverance in the submission to Jesus. We must thank God that He brings tests to our lives, sometimes in the form of people, to mature us and draw us closer to Him and His purpose for us in His Kingdom.