It was a cloudy day as I was running along having my conversation with God. I was talking with Him about my situation and the situations others are facing and hearing myself say, “this is hard…” Then, quite by surprise, I heard that still small voice that I am learning to associate with God’s thoughts say, “Yes it is hard when you are trying to do it with your resources.” Wow, that is the truth.
Immediately thought of 2 Peter 1:3
“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 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.”
So God provides everything we need to live this life. He gives us His resources, His promises to participate in His Divine nature. And He also tells us to put some of our effort into the participation. Wait a minute, our effort, add to……? This is sounding like we are working for something.
Dallas Willard says, “God is not opposed to effort, He is opposed to earning.” That means if we are striving to try to earn favor with God, we are on an impossible journey. Jesus has paid for our salvation.
In the article, Insights into Christian Character, Gary DeLashmutt writes:
“Christ supplies all of the resources to renovate your character.
Do we then just sit back, take the foot off the pedal and coast, “let go and let God?” Though some Christians teach this, it’s not the conclusion that Peter forms (read 1:5-7). Precisely because God has promised to provide us with his resources, we need to work diligently with him in the renovation project. We are to be fully and actively involved in the transformation process. God will not cultivate his character into our lives in spite of our cooperation; rather, he works with our resolve to be transformed. We need to work diligently with Christ in the renovation project.”
So this gives me even more passion and excitement for the journey I have just started of meditating on one aspect of the fruit of the Spirit each day.
Watch for the blogs ahead. Serving up some big juicy, yummy fruit!