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Saturday, March 18, 2017
3 By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.4 And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires. (2 Peter 1:3-4 NLT)
Sometimes I think we believe we somehow get to the point we are living exactly as we should - that our obedience is all our own doing and it is kind of "perfect". I'd like to think I had everything to do with my obedience and that it is completely perfect all of the time, but it is a constant struggle for me. I am pretty sure more of my obedience is based upon a little "want to" on my part and a huge "power-infusion" on the part of Jesus! How about you? Is your obedience a struggle at times? Is it sometimes more difficult to do what you know is right for you to do than you might want it to be? If so, then you are right there with the rest of us! The good news is that all we need in order to live obedient lives is given to us already in the person of Jesus Christ and the presence of the Holy Spirit within us. It isn't about us "being more" anything - it is about us embracing more of who he is and what he wants to do in and through us. When we realize obedience is about desire - the desire to allow Christ to flow through us - then we stop struggling so much with what it is we "do" and what it is he begins to reveal about himself within us when our desires are directed toward him more and more each day. Looking again at our passage, we might just begin to recognize the struggles we have with obedience are because we are trying to live in this world with the incorrect "thought process" of us not having to struggle with the things this world throws at us any longer. It isn't that the struggles cease to exist - for the world will still exist complete with all the corrupting influences around us. What ceases to exist is how much power these forces can exert in the way of influence in our lives. The more we are embraced by grace, the less power these influences exert. Sure, they still exist and yes, they do tug at us on occasion. But...we have a power within us exerting not just equal "pull", but an overwhelmingly stronger pull than any influence in this world! We don't "do" obedience. Obedience begins with desire - and desire is matched with God's power within us. Obedience is about 1/10th us (desire) and 9/10ths him (power)! I don't have a scripture to back up that "percentage", but you get the idea - it is a whole lot of his doing and very little on our part! When we desire godly responses - we are more likely to "feel" God's prompting toward those responses within us. When we desire godly thoughts - we are less likely to dwell very long on those thoughts that lead us down ungodly paths. Why is this? I believe it is because God meets our desire with his power! When he senses our desire, his power begins to be set in motion in tremendous ways within us. It isn't that we "become" obedient - for all we need to live obedient lives is within us already. It is that we desire obedience first and foremost - then allow God to match that desire with his power. When those two meet up - our desire and his power - all things are possible! Just sayin!