His divine power has given us everything needed for life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Thus he has given us, through these things, his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of lust, and may become participants of the divine nature.2 Peter 1:3-4
What do I need from life? Depending on the day (or time), it’s likely I would give a number of answers. I might need calm or quiet or money or acceptance. I might be looking for someone to care about me or someone to listen to me. What’s interesting is
that God tells us, in this passage, that what we need is to “escape from the corruption that is in the world and become participants of the divine nature.” If I’m honest, I have to say that those things are not necessarily goals in my life every moment of every day.
These two verses are so packed with important concepts. First, life and godliness are linked together. The word used here is different than the one used to depict our soul. It is, in a sense, rather our lifetime here on earth. The Holy Spirit links this life (on this earth) with godliness. In fact, the NLT translates it: “for living a godly life.” Do I want to live a godly life . . . or would I rather live a selfish life? Sometimes, when I hurt, I really don’t care about being godly (which means I would need to be forgiving, merciful, and compassionate). But the fact remains that, if I want to escape the corruption that is in the world, my only “out” is to live a godly life.
In the flesh, that doesn’t make sense. How can I “escape” if I continue to love and forgive? Am I not allowing others to continue to hurt me if I forgive? If I am loving toward them? And yet, it becomes a question of whether I believe my gut or the Word. Which is more reliable? When I’m honest, I admit to myself that I follow my gut more often than the Word. And yet, I know that God is faithful and honest. He cannot and will not lie. So what corruption will I escape? Certainly not the corruption around me, so it must be the corruption within me!
When others hurt me, I can choose God’s way or the corrupted way. If I choose God’s way, I become more godly. If I choose the corrupted way, I become more corrupted and most lustful.
I thought I was only being self-protective. Don’t I need to protect myself? I guess it comes down to who can do the better job. Who can protect me better . . . me . . . or God? Well, God, of course! And yet, how often do I allow Him to do this? Aren’t my prayers for provision about escape and revenge? He has promised that He will provide everything I need, but not everything to satisfy my lusts. My lusts are corrupted. He will provide everything I need to become more godly. His great promises aren’t about making my life here easier, but rather for the purpose of helping me participate in His divide nature. If I really learn this, I think this will change how I pray . . . and what I pray for. Hopefully, it will change my priorities so that I’m more concerned about becoming more like Him and less concerned about trying to preserve me!