2 Peter 1:3-4 – “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness – through which He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”
Everything We Need
God has already given us all we need to live a godly life – a life of holiness and purity – that we may be worthy of His calling and fruitful in good deeds done in faith (2 Thessalonians 1:11). He gave us the ability to tap into His unlimited power by giving us His Holy Spirit who lives in us. He is called the “Spirit of power, love and a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)” Because He lives in us we can “do all things through Christ who strengthens (Philippians 4:13)” us.
Unfortunately, though we know that we are living below the level we should be, most of us feel powerless to change that. Sure Scripture says, “God is at work in you, giving you the desire to obey Him and the power to do what pleases Him (Philippians 2:13)”, but how do we access that power?
Scripture says, “if any of you lack wisdom let him ask of God who gives generously to all without finding fault (James 1:5)” and, “How much more will the Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask? (Luke 11:13)”. While it is basically universally believed by the church that a new believer receives the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit upon the moment of genuine salvation – it is possible to have the indwelling presence without receiving the “baptism of the Holy Spirit” or receiving the empowering of the Holy Spirit.
In particular, God will not even bother empowering us while we think that we can do it on our own. Scripture says, “God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6, 1 Peter 5:5)”. That grace is the unmerited favor of Spirit empowered living.
Humble or Proud?
Let’s take a brief look at the life of Uzziah. Scripture says, “Uzziah was sixteen years old when he became king…he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord…as long as he sought the Lord, God gave him success. (2 Chronicles 26:1-5)”. At seventeen, Uzziah recognized that he could not be a good king on his own and so he was humble and sought help from God and so God blessed him.
But look at what happens later: “after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the Lord his God… and king Uzziah had leprosy until the day he died (2 Chronicles 26:16-21)”. God is very protective of His glory. Scripture says, “I am the Lord, that is My Name. I will not give my glory to another (Isaiah 42:8)”.
As long as we think that we can do something and strive to do anything on our own, God will not step in to help. We must realize our need for “His divine power” and humble ourselves to receive it. Even Paul had to learn this lesson; “…but He (the Lord) said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me… for when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). Paul also said, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect. No I worked harder than all of them – yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. (1 Corinthians 15:10)”.
You Can’t do it without God
“Jesus said, “I am the vine and you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit – but you can’t do it without Me (John 15:5)”. Take a close, careful, and introspective look at the fruit of the Spirit, “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23)”. How much of this kind of fruit have you managed to produce on your own, in your own strength?
You may say, “But I have asked for the empowering of the Holy Spirit.” If so, consider these two questions; “What was your heart deep motive in asking?” and, “Did you ask in faith – being confident that you were heard and answered?” Scripture says, “you don’t have because you don’t ask, or when you do ask it’s with wrong motives and according to your own desires (James 4:3)”.
You wanted freedom from an addiction or bad habit because it would make your life easier and make you look good, but God will not be used like that. The Lord, “searches hearts and minds (Jeremiah 17:10, Revelation 2:23)”, He knows your real motives even if you have fooled yourself.
Seek First His Kingdom
Living for God, to be totally pleasing to Him in every way and for His glory, should be our one and essential goal in life – everything else must come out of this desire. Scripture says, “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you (Matthew 6:33)”.
Jesus here is primarily referring to the fact that if we live for God we can be sure that He will take care of all our physical needs – but how much more does that apply to the things of the Spirit!?! Since God will “supply all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19)” we can be sure that that includes all of our needs; physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.
Scripture says, “God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all you need, you will abound in every good work (2 Corinthians 9:8)”. Again, the context of this passage specifically deals with giving and therefore primarily refers to physical needs, but remember that Jesus said, “I have come that you might have life in all its fullness (John 10:10)”.
We all know that life us about more than merely having your physical needs met, “Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? (Matthew 6:25)”. But, “all things are yours whether… the world or life or death or the present or the future – all are yours and you are Christ’s and Christ is God’s (1 Corinthians 3:21-23)”. For God, “has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight.. to the praise of His glorious grace which He has freely given us in the one He loves (Ephesians 1:3-6)”.