I look around at our young people today and wonder how they are ever able to go out on their own in order to make a life for themselves. Even with a college degree, good paying jobs are so hard to come by. The price of housing, and the filling of that house with the necessary items to live, is astounding. Then, there is the cost of food, insurance, transportation, health care – and the list goes on and on. However, growing up and moving out from beneath the wings of mom and dad, is an essential part of maturing into a responsible adult. Still, I am sure that for many starting out on their own today, assistance from family and friends is often needed and appreciated.
The same holds true for all of us as we mature spiritually. The cost is great as we mature in Christ and become responsible disciples of the Savior. Often, there is a need for a change in who we keep company with, a change in habits that are damaging, a change in attitude, how we speak, what we read, where we go, etc. Such changes are not easy. Likewise, new habits need to be formed; daily quiet times, centered prayer, Bible study, as well as attending worship services, and small groups. We must expand in outreach as we strive to serve others in the name of Jesus. All this takes self-discipline and determination, a willingness to come out of our comfort zones. It takes patience with ourselves and tremendous faith in God as God leads us to change through his precious Holy Spirit.
Second Peter 1:3 has become my anchor whenever I begin to waiver in the daily struggle of growing and maturing in Christ. I do not know about you, but for me, living the Christian life is anything but easy. Yet, the Apostle writes, “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” (Emphasis mine). Sometimes the task to obey and serve God can be daunting. However, this wonderful verse of scripture tells us that God has already given us everything we need in order to remain faithful to God and continue to be transformed into the likeness of Christ.
That means that God has already blessed us with all the self-discipline and determination we need in order to live a life pleasing to God. Moreover, God has given us all the wisdom, mercy, grace, forgiveness for others, patience, and love we need in order to live out a godly life before the Father and before others.
We can not begin to branch out and mature in our discipleship to Christ on our own. We need loving, guiding assistance. Jesus tells us in John 15:5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (again, emphasis mine). Only through the leading of the Holy Spirit can we survive out in the world. But Praise God! The Father has provided us with an eternal survival kit – and in this kit is everything we need for a godly life – wisdom, knowledge, instruction, guidance, self-discipline, and love. God has given us God’s self, in Christ, through the presence of the Holy Spirit. Yes, I would say we have everything we need!