“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.”
2 Peter 1:5-7, NIV
As mentioned in our previous devotional, we are all seeking to eliminate destruction and corruption from our lives. God’s power gives us the ability to overcome this darkness (2 Peter 1:3-4). He wants us to experience and participate in the divine nature. Now the question shifts: How is it that we take advantage of this divine power given to us in order to over come darkness? We have the power, and the tools to defeat the night. So what does the practical process of overcoming look like?
Let me say this upfront: It is going to be a procedure. This is a developmental progression. It is multi-part and takes continuous effort. It will require all of you, and your full devotion to seeking Christ above all else. It is only through the handing over of us and our lives that God’s divine glory will be made known through us. But take heart because this is fully available to you. Christ’s divine power rests in you! He is with us in the process of overcoming our own darkness.
Our faith must be more than belief in the history of Jesus Christ. It must lead us into action and begin to change us from the inside out. The more we pursue and know God’s heart, the more easily these steps will come; the more naturally action will follow our beliefs. Simon Peter gives us a very practical process to overcome darkness and participate in the divine nature:
“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love” (2 Peter 1:5-7, NIV).
It starts with adding goodness to our faith. Faith is not enough; we must in turn make that faith an everyday practice. We begin to pursue goodness to add to the faith we already possess. We live out our faith, in goodness. We choose God’s goodness above our own definition of good. Next comes knowledge, both from life experience and education through the word of God. We pursue scripture and its truth, learning more, leading to a deeper faith. We begin building up our knowledge of God’s ways. This instills further goodness in us, and we are then able to take that knowledge and apply it over our lives through the method of self-control. We must use our knowledge of our faith to continue forward, sharpening ourselves and cleaning up the messy corners of our lives. We use our knowledge to establish a self-controlled way of being that draws us nearer to the LORD. On top of our self-control, we then develop perseverance. We continue forward, repeatedly choosing God’s goodness and denying our selfish desires. We are able to persevere because our hearts have been backed up, filled up, and supported by the continuing works of faith, goodness, knowledge, and self-control. We press forward.
Persevering in these works, actions, and thought patterns will lead into Godliness. Practicing the fruits of the spirit will lead to a heart and life that reflect God. Our behaviors and thought-patterns will become more and more Christ-aligned, and the more we become like Christ the more we develop true affection for the lives around us. We care for others from a place of authenticity because it was developed through our faith and actions in Christ! This is not a care that develops from liking people’s posts on social media. This mutual affection is not birthed from common interests. This is an affection given to us through the eyes of Christ himself. We begin to see others through the light of his faith and goodness. A consistent pressing in to this affection for the lives around us establishes a love deeper and truer than all else because this love is based on faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, and mutual affection.
And that is how we participate in the divine nature and overcome darkness—by pressing into Christ in full. Our initial faith and knowledge of the life of Jesus Christ is exactly what leads us into this place of strength. Our simple knowledge of him and belief in him lead to continuous faith actions, which develop us in a true and divine love unlike anything else. We escape the world’s corruption, and instead participate in the divine nature we are called to.
All materials written and designed by Heather Christy.