Some truths are hard to accept, often because they may not reflect our reality or the implications of believing them are overwhelming. So, we’d rather ignore them. But the mature approach is to wrestle with them and face them head-on. For me, one such truth is second Peter 1:3, which unequivocally declares that: “…God has given us (me) all we (I) need for life and godliness…”. That’s past tense, not future tense, indicating that this has already happened. Encapsulated in life and godliness is everything I need for a blessed and fulfilled physical existence and everything I need to flourish psychologically and spiritually. Everything! So, there’s nothing I require physically, emotionally or spiritually that God hasn’t already provided. Discovering that truth has challenged my paradigms, how I pray and what I pray about. It’s forcing me to discard some beliefs I held for most of my life.
I wrestle with that verse because it isn’t a reality in my life yet. If it were, evangelism would be a straightforward affair. I wouldn’t have to coax anyone to believe in my God. It’s a verse I understand intellectually, but as I look around me and see unmet needs, I must admit there’s something I’ve either not understood completely or applied correctly because God did not lie [Romans 3:4]. Yet, as I acknowledge the present, I’m even more convinced that there’s an attainable realm where I lack nothing I need physically, emotionally and spiritually. So, I don’t wallow in the regret of living beneath God’s ideal for me. Instead, I accept the responsibility of changing my future so that verse becomes a lived experience, not just words on a page. Just imagine life without lack. Who doesn’t want that? I’m determined to experience it for myself but also as a demonstration of God’s benevolence. I want people to see the goodness of God in and through my life because that’s how I bring Him glory [Isaiah 43:7].
As you can imagine, I’ve been churning over Peter’s words and other passages of Scripture like First Corinthians 2:9-10 which affirm that God has already granted us access to His wisdom to solve our problems and the problems of others. In light of these truths, some of my prayer points no longer make sense because I can’t ask God to give me what He’s already given me. Imagine the heir to the world’s richest man, given an unlimited credit card, begging on the streets, or worse still, going into one of his father’s stores to ask for crumbs. You would rightly surmise that he either didn’t know the value of the credit card in his possession or didn’t know how to use the card. David tells us that the whole universe belongs to God, but He has given Earth to us [Psalm 115:16], and elsewhere, Scripture tells us that we’re gods, children of God, but we’ll die like ordinary men if we lack knowledge and understanding [Psalm 82:5-7]. These are chilling passages because that heir if he doesn’t learn to use that credit card, is destined for a miserable life.
An examination of these passages highlights a simple truth: the reason for any lack I experience isn’t scarcity but my ignorance. That implies I can’t blame the universe, my government or anyone else for the state of my life. I find that liberating and empowering because if my situation is someone else’s fault, I’m a victim of circumstance. But if I can change my situation, I can become who God says I am – a conqueror [Romans 8:37], and I can reign in life just as He intended for me [Romans 5:17]. Put yourself in the position of the father with the beggarly heir: how would you feel if, having provided all your son needs to live an abundant life, he becomes a victim of circumstances he shouldn’t experience because he lacked knowledge and understanding? We’re co-heirs with Jesus, destined to share His glory [Romans 8:17]. I always thought that only meant in heaven, but God wants us to proclaim His excellencies in this life [1 Peter 2:9]. How can we do that if our lives aren’t markedly distinguishable from those who don’t know Him?
Recently, I also realised that if God has put His image and name on me, He has a vested interest in the quality of my life. The same is true for every believer. So, it makes sense that we’re entitled to partake of His divine nature [2 Peter 1:4] so that we can live lives which reflect His character and essence, just like Jesus did [Romans 8:29]. That’s why He’s already provided all we need for life and godliness. In light of this, I believe some of the situations we go through break God’s heart because they are far from His will for us, and until we’re angry enough to insist otherwise, we’ll continue to live beneath God’s best for us because of ignorance. I encourage you to see every area of lack in your life as a consequence of gaps in your understanding and application of God’s word. You can argue otherwise or channel your energies into believing God’s word and taking the necessary steps to understand and walk in keeping with it so that it comes to pass in your life [Jeremiah 1:12, Colossians 1:9-10].
It can be tempting to despair when you encounter paradigm-shifting truths. Don’t give in. God is faithful. He never stops rooting for us [Romans 8:31]. He reveals to redeem, never to condemn [Romans 8:1]. So, don’t entertain regret or the lie that it’s too late for you to effect change. Instead, heed the words of Solomon and pursue knowledge and understanding [Proverbs 4:1-9], and never stop praying for wisdom and revelation [Ephesians 1:17] because God Almighty has ordained you for a life without lack in this life and the one to come [2 Corinthians 8:9].