God Creates Fruit, I Only Enjoy It
Reading: 2 Peter 1
“It’s a process,” I protest, “It takes time.”
So you’ve had fifty years since you gave yourself to me. Practice doesn’t seem to be cutting it, does it?
“But I’m only human,” I whine. “You can’t expect me to be perfect.”
No, I’m the only One Who’s perfect. But I gave you sufficient resources to have gotten better at imitating me by now.
“It’s hard,” I reason.
Of course it is. In fact, when you try to do it yourself, it’s impossible!
“Sometimes it’s annoying to be surrounded by Someone who has all the answers.”
Maybe if you paid attention to them…?
“Did I miss something?”
I’m going to forget you said that. But let’s not get sidetracked here. You’ve read, or heard someone preach on, 2 Peter 1:5-8 lots of times, right? But maybe that’s a problem.
Listen to it. I told Peter to say ‘…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, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you posses these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.'
You’re missing the point. These verses are only part of what I told Peter to say. Contrary to popular opinion that “make every effort to add” doesn’t mean you have to somehow find it in yourself to become all these things. You are to “possess” what I’ve already provided for you. When you do that, all these qualities will basically produce themselves. I create fruit, you just enjoy it, right? Remember the old vine and branches thing?
“Okay, I’m listening.”
Good. So now you can go back a few verses to 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 these he has given us his 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. For this reason, make every effort…”
Put your effort into knowing me, becoming one with me, experiencing my power and appropriating my promises. The fruit will practically produce itself when you do all that.
“So what’s the ‘effort?’”
Abiding, Lynda, abiding. That’s the hard part, my dearest but most impatient and independent daughter. You took that: “The Lord helps those who help themselves” a little too seriously. It’s: “Those who help themselves wait on the Lord’s help.”
“I didn’t know that.”