Faith Alone Is Not Enough
Faith alone is not enough. We are called to live lives that witness God’s full provision in all circumstances. Yes, we can pray for all we need or desire, but should always keep Peter’s wisdom at the forefront of our mind. His illumination of God’s provisions “to experience life and to reflect God’s true nature” is a reminder that living a godly life is the believer’s first and foremost responsibility. It is our “prime directive.”
When we consider our station in life, the condition of society and our place in it, and our responsibility to model God to a lost world, we are guided in our actions by remembering His provision.
His divine power has given us everything we need to experience life and to reflect God’s true nature through the knowledge of the One who called us by His glory and virtue. Through these things, we have received God’s great and valuable promises, so we might escape the corruption of worldly desires and share in the divine nature.
To achieve this, you will need to add virtue to your faith, and then knowledge to your virtue; to knowledge, add discipline; to discipline, add endurance; to endurance, add godliness; to godliness, add affection for others as sisters and brothers; and to affection, at last, add love.
For if you possess these traits and multiply them, then you will never be ineffective or unproductive in your relationship with our Lord Jesus the Anointed;
But before my exodus from this life, I want to be certain you will be able to call these things to mind anytime you need them, even after I am gone.
2 Peter 1: 3-8, 15 (The Voice)
In these, God provides everything He believes we need to exercise a life that pleases, honors, and glorifies Him. We ask for a lot of things, and in His grace He often satisfies our wants and needs, sometimes through divine providence. What He desires deepest in His heart, however, is that we make good use of the provisions He gives us, the characteristics that enable us to live in His image, to actually be imagers of God to a lost world.
More than simply knowing about His provision, we are to do something with it. We are to “possess these traits and multiply them.” When we read the Parable of the Talents, we understand that we are responsible for wise investment and application of God’s provision. These characteristics are more than mere concepts, abstracts, or even beliefs. They are plumb lines for our lives. They are the tools we’ve been given that must be put to work to be effective. Knowing about them and even believing in them is not enough. We must make them a part of who we are by exercising and multiplying them.
Some of these challenge us today. We are in a season of hardship and call out to God for His relief. His answer? Faith. Virtue. Discipline. Endurance. Godliness. Love. We are living in a difficult time for sure, and in many ways, we have allowed it to become our reality. Many, even many believers, are living in fear. In doing so we surrender our faith and fail to exercise all the knowledge, virtue, discipline, and endurance God considers to be the traits that sustain us through such times.
In some ways, it is an issue of perspective. We are in the moment, and to us the moment is huge. God sees this moment too, but to Him it is a Nano-particle sized speck on the timeline of eternity. He has seen the end from the beginning, He knows the outcome, and He is not living or operating in fear. He is confident and purposeful precisely because He knows. With faith in His knowledge and faith, we can be confident as well.
Remember these things, these provisions granted to you by God Himself. Remember, and put them to work. Multiply their effect in your life through self-discipline and application. Be a good and effective servant of the Most Holy by putting to use the tools He has given you … “for a time such as this.”