I’m not sure how many times I have read through certain books of the Bible in my many quests to read the Bible all the way through. Being something of a non-linear thinker I’ve never really entertained the idea of starting in Genesis and reading through to Revelation. I figure that’s not the correct chronological order anyway and do I really want to wade through all the “this guy begat that guy” and so on. The “begats” and the laws of Leviticus and Numbers have never really done much for my devotional life. I’m sure there are people who are raised to the gates of Heaven when reading through the minutia of Moses, I’m just not one of them.
Instead, I tend to jump around a lot reading some of Paul then flipping over to Psalms and back to Peter. I’ve been doing this for well on twenty or so years now and occasionally I’ll re-read something that strikes my memory of something I had learned many years ago when I read it for the first time. I recently had that very experience.
The longer I live the more complicated life seems to get. Getting through puberty and adolescence seemed like monstrous challenges but they hold nothing compared to the challenges and mysteries of adulthood, paying bills, career and all that goes with being “grown up.” It can all seemingly become so foggy and convoluted especially when I add figuring out my relationship with God and how that fits into everything else! With many of these thought swirling in my head I recently opened the books of I and II Peter. As soon as I began reading a lightening flash of light fired in dusty neurons deep in my brain and resurrected thoughts I had thunk nearly 20 years ago. Thoughts that were so profound the first time I thought them, that they directed the course of my teaching and youth ministry for years. And now, here I was again being reminded by God of His simplicity in the midst of my complexity:
“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.” II Peter 1:3
God’s power has given to you and me EVERYTHING we need for life and godliness. Do you get that? Every need, every challenge, every problem, every…everything in every aspect of life God promises here to give us. The same is true for our relationship with Him and the Christian life. Everything we need for “godliness”. He gives us all of these things by His own strength, not ours. The question is, how? How does God give them to us? How do we see the solutions, know the knowledge, live the love? Only one way according to this verse: “through our knowledge of Him who called us”. Simply put, knowing Jesus.
So how do I figure out life? Know Jesus. How do I overcome the obstacles? Know Jesus. The answer to every, “How do I…” is–know Jesus. Not just head knowledge, but heart knowledge. The more intimate I get to know Jesus the more intimate He can work in my life. It really is that simple. And the only way to really get to know Jesus is by being in His presence. How do you do that? Simple. Spend time with God in His word, spend time with God in prayer and then go tell somebody else what happened in both those things. Sounds way too simple. It is. But it’s not easy. I have this belief that most things in life are simple, we tend to make them complicated. But simple doesn’t necessarily mean easy.
So I challenge you, and me, to follow God’s advice here. He promises to give us everything we need for this world and to live the life He wants for us simply by taking the time to get to know Jesus and let that relationship untangle all the messes of our lives. I’m going to try and remember this every day and not let another 20 years go by and find myself again writing this very same blog.