3By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself using his marvelous glory and excellence. 4And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires. 5In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. 2 Peter 1:3-5
It’s as if the Apostle Peter is leading an exhibition from the valley to the mountain top. In a day of false teachings and persecutions for the faith, Peter is asking the church to lift their eyes and see a brand new view. I can picture the early church craning their necks upward and trying so desperately to see how they can get from where they’re at to where God is calling them. Before Peter gives them how (vs. 5-7) he gives them the why. “Given all this”- its the statement of a man who was brought to the Mt. of Transfiguration and saw Jesus transform into His Heavenly likeness before his eyes. He has come back down to let us know that the same power, the divine power, that coursed through veins of Jesus was now coursing through the veins of every believer! Instead of looking at how much they didn’t have in terms of earthly wealth, political influence, or positional power Peter was reminding them they had everything they needed… and then some! Instead of roadblocks, Jesus was giving them runways. Instead of dead ends, Jesus was giving them new beginnings. Why? So they could help others to “escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires” and step into the “precious promises” provided for us through Jesus Christ. Only after Peter gives the why, the view, the vision does he call the church to give everything they’ve got to get climbing, get flying, get going. He knew that if asked them to “make every effort”(greek word spousal) in the what of their mission before giving them the way of their mission- Jesus did it for us and now wants to do it through us- they could be tempted to give up before they even started. The maximum effort with minimal vision is a recipe for massive exhaustion and major discouragement.
In dream casting sessions with teams over the years a great question to pose to get the creative juices flowing sounds something like this: “If you had all the money, time, and energy in the world what would you do for Jesus?” What this question does is to remove all the obstacles and limitations that normally impede our dreams. It’s a way to uncover why. What Peter is saying here is essentially the same thing but rather then it being hypothetical he is saying that we have “everything we need” to soar with God’s purpose for our lives. Speaking of soaring, today marks the 116th Anniversary of man’s first flight thanks to the tenacity, creativity, and vision of the Wright Brothers. What’s interesting to note is that they weren’t the only ones trying to invent the flying machine and were the least likely to succeed. Simon Sinek, in his book, “Start With Why”, shares the secret of their success, "Unlike Langley, the Wright brothers did not have the recipe for success. Worse, they seemed to have the recipe for failure. There was no funding for their venture. No government grants. No high-level connections. The Wright brothers funded their dream with the proceeds from their bicycle shop. Not a single person working on the team, including Orville and Wilbur, had a college education; some did not even finish high school. What the Wright brothers were doing wasn’t any different from Langley or all the others trying to build a flying machine. But the Wright brothers did have something very special. They had a dream. They knew WHY it was important to build this thing. They believed that if they could figure out this flying machine, it would change the world. They imagined the benefits to everyone else if they were successful." In other words, they had a brand new view before ever leaving the ground. Because they had grasped them why they didn’t see their obstacles as anything other than road bumps on the runway to changing the world.
Thank You, Jesus, for giving me a brand new view this morning. I truly have everything I need to go where You’re calling me to go and do what You’re calling me to do. Impart fresh vision to us amid all the change. Help us to see with the eyes of faith everything that You are about to do both personally and through Your Church. Let me see my limitations as launch pads into all that You have purposed for me. If I forget me why, if I get caught up in the difficulties, I will become “shortsighted and blind” (vs.9) to what lays before me.