If my goal was to go and run a marathon right now, I would definitely not have everything that I need. If my goal was to reach the peak of Mount Everest, I do not have everything that I need. But if my goal is to live the abundant life that God planned for me since before I was even born, I already have everything I need. I have all I need to have great relationships, to have joy, peace, love, mercy, compassion, wonder, laughter, love. It’s all here.
2 Peter 1:3
3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. (NIV)
A godly life is a life that is touched by God. We might read this and think to ourselves that a godly life means living righteously and following the teachings of Christ, but that is not….oh wait. That is exactly what it means. Hmmmm. The King James Version translates it a little differently and adds that we have all we need for life and godliness. The NIV combined this because true life, true abundant life can only be found in our love and obedience to the Scriptures.
Think about it. If all of the law is summed up with the two: Love God and love your neighbor, then obedience, when it is boiled down is about loving according to God’s definition of love. Well, this only makes sense. Try being selfish and see how your life turns out. Selfishness is the cause of division. When we pursue what we want more than we are determined to love God or our neighbor, this will lead to destruction.
Love doesn’t guarantee anything. Jesus loved perfectly and people still wanted to kill Him. But love does set the stage with the greatest potential for our relationships. Plus, love is powerful. What caused me to turn against my own nature with a willingness to sacrifice my wants and desires to serve God’s purpose? It was His love for me even when I didn’t love Him. This kind of love and kindness that He bestowed upon me when it was so undeserved created within my heart a desire to be loyal to Him. So love doesn’t guarantee anything, but love, which is God, does have the power to change hearts.
Love is complex, however. Every parent knows this. Every spouse knows this. Just because we love one another, it doesn’t mean we are going to have a good relationship. Love is also a skill that requires knowledge that is above the human mind. It comes from God who is love, and the Holy Spirit. He has given me everything I need for a wonderful life, but these things require skill that comes from understanding. Through the Spirit, we can understand how God works and moves in the hearts of man. With this understanding, the Spirit will give us skill to love better, to communicate better, to respond better. But all of this comes from the knowledge that we receive from the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.
Want to have a great life? God has already given you everything you need to achieve it. But there is some learning required. Get in the Word and get in the Spirit and start living the life God has planned for you.