The other day we were talking about American history. I was saying something about America and the 50 states and my 5-year-old burst out, perplexed, “But I don’t know where America is! I’ve never been there!” After explaining that she was IN America and she actually lived here, she was very relieved. It was funny. We all laughed (especially her older brother and sister) but it was sad………in a cute sort of way………that she didn’t know that she was, in fact, living in the United States of America.
How does an American, albeit a 5-year-old American, not know they are an American? It’s not her fault. I guess we assumed and never explained, but she has that vital piece of information now. Here’s the thing. As children grow they learn. They start to know things and the things they know affect who they become. What kind of adults they turn out to be. The more they know the more options, choices they might have.
I’ve been blessed to travel and see some of the world. It changed my view of things. How I see things and people and the world. The more I read and study and learn, the more it changes me. What I know determines how I make choices.
I’ve been camped out in 2 Peter lately. This passage is powerful. Chapter 1 says: “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. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.”
Verse 3 tells us that the power of God gives us everything we need to be godly and this is found through our knowledge of God. This allows us to escape sin. The knowledge of God is the key to this divine nature. It’s key to this unleashed power that lets us participate in the DIVINE nature and escape sin.
So our knowledge of God is crucial. Not just knowing about God, but knowing Him. I know some things about strangers but there’s some people I really, really, know. And the knowing makes all the difference. How we know God makes all the difference too. The knowing of God opens the door to the divine nature (obedience, peace, joy, self-control, goodness, faithfulness, loving kindness).
How we know God determines everything about us! It determines how we act. How we spend our money. What we do with our time. What we watch on tv. What entertainment we choose. Who our friends are. What’s important to us. It determines everything about us!
We don’t have to be like my 5-year-old……having something that we don’t even know we possess. So the question is, do we want to participate in the divine nature or not? Do we want a godly life? Do we want to be victorious? At peace? Self-controlled? Faithful? Good? Kind? Loving? Do we want to be obedient? Gracious to others? If so, then that life CAN be ours. “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.”
Know Him! It makes all the difference.