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If Only I Was Strong Enough!

2 Peter 1: 3-4

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.

For many years I was leading a large, international missions organization with 2500 employees in 190 countries. It was an honor and a pleasure to serve God in that role and to be able to see the impact of the work in the lives of millions of people around the world each year. At least it was an honor and a pleasure on most days.

I remember one particular afternoon just getting overwhelmed by some of the problems that were stacking up on my desk and feeling a toxic combination of frustration and inability. I wasn't the smartest guy in town, but I was smart enough to recognize that I needed to get out of the office and spend some time alone with God. I picked up a book that I had been reading, a small paperback by the great Christian writer from generations ago: Andrew Murray.

I remember it clearly. I found a bench under a mulberry tree outside of the great, big buildings that housed our international headquarters. I sat down in the shade and opened my Andrew Murray book, and here is what I read: "Many Christians imagine that the only thing lacking in their lives is more earnestness, or more strength, and if they can only obtain these benefits they will become all they ought to be." Wow.

I don't know if you have ever felt that sense of not being strong enough or smart enough or good enough or the one that trumps them all, not godly enough to do what you're trying to do. I felt it really strongly that day. And a writer from South Africa who lived in the 1800's hit the nail on the head. I was imagining the very thing he wrote about imagining; That if I could be more earnest, stronger, somehow better, that my life and work would be all that they ought to be.

Peter said it in his second letter and the first chapter. "His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire."

Yes, we do need to be tender and broken before God, confessing sin, and seeking to follow the teaching of God's Word. But then we put so much more on ourselves than God required. We serve a Father who knows our weaknesses, our shortcomings, our tendencies, and faults. He will perfect us in His time when we enter our Heavenly home. For now, we need to learn to depend on Him and understand that His divine power HAS ALREADY given His children everything that we need for life and godliness, through our knowledge of Him!

That day on a bench under a mulberry tree in Missouri I was reminded of something important. On my very best day, doing the very best I could possibly do, I would not have been able to be all that I needed to be to do carry out the role God had given me. But that wasn't even His plan. His plan was for me to depend on His strength and be reminded that He had given me what I needed FOR LIFE AND GODLINESS.

I went back into my office refreshed and with a little better focus. What about you? What would be different in your thinking and emotions if you let these words wash over you today?

"His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire." 2 Peter 1:3-4

Marshall Pennell

Vero Bible Fellowship Elder Team

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