Is it your longing to be like Jesus? If so, this Scripture holds forth great hope for you! He has already given you everything you need for godliness. It’s in your hands. It’s yours.
How? “Through our knowledge of him…” Hmmm, what is this knowledge?
Think of a public figure that you admire. What do you know about him or her? I’ll bet you have committed to memory quite a bit of information about them. You have accumulated a certain type of knowledge about them. Is this the kind of knowledge that Peter means in this passage? Memorizing facts about God?
Before we answer that, here’s another consideration on the matter. Think about the person you are closest to on this earth. What kind of knowledge do you have about him or her? Can you anticipate what will make them laugh? Can you immediately tell how they’re feeling by just one glance in their direction? Do you not need caller ID to instantly recognize their voice on the phone? Can you communicate with them without the need even for words?
I have given you examples of two very different kinds of knowledge. Which one do you think this Scripture is pointing to? I’m pretty sure you have quickly caught onto what I’m getting at here. It’s personal knowledge of God that provides us with divine power for godly living. It’s intimate knowledge of Him that gives us everything we need for becoming more and more like Him.
As we cultivate our relationship with Him, this is what happens:
“Through these [his own glory and goodness] he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires” (v. 4)
As we grow in the knowledge of His nature; of His heart; of the essence of His being, we absorb His promises in ever-increasing measure. These promises are “very great and precious” because they are at work on the inside of us, transforming us into the image of Jesus. As each day we learn a little bit more than the day before to linger and abide in His presence, He is incorporating His divine nature into the fundamental makeup of who we are.
And, get this: It’s by His own glory and goodness that He calls us to Him and does this for us. It’s His sheer goodness. It’s His overwhelming love for us. It’s not because of anything we’ve ever done, or ever will do to deserve it. It’s because it’s what He wants to do, and it gives Him great pleasure. That’s just the indescribably beautiful person that He is.
In view of all of this, one more question. How do we escape the corruption in the world? By straining and trying harder? By gritting our teeth and mustering up more will power?
No. By coming away with Him. By snuggling up into His bosom. By listening to Him talk. By treasuring every word that we hear Him speak. By reading His love letters written for us in the Bible. By engaging in rich, leisurely conversation with Him. By enjoying Him. By taking deep drinks of His living waters. And oftentimes, by gazing in wonder at His glory in the face of Jesus… and falling down at His feet in awe-filled adoration.
By nourishing your intimacy with Him in this way, you will grow in the right kind of knowing. Long for more and more of this knowledge. In it is life eternal, life more abundantly; life that grows from triumph to triumph, with joy inexpressible and full of glory (1 Peter 1:8, NKJV).
Have you noticed a pattern of a decreased appetite for the things of the world, the more you take delight in Jesus?