As we kick off a new year, I was inspired to do a series of blogs entitled, “Empowered to Live,” based on the scripture 2 Peter 1:3 (NIV), which reads–” His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”
What does it mean to be empowered? By Webster’s definition, it means to make (someone) stronger and more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights. As believers, God has said that it is by His divine power that we have been made stronger and more confident in the life that has been given to us. This is the life that the Apostle John calls "the abundant life" (John 10:10) a life that is well lived. It is not found in having fancy cars, big houses, expense accounts, or the so-called perfect life where we often find ourselves feeling discontent, bitter, and resentful Where we're chasing after the wind and never finding fulfillment. This was not the life that Christ died for us to have There's nothing wrong with that life It just can't be all that our lives become. Paul shared that this empowered life is one of contentment in whatever state we find ourselves in - poor or rich, sick or healthy. The empowered life is one of value, filled with the things that matter for eternity and the rewards that come with it. This is a life worth living and fighting for. So, how do we get this life?
How do We get this Empowered Life?
We start with the basics. Similar to the 12-Step program, we must first become honest with ourselves. We have to recognize that it is not about us or from ourselves, but it is through His divine power that we achieve this life. Two, we recognize that by faith it was given to us by God, and it is nothing that we can work for to gain. Peter says that God has given us everything that we need. And not only has it already been given to us, but we will also need to accept the gift of what is already ours. Are you claiming your rights to the Empowered Life as a believer?
Thirdly, we need to surrender our will and plans to God. He declared that he knows what he has planned for us. It is a plan to prosper us and not to harm us. Many times this scripture is used to mean physical prosperity, and yes could mean that, but God wants so much more for us than to only give us the things that the moths can destroy, and rust corrodes or thieves break in and steal them. He plans that we fully realize that we are his image bearers, that we have a relationship and fellowship with him as Adam had before the fall of mankind and sin entered and broke that fellowship. God’s plan is the restoration of man in full communion with God the Father.
I remember years ago there was a Twilight Zone episode called “To Serve Man (S3: E24), the storyline was about aliens that came to earth. Before they came they studied mankind and discovered that if you promise them wealth, riches, good health, and freedom from the cares of living then they would be willing to go wherever you led them What the people did not realize was that this was a cookbook on how to make humans into a great meal until it was too late. That episode has stuck with me after all these years because it causes me to pause and check in with God whenever something seems too good to be true. How often do we listen to the lies of the evil one who promises wealth, peace, and health, and we find ourselves letting go of our hope in Christ and believing in his promises?
Let it not be said at the end of our days that it was all about gathering straw, but that we made no impact on the kingdom of God, and that lives were made richer, fuller, and brighter because we existed.
As we journey towards the Empowered Life this year, let us do as the writer of Hebrews cautioned us to do -hold unswervingly to the hope that we profess, for he who has promised is faithful (Hebrews 10: 23 NIV); remembering that it is through God’s divine power that we are empowered to live.