The human experience is one of duality. We live in a world that is often broken and corrupt as are we ourselves. And yet, we are spiritual beings trying to connect to our divine nature. How do we move from the corrupt to the divine? The answer is simple and complex. Faith is how we move into the divine. And faith is something all people experience. People have faith in many things. The act of living and breathing is an act of faith.
- What are some things (other than God) that you put your faith in?
- Have any of these things failed you?
According to 2 Peter 1:3-9, we can see that faith is not enough to move to the divine. We must supplement faith.
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. 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. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 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. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.
Last week, we added goodness as a supplement. The next supplement is knowledge.
- Why do you think knowledge is important to add to goodness and faith?
- Is there a difference between information and knowledge? If so, what is the distinction?
Living in the technology and information age, it’s easy to create theories for everything including our own lives. There are theories on how to lose weight, raise children, be a whole person, etc. It’s one thing to have a theory about something. It’s another to know something.
- Where have you seen in your life theories and knowledge being at odds with each other?
The heart is deceitful above all things
and beyond cure.
Who can understand it?
- How you do think this relates to knowledge?
- When was the last time your heart swayed you into a direction that you knew wasn’t the right thing?
There are many things we think and feel that just aren’t true. We have all had thoughts about others or told ourselves stories about a situation that end up not true at all. This happens in our relationship with God. We either believe something untrue about God’s character or we allow are actions to misalign with what we know about God. A great example of this is in Luke 22:54-62.
Then seizing him, they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance. And when some there had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them. A servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, “This man was with him.” But he denied it. “Woman, I don’t know him,” he said.
A little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.”
“Man, I am not!” Peter replied.
About an hour later another asserted, “Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean.”
Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.
Peter knew who God was. Just verses before he is zealously defending Christ in the garden, cutting the ear off a Roman soldier. Here, Peter denies him three times out of fear. Living against what he knew of Jesus causes sorrow for him and later, defeated spirit. When we live in conflict with what we know is true about God, the results are never life giving
- What are some things you know to be true about God? Make a list.
- Now carefully look at this list. Are the ways your life does not align with this?
- What is the impact of this misalignment?
- How can you get in realignment?
Maybe you don’t know what is true about God. Maybe you have been doubting what you know about God. Or maybe you just want to enhance your faith with a deeper knowledge. We recommend a few ways to obtain more knowledge about God.
- Spend a little time this week reading the word of God. It doesn’t have to be a lot. In this app, we have a bible you can use. We recommend starting in John or the Psalms. John will help you discover the knowledge of who Jesus is better. The Psalms will give your insight to God’s character and to his relationship with his people. Even if you have known God awhile, use this tool to realign.
- Spend time daily listening and praying. A great way to realign your spirit is to declutter the mind with quiet and reflection. Practicing his presence will help understand what you read and how it applies in your life.
- Spend with others in your small groups (C3 groups). Talk about life and what you are learning. Work it out with each other. Knowledge is always more vibrant when you can share it.