(A Very Good) Crime Story
Say I Am You

Definitely Everything I Need, Maybe, I Think

"His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness. . . ." (2 Pet. 1:3)

This, folks, is quite a promise.  If you have been a Christian for a while, you may be like me in that I often read over (that is, pass over) something in Scripture without fully appreciating and appropriating what has been said.  Everything I need?  I had parents who lovingly reared me to the best of their abilities, and yet they could not say (nor could I say) that they gave me everything I need.  Like everyone, I remain needy.  I'm still, at least in part, a cup to be filled, with holes to be patched.  And yet Peter claims that God gives us everything we need.

Going back just a bit, it's interesting that Peter introduces himself in this letter as "Simon Peter," whereas in 1 Peter he simply says "Peter."  No big deal, we might think, but if you believe there are no chance inclusions/omissions in Scripture, then it is a purposeful inclusion, if not by Peter certainly by God who superintended the writing of this letter.  Perhaps, as some commentators note, Peter did so to emphasize his progression, from Simon the cowardly follower of Jesus, big on words but short on action, to Peter, the rock, the man of God by God's grace alone.  His divine power gave Peter what he needed for life, and godliness too.

I usually forget I have the Holy Spirit and settle for the spirit holy, that is, the vague veneer of spirituality, all controlled and manageable.  That's fine for when life is going well, but when it's not, I need the Holy Spirit.  I need something awesome, something almost dangerous, in short Someone to do something --- a miracle, a rescue, a last-minute save, or a healing.  I forget what I have available.  Or, worse, I just don't fully believe it at that moment of existence.

Remember that wild-eyed Jesus-crazy pastor that cornered me at the back of church all those years ago?  (I wrote about him once.)  Now he really believed that "His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness."  He said "Steve, we've got to live existentially, moment by moment."  Grabbing me by the shoulders and shaking me gently, he said it again, and all I could do was nod and make for the door, thinking he was a little bit of a nut.  After all, he was charismatic, you know.  They tend to be emotional and have wild ideas about the Spirit (like that He actually does things and isn't just some benign ghostly presence).

Yesterday I found out that that pastor, long retired, is still around.  I'm going to find him.  I think he's right.  I think we have to believe and trust God moment by moment.  This is amazing stuff, because if you believe what Peter said you are tapped into the power that created the universe, and if you don't, then it's pure foolishness.  Some moments I believe it, and then some moments I don't, and yet I want to.  I really, really do want to believe this every moment.