Peter knew he was about to be executed (2 Peter 1:14) and penned his final letter. A letter to all who believed in Jesus for their salvation. There were many false teachers who were questioning the teachings of the apostles. Just like the serpent challenged Eve with his simple question: “Did God really say?”
Jesus said he would come back to establish his Kingdom upon the Earth. Where is he? What is taking him so long? They taunted. Many teachers and leaders were making a cheap mockery of Grace, by using it to cover their love of money and sexual sins. Claiming to be followers of Christ, but having forgotten that they have been given a new nature. A divine nature.
Understanding the urgency and passion in the last words penned by the apostle Peter, has given me a fresh perspective as I looked again at these familiar words. 2 Peter 1:4 that says that we are partakers of God’s divine nature. And God’s nature is pretty awesome.
God is Love. 1 Corinthians 13 gives us a beautiful picture of the nature of Love. Galatians 5:22-23 shows us the nature of the Spirit. Both passages challenge me as I consider my own nature. Love, peace, joy, longsuffering, self-control; I don’t have to read very far to acknowledge that I don’t quite measure up. Which made me wonder…
What does it mean to have a divine nature? And how do you experience, or live from that new nature?
In 2002, I returned back to Johannesburg after my adventures abroad. I started working again; trying to find my feet after a career-break wasn’t easy. Something was missing. The following year I signed up for Bible School, thinking that perhaps I would find something that would give me some kind of purpose and meaning. Maybe even answers to the problem of fixing myself. Something I still hadn’t achieve after many years of trying.
That year, I received top quality training and superb biblical theology. I bagged an enormous amount of valuable information, but what I really needed was transformation. I wanted to be the new creation that I was reading about in the Bible, but didn’t seem to experience when I closed the book.
A divine nature does not come through knowledge alone. If it did, we wouldn’t see so many theologians battle with moral issues. I believe that there are keys in these famous last words of Peter, that will unlock the transformational power of God’s promises for our lives.
One of the interpretations of the word “nature” (Greek word: phusis), is “the sum of innate properties and powers by which one person differs from the others, distinctive native peculiarities, natural characteristics: the natural strength, ferocity, and intractability of beasts).
The word that really jumps out to me here is “distinctive.” Having a divine nature should be visible. Is should offer a way of identification. It should separate you from the crowd. Could you be identified as a child of God, if people looked at your life right now? Please, hear my heart, there is no judgment here. I am confronted with the same question.
Peter witnessed people who expressed that they believed in Christ, and yet lived in such a self-gratifying, sinful way that he was compelled to speak the truth. To warn God’s precious people not to be fooled into living from the wrong nature. A warped identity.
To me, this is just such a powerful picture of the transformational power of God at work in Peter. The same Peter who cowered at the risk of being associated with Jesus at the crucifixion, is now bold enough to risk his own life to challenge the status quo of those who profess faith, without the fruit to show for it. The divine nature of Jesus could now be seen in Peter.
How do we unlock our divine nature?
Key no. 1 – Knowing God.
“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.”
2 Peter 1:3 NIV
We cannot receive his divine power without a knowledge of him. This word “knowledge” does not just mean knowing about him. It means precise and correct knowledge. Knowledge that only comes through an intimate relationship with someone.
To be a partaker of his divine nature, you have to know your Father. You need to know his Son and his Spirit. You have to invest into developing your relationship with him. There is no way around it.
I knew a lot about him when I attended Bible school, it didn’t help me. But getting to know him, has transformed me. I am not perfect, but I am not the person I used to be, either. My divine nature is developing, growing, increasing as I determine to get to know my God. As I have come to know him, I am learning about who I truly am.
Key no. 2 – Through his great and precious promises.
“As a result of this, he has given you magnificent promises that are beyond all price, so that through the power of these tremendous promises you can experience partnership with the divine nature, by which you have escaped the corrupt desires that are of the world.”
2 Peter 1:4 TPT
As I contend for the promises that God has given me, the power of those promises are released through me, and it is impacting my life from the inside out. In the past I have prayed and asked God to do something for me, but having a revelation of my divine nature, I now partner with God to do things through me.
Understanding the promises that God has made to me in his Word, empowers me to use my authority as a child of God and release it into my reality. My heart is filled with faith as I meditate on his promises and when I speak, my words are backed up by his nature; his faithfulness, his goodness, his powerful Word.
Luke 1:37 says that no Word from God will ever be without power or impossible of fulfilment. We have the privilege of partnering with the promises of God and see the world around us line up with his creative power and divine nature!
Key no. 3 – Engaging with prophecy.
“And so we have been given the prophetic word—the written message of the prophets, made more reliable and fully validated by the confirming voice of God on the Mount of Transfiguration. And you will continue to do well if you stay focused on it. For this prophetic message is like a piercing light shining in a gloomy place until the dawning of a new day, when the Morning Star rises in your hearts.”
2 Peter 1:19
Peter spoke with passion and authority because he had witness the transfiguration and he heard the voice of God confirming that Jesus was the Messiah. In Peter’s day, there was no New Testament, there were only the prophesies of old. Prophesies that Jesus fulfilled by his death and resurrection.
God still speaks today. He speaks through his Word, but he also speaks through his prophets. When we receive a word from God, we need to heed Peter’s advice. You will do well if you stay focussed on it. Often times when I have received a prophetic word, I have simply shelved it and waited for it to come to pass.
Most prophetic words do not have a default setting. We have to engage with it, to see it come to life. We have to stay focussed on it. We also have to stay focussed on the voice of God, if we do not want to be lead astray by every false doctrine.
Doctrine has no power. Theology cannot change you. It is the voice of God that transforms (Psalm 29). Stay tuned into him, and you will see his divine nature take form in you, like never before!
My prayer is that we will pick up these keys and unlock the power and truth of the Word in our hearts. May we make it our first priority to know our God intimately. It is the people who know their God, that changes the world (Daniel 11:32).
May we be the peculiar people that shouts forth the praises of the One who called us out of darkness. May we be so full of light that it will pierce the hearts of those who are still lost in that darkness.
May we look more and more like our Father as we become partakers of his divine nature.
Today I hear the Father say: “My Glorious One! You were created to reflect my glory. As you stare intently into my Words of Life, it will transform you from one degree of glory to the next. As you engage with my Promises, unstoppable faith will be released as you declare my Truth. For you were created in my image, Love. As you mature and grow in your knowledge of me, you will see the endless possibilities available through my divine nature within you. Get to know me, and you will get to know you. The true you. The glorious you. The beloved you.” ❤