Bend All Your Energy
“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness… For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith…” 2 Peter 1:3, 5
In ancient Greece the great plays of men like Sophocles and Euripides required enormous and very expensive choruses for their productions. Some of the most highly respected men in the theatre were those who lavishly gave their financial resources and their time to organize, train, supply and maintain these choruses. They were called “choregoi”, a word which eventually was used to describe anyone who supplied what was necessary to accomplish a task with lavish generosity.
The late William Barclay, an esteemed Greek scholar, translated 2 Peter 1:5 as “bend all your energy to the task of equipping your faith”. His view was that God did not give us faith by His divine power simply to produce an initial spasm of excitement and energy followed by “chronic inertia”. Rather, such faith is intended to spend itself, not in the cloistered spaces of a study, a church building or retirement communities, but in the lavish and sold out life of service to God and man.
I agree with Barclay. Faith in Peter’s way of thinking and experiencing is the work of the Spirit to live dangerously and courageously, eager to show the world the glory of whose we are and for whom we live, serve and have our being.
Let’s Be Clear
And let me be clear. While in my earlier post I labeled Peter’s list in this passage as “additives” (Barclay calls them ‘equipment’), I am not suggesting that the faith that gives us our salvation is somehow incomplete—that we need more to show that we are worthy. This is not what Peter is teaching. Peter is describing the natural course of a vibrant, living faith that compels us to live intentionally to show the world what this living faith is about—to the glory of our Lord and Savior. It is not adding in the sense of completing, but in the sense of participating and extending beyond ourselves.
Perhaps now would be the time to ask ourselves where we are in our own faith journey. Does our faith engage our lives at every level for God’s purposes and glory? To what are we “bending all our energy” in this stage of life? Do our grandchildren and adult children know whose we are? For whom or what would they say we bend all our energy? May it be “all for Jesus”!
All for Jesus, all for Jesus, All my being’s ransomed powers
All my thoughts and words and doings, All my days and all my hours.
Let my hands perform His bidding, Let my feet run in His ways;
Let my eyes see Jesus only, Let my lips speak forth His praise.
All for Jesus, all for Jesus! Let my lips speak forth His praise.
— Mary D. James
In my next post: A look at the importance of virtue in the equipping process of our faith.
GRANDPAUSE: “Faith is not only a commitment to the promises of Christ, it is a commitment to His demands.” — Wm. Barclay