Sometimes it just feels like life is out to get you, like you’re just living under siege. There’s a reason for that. According to the Bible, the world is a corrupt place and hates you. Yes, hates you. On top of that, your own body, your flesh, is weak and inclined to be self serving even to the expense of others in general and God in particular. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, the devil is real and really does want to do you harm. Besieged? We haven’t even gotten to finals week, relationships or social obligations yet!
The good news is, there IS good news. The apostle Peter in his second letter was writing to a group of people who were besieged themselves. They were being persecuting for the faith in Jesus and had been fed bad information by some false teachers (people who claimed to follow Jesus, but for one reason or another were teaching doctrines contrary to Him). Now THAT is living under siege. And what Peter say is, essentially, there is hope!
He starts off in the beginning of the letter assuring his listeners that their faith in Jesus Christ is as good as his own, that they can trust Christ for salvation and (don’t miss this) that they have everything they need to experience “life and godliness.” Woot! One of the big lies we face when we live life under siege is that maybe we aren’t in the right place spiritually to begin with. And there are certainly times when that is true (as Peter points out later), but if you’re being faithful and obedient to follow after Jesus, you’re doing just fine. See, good news!
After that kind of assurance though, Peter continues in a rather unexpected way. He offers advice on exactly how to experience a little more of that “life and godliness” he mentions at first. In fact, he gives a laundry list of things to work on that all sort of work together to help you walk closer to Jesus.
“For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness, godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being useless or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:5-8
It starts with faith and it ends with love. How beautiful is that?! But the point is that when we take the time to focus on working through these qualities in our lives, we stop living under siege and take the fight back to the enemy, back to the world, back to the flesh that so often beats us down. Stop living under siege, start thriving instead.