By Michael E. Brooks
“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as his divine power has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:2-4 NKJV).
I have recently made two trips which illustrate the vast differences in living conditions between various parts of the world. About three weeks ago I left Katmandu, Nepal on a bus at about 7:30 a.m. and arrived that evening at my destination of Sybru Bensi at 7:00 p.m. I had traveled a grand total of 85 miles in 11 ½ hours.
A couple of weeks later I drove from my home in northwest Alabama to central Florida, a distance of about 700 miles, in almost the same amount of time — about 12 ½ hours. Yes, the car I drive in the U.S. is better than most public buses in Nepal, but the main difference is the roads.
There is an immense difference between American interstate highways and the rocky mountain roads of Nepal. The same may be said about water lines, utilities, and other types of infrastructure.
Infrastructure is a vital element in the comfort, convenience and functionality of a population. With good roads, communications, utilities and other vital services travel, housing, manufacturing and much else is made more efficient and available. We often do not think about how much we depend upon such things.
The same point may be made with regard to our spiritual lives. Scripture refers to the Christian life as a “way” or journey (Acts 22:4). Every journey may be made easier or more difficult by the nature of the path which is traveled — by the infrastructure available to those who are traveling.
Peter taught that God has provided us with the very best infrastructure for our spiritual walk. He has given us everything pertaining to life and godliness. He has provided us with great and precious promises.
He has made his own divine nature available to us that we might partake in it. If the Christian life is difficult (and it often is), it is not because we do not have what we need to live it successfully. Rather it may be because we do not make use of God’s gifts, preferring to travel our own way.
In Ephesians 4:7-16, Paul shows how Jesus equipped the church so that every Christian may grow and the church’s work could be accomplished. The work of elders, preachers and teachers is part of our spiritual “infrastructure.” But he points out that it is not just the officially appointed leaders who serve in this way. Rather the Church grows “by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share” (Verse 16).
One can cover much more distance in a given amount of time if the roads are good. Our heavenly journey is also much easier, and much more likely to be successfully completed, if we can avail ourselves of God’s abundant blessings, of the spiritual help of other faithful Christians, and of the support of a united, caring congregation. May God grant us all that blessing.