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Escape

It is through Him that God’s greatest

and most precious promises have

become available to us men,

making it possible for you to escape the

inevitable disintegration that lust

produces in the world and to

share God’s essential nature.

II Peter 1:4 (J.B. Phillips Version)

Scripture contains almost five thousand different promises made by God for His people. Believers can claim with assurance any and all the promises of God. For what God promises He performs or fulfills. He always keeps His word. [1]

“Inevitable disintegration.” That sounds pretty alarming doesn’t it? Peter tells us that it is through God’s promises that we are able to resist being conformed to this world’which he says is an inevitable disintegration that lust produces. What does “disintegration” mean here? The breaking up into fragments, separating, doubting, causing havoc with our spiritual-life commitments.

The word “lust” has a very simple meaning: An intense desire. The word usually brings sexual activities to mind, but we can have an intense desire for power, money, popularity, more ice cream, new clothes, a boat and motor, and any other number of things not nearly so “scary” as sexual temptations. And, according to what Peter writes, those lusts produced in the world inevitably bring about disintegration’but they can be overcome. How? Through God’s promises. And according to Peter, escaping that world-trap gives us the privilege of actually sharing God’s character. (Do I believe that?)

How about this promise? Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. [2] We read that “promise” and say, “Doesn’t work for me.” Well, we left off a very important part of the verse: Submit therefore to God. You see, we are on stage with Him. We, too have a role to play, lines to memorize, actions to present to our “audience.” Yes, it is His promise, but there is a condition to that promise that we must fulfill.

What I’m saying is that we expect God to keep His promises when we don’t bother to fill our part. Romans 12:2 is a good example (and remember I’m sharing with you the thoughts that He patiently points out to me as I read.) That verse says: And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed . . . (“That’s what I want, Lord! To be transformed! Different! Victorious instead of always waving the white flag! How will You do that for me?) He says, “You have a part in that promise, Anabel.” “What do I have to do?” Read the rest of the verse: by the renewing of your mind. What does that mean? To change your thinking patterns. That’s how it’s done. He doesn’t erase everything and immediately transform you. You have a part in that transformation. You control what you think about! And we can do that–can’t we?

And when we control our thinking processes we are playing out our role’we are resisting the devil. Don’t let him control what you think about! Instead, draw near to God. Think about God. Paul tells us: Fix your thoughts on what is good and true and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and dwell on the fine good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about. [3] And we are drawing near to God. We’re playing out our role.

I believe with all my heart that God will do it all for me. But, there is ONE imperative condition. Am I willing to allow Him to do those things through me? Will I let Him? Will I submit to Him? Will I “resist”? It’s all a matter of your will! What will you do with this Jesus Who indwells you? Will you do your part? Our salvation comes about in that same way: Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. [4] Our part? To choose with our will to believe! His promise has just been fulfilled!

Someone has said, “You are what you think about.” That’s pretty much it. If you keep thinking about the lurid, naked pictures on the pornographic websites–you’re going to wind up becoming addicted to porn. If you keep thinking about your neighbor’s husband–his broad shoulders, his eyes, the tender way he treats her–you’re setting yourself up for unhappiness in your relationship with your husband. Control what you think about! And if we insist on setting our minds on our unique “lusts” there comes the time when we give in to those emotions and we find ourselves doing and saying things we never dreamed we would say or do! It may be eating a gallon of ice cream. It may be telling our husband in no uncertain terms and increased decibels how he fails to live up to the standards of your handsome neighbor. It may be going shopping and spending all your money–grocery, bills, insurance, etc. on new clothes. You finally follow through on where you set your mind! Your unique “lust” that the world produces. And our faith is “disintegrated.”

So Peter is telling us that if we want to escape the “inevitable disintegration” of this world we live in, we must take advantage of God’s promises. Simply knowing the promises is not sufficient. We must “choose” to take advantage of them. When we do that, we become more and more like our marvelous Hero, Jesus Christ.

What I’ve got to do is read the script. Not only the Leading Man’s lines, but my lines–what I’m responsible for. You’ll find that your role–inevitably–is to follow the Star’s cues. If we do that, we’ll be part of a long running smash hit!

[1] Footnote II Peter 1:4 Taylor’s Living Paraphrase

[2] James 4:8

[3] Philippians 4:8 Taylor’s Living Paraphrase

[4] Acts 16:31

About the Author

Anabel spent decades teaching in many contexts through Lifetime Guarantee Ministries. She has taught countless others how to have a genuine intimate faith and a sound marriage. She shared from her heart about living from the heart. Lifetime’s beloved founder and mentor passed away November 7, 2010. Her legacy and influence are timeless and priceless.