Support us on Paypal
Contact Us
Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Dr. Tony Evans » Tony Evans - Passion For Your Journey

Tony Evans - Passion For Your Journey

Tony Evans - Passion For Your Journey
Tony Evans - Passion For Your Journey

Peter has two concerns. His first concern is that we live useful and in fruitful lives. He says in verse 8, "For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ". So, he wants you to live a life that's meaningful and productive, but he has another goal. Verse 11, "For in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you". So, he wants you to have a productive journey to heaven and have an ecstatic entrance into heaven, both. So, I'm calling it the triumphant trip to heaven, to glory.

He comes in verse 5 and he introduces it with a phrase: "Now, for this very reason, applying all diligence, in your faith", remember what he says in verse 3? He says, "Seeing that his divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true epignosis, the full experiential knowledge, of Him. By these," verse 4, "He has granted to us precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become takers, or sharers, of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust". To put those two verses together, for this reason, God has given you and me everything we need to become the godly people he expects us to become.

Everything means everything, and that's all everything means, that you and I are not lacking anything to achieve God's expectations for your life as a Christian, to make sure you have everything he has given to you, what he calls in verse 4 the divine nature, heavenly DNA, in order for you to become what God wants you to be. What God wants you to know is everything you need to be all he demands and expects you to become you already have, so if you and I are not where we are going to what we're supposed to become, it's not his fault, because he says everything is in the nature, but as we explained, you receive the nature in seed form. You don't get the full expression of it.

The full expression of it happens through growth and development. It doesn't just happen because it's there, just as a baby must develop in the womb. He says you and I can share what he calls Jesus's, verse 3, glory and excellence. The very life of Christ has been deposited by his Spirit into your soul at the moment of your conversion. Whenever your conversion took place and you accepted Jesus Christ as your sin bearer, God planted a seed in your soul called the divine nature, the very DNA of dignity of God has been deposited in the life and soul of every believer. Now, that much you must accept by faith because God says it is true. For this reason, he starts off, because you now have no excuses, because the DNA of deity has been deposited in you for this reason.

Let's get it on. 2 Timothy chapter 3, verse 5, says that there is a form of godliness lacking the power thereof. The Greek word for "form" means shape, outline, silhouette. In other words, you can look like you're godly, but it lacks power 'cause it's only a shadow, a form. It's not the real thing. You can look the part, talk the part, speak the part, give the impression of it, but you know it's not real because there is no power associated with it, so if it's the real deal, there will be power connected to it, so if there's no power connected to it, it's not the real deal. It's a form of godliness lacking the power that is to be associated with authentic godliness. So, the very God, of very God is resident inside of you for this reason. Let's not make excuses.

Now, let's just say, well, everybody's human. Let's not just say, "This is how I was raised". Now, let's not just say, "This is what happened to me". All of that may be true. I am not suggesting denying the reality of what's real, but he wants to give you another way of approaching your life for this reason. Because of a deposit of DNA of deity deep down in your soul, he comes to the three words, the three words that will take the rest of our time: apply all diligence, apply all diligence. The new nature that has been deposited into every believer is programmed to respond to the right influence. So, this nature seed, like the human seed, but this is the divine seed, has been preprogrammed to respond to a certain kind of stimulus. So, you don't know all you're supposed to be yet, 'cause the seed may not have grown sufficiently yet. God has already programmed inside your soul the DNA of his Spirit called the divine nature, and it is set up to expand if given the right support, and that's where you come in, and I come in. Apply all diligence.

Let me put it another way: God says, "Work with me, why don't you? Work with me". The word is "diligence". The reason for the diligence is you've got a preprogrammed seed inside of you, but there is a requirement of the diligence in order for the seed to fully express itself. To be diligent means make every effort lend maximum support. The new nature is sitting there hungry, hungry, "Feed me, feed me, feed me". The reason why more of us are not changing is because, the reason why more of us are not having victory in what we do is because, the reason why more of us are living in defeat is because the seed is either not being fed or being fed the wrong thing.

You hear Christians say it, "I can't, I don't know how, it doesn't work for me". God says there's nothing wrong with the nature, 'cause it's divine nature, that the seed is in perfect condition. He says, "Apply all diligence". So, may I suggest to you desire is not enough? Let me say that again. Desire is not enough. Diligence transcends desire, for diligence demands applying. Many folk desire to work out. Many folk desire to go on a diet. Many folk desire to get a job. You can have desires for years. You will not see the change occur in the soul, which changes the life by the new nature, simply because you desire it. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ makes eternal life possible to all who merely trust him for it, but you do not have to work for that to happen.

In fact, the Bible condemns trying to work to gain eternal life, but once the seed is deposited, now you gotta do a little something, something. You must cooperate with the seed in order for the seed to grow in the soul for the transformation of the life. So, one of the reasons why we're not becoming what we were meant to be is God is not getting cooperation. It has nothing to do with the condition of the seed, because the seed is the DNA of deity, so it's perfect. He says you must make every effort to reach your full spiritual potential. You cannot be lazy and be victorious. You cannot be lazy and become the kind of Christian God saved you to be. Okay, so what do you do? How do you apply all diligence?

Look with me at Philippians chapter 2. He's gonna get into some specifics later as we go along, but he wants you to know how important this is. Verse 12, "So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but how much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure". Did you see that? Work out. Everybody knows what a workout is. Work out. Okay, this is one of the most misunderstood verses and misquoted verses and misinterpreted verses. He doesn't say work for or work toward, he says work out. Why do you have to work it out 'cause it's already in? You're working out something that's already in, so it's not talking about working to get saved. People talking about, "I'm working my way to heaven".

Well, you ain't going. You can't work your way into eternal life. The Bible says it's a gift of God, not by works. But once you have eternal life, he says, work it out, work it out, work it out, work it out. Work out your salvation, that you already have, in fear and trembling. That means take it serious. Fear and trembling means take this seriously. Don't take this casually. This is not just some casual thing you do. The soul demands a workout plan for the development of the life as the spirit expands. Many of us want victory, and we're going out there to work something in. Uh-uh, that's called backwards Christian soldiers. He says work out. It's something in that has to come out, not something out that has to come in, because he has deposited in you and me the new nature, but there must be an application with all diligence.

If the only workout you get spiritually is here on Sunday, then don't be surprised that you're not seeing muscle growth in your soul. The only workout you do, if the only words you get is a sermon on Sunday, don't be surprised that the soul is flabby. Don't be surprised that the soul is not changing. Here's when you know you're growing: You know you're growing 'cause you're changing. And you see children grow, they're changing, they're getting taller, they're getting more intelligent, they can do more things on their own. You're changing. You know you're growing when the flesh wants to do what the flesh wants to do and you used to always have to say yes, and now you're finding the capacity to say no even though the flesh hasn't changed what it wants, 'cause the flesh is never going to become unflesh. You're discovering that there is a power operating within you.

Please notice verse 13: "For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure". Ah, whoa, watch how that flows now. You work out 'cause God is working in, you see? We're talking about a cooperative program here. You work out 'cause God is working in. We all know Ephesians 3:20. "Now unto Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think", but a lot of people don't like that last phrase, "according to the power working within you". God is at work in you in two ways. The first way is to will, that is, to desire. So, if you want to see change, if you want victory, that means God has already started half the work, 'cause one of the two things is to will.

So, the fact that there is this desire for the soul to be transformed, for the life to be victorious, that desire means God is at work, but he not only is working with the will. He's working with the work, verse 13 says. It is God in you with the will and the work. He will work the desire and work with you as long as one thing is there. Verse 13 says "for His good pleasure". Oh, that's where we have a little problem. We wanna work out as long as it's for our good pleasure. As long as it's for our good pleasure, "As long as what I want, as long as it's for my blessing, as long as it's for me, as long as it's for me," once God's glory gets subjected to your desires, the work stops.

So, what many Christians do is cut off the work of God and wind up only with their own human effort and wonder why "I can't lift anymore". Because his pleasure is not part of this equation. That's why Paul says, "Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God". The people who will see the power of God are those who are passionate about the glory of God, who make that a lifestyle orientation. That person will see God at work as they work, and when it gets too heavy, they will feel something come underneath the weight and begin to live in partnership with them because what you want and what He wants is the same thing, for his good pleasure.

Now, his good pleasure is always for your good. So, he hasn't left you out of the equation. He just doesn't want you to leave him out of the equation. And what's happened today is everybody's talking about what they want and rarely ask the question "What does he want in passionate pursuit of his glory"? "Okay, so, how do I get started"? Look at 1 Timothy chapter 4, verses 7 and 8: "But have nothing to do with worldly fables". He says, "Let's get down to something that matters". And then he says, "On the other hand," instead of that, "discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness". Godliness is a lifestyle consistent with the character of God. "For bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise," watch this, "for the present life," for the life you're living right here and now, "and also for the life to come".

Well, that's the same thing Peter's talking аbout: being useful and fruitful now and having this, a glorious entrance in the glory later. He says, "Discipline yourself for godliness". Most people who are serious about workouts have a plan. Discipline means doing even what you don't want to do if it will help you accomplish the goal for doing it. Discipline is the decision, not the merely the feeling but the decision to do even what you don't want to do if you know that not doing it will achieve the goal for which you are going for. God is not going to make you pray. God is not going to make you use your gifts. God is not, he is not going to do it. What he will do is cooperate with your workout program.

That means you must plan it in, not hope it happens. He says, "Discipline yourself for godliness" and then the joint venture will occur. I love the way Paul put it in 1 Corinthians chapter 15, verse 10. Listen to what he says. He says, "But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me". He says, "I labored but the grace of God came and labored with me, so it was my action and His power". He says in Colossians chapter 1, verse 29, "For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me". "I labor but his power is working".

So, you will not see the victory that God says you can have unless there is the cooperation and he sees you're working on what he places in for it to roll out, and that's why Paul could say, "I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me". Timothy says it's time to go to the gym (that is, the spiritual gym) and work it out. Your car's out of gas. It means you're not going anywhere, you're stuck, but you call AAA, you got a membership, and you call AAA and AAA pulls up and tows you to the gas station, so now you're at the gas station. You're at the place that can solve your problem. You fill her up, so you're good to go. After the car is full, you walk behind the car and start pushing. Mm, mm, mm, mm. You are applying diligence 'cause you're pushing hard. You trying, you trying, you trying, you trying. Nobody can blame you that you're not trying and trying and trying and trying, but you're using the wrong effort. That's not the effort you should be doing.

Many Christians say, "Well, I'm trying and I'm trying and I'm trying and I'm trying, I did this, I did that," but what they're doing is not what God required, so they are using their own make-up ideas to get from point A in their lives to point B and wonder why there's still no movement. "I'm going to church, singing in the choir. I'm doing this, I'm doing that," but now life is not moving, because what you are doing and what the new nature is begging for is not the same thing. You cannot take a newborn baby a steak. You cannot take a newborn baby things it can't use. You've gotta give it what its capacity and its ability is able to receive.

God says, "If you allow what I have pumped inside to do, then you'll do the right thing". What's the right thing? Open the door. That's gonna take some work. Sit down. That's gonna take some positioning. Turn the ignition on. That's gonna use your hand. Put your foot on the accelerator. Both did work, but one was the wrong work. The other was the right work because the other used what was inside. The first did not use what was inside. It just used what human effort could do on the outside. If you will take what God demands, connected with what he's given you in your new nature, you will discover that not only did you do the work but that his work was not burdensome.
Are you Human?:*