Let’s broaden out the subject of listening prayer. It is an acquired art that is essential to our spiritual walk with the Lord. We can call it “fellowship with the Father,” or “friendship with Jesus,” or “walking in the Spirit.” We have been laying the foundation for that sweet, mystic communion with the Lover of our souls. He designed us for intimacy with Him. The powerful figure of being the bride of Christ tells it all.
Peter, that rough-cut fisherman turned profound theologian, discovered and expressed our relationship with God in this most profound statement:
2 Peter 1:2-4. Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may becomepartakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.
This is a rich description of all that God has provided to us by His grace. Yet we have to grow in this grace, and personal, practical knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, as Peter will instruct us in 2 Peter 3:18. I may expand on other features of this text later. But for now . . .
I believe the center-piece of this disclosure is Peter’s use of the language “partakers of the divine nature.” What does that mean? It is a chilling yet thrilling expression that beckons us to a deeper meditation, higher aspiration, more humble enjoyment of intimate communion with the Most High God.
Let’s consider a word study on the term “partakers.” It comes from the Greek word koinonos, meaning companion, fellowship, partaker, partner. Yes, you might observe the similarity to “koinonia” which is the essence of communion. The translators of the New International Version (NIV) have chosen to express this term as “participate in.”
The weight of this truth is our participation in the “divine nature.” What does that mean? “Participate” is literally to become partners or those who share life with the indwelling Christ. The same term for participating is used by Peter regarding suffering with Christ:
“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.” 1 Peter 4:12-13.
His precious and magnificent promises enable us to share life in union with God’s very nature. We believers who walk in faith can take on God’s very nature. Paul tells us why:
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” 2 Corinthians 5:17-18.
Bottom line: In Christ, everything changes. We have a redeemed nature that shares in the qualities that are true of God. We are reconciled and are reconcilers. That’s what God did for us and is doing through us. Be encouraged. Through an open heart to listen to the Lord, our privilege is to share His divine nature.