How Can I Really Live a Life That Pleases God? – Encouragement for Today – February 23, 2023

Lysa TerKeurstFebruary 23, 2023

How Can I Really Live a Life That Pleases God?

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"His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence ..." 2 Peter 1:3 (ESV)

When my kids were growing up, we spent a week each summer at a camp tucked in the Adirondack Mountains. It was an amazing getaway.

Nature erupts with untarnished beauty in those mountains and begs to be explored. So one year, when my exercise-loving friends, with whom we vacationed, suggested we join them for a moderate hike, we agreed.

It didn’t take long for me to discover that their definition of the word "moderate" and mine didn’t come from the same dictionary. I pictured a path with a gentle, winding, upward slope. What we actually hiked involved a full-on upward scaling of rocks and roots.

I pushed. I pulled. I strained. I huffed and puffed. And I might have even spent a few minutes pouting.

Going up against the pull of gravity was hard. Really, really hard. But coming down was a completely different experience. We navigated the same rocks and roots without feeling nearly as stressed. I actually even enjoyed the journey as I noticed more of the beautiful surroundings.

Though we took the exact same path both directions, going with the flow of gravity made the journey so much better. And about halfway down the trail, it occurred to me how similar this hike was to the Christian walk. We can either walk in the flow of God’s power or out of it.

Scripture leaves no doubt that our God is a God of great power. This fact is made clear throughout the New Testament in passages like Luke 1:35, where we read that God’s power overshadowed the young virgin Mary and allowed her to carry Jesus. Mark 14:62 proclaims that the resurrected Jesus now sits "at the right hand of Power" (ESV). And Romans 1:20 declares that creation itself makes God’s power undeniable.

How incredible it is, then, to read in 2 Peter 1:3 that "His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence ..."

God's divine power is available to us. To you and me. Right now, through the knowledge of His Son, Jesus Christ. It is in Jesus that we find everything we need to live a godly life.

Of course, I realize godliness in the midst of a world overflowing with sin, pain and corruption may feel like a daunting and impossible feat. That’s why I’m so thankful Peter lets us know that godliness in the midst of great darkness is possible. Because of Jesus, we can escape "the corruption that is in the world" (2 Peter 1:4, ESV). Jesus is our source of life and godliness.

We don’t have to fight an uphill battle on our own to live good and pure lives. We don’t have to exhaust ourselves as we try to muster up as much goodness as we possibly can. The Christian life has never been about what we can do in our own power. It’s about fully stepping into the grace-filled flow of His power. This, friends, is what it really looks like to cooperate with the Holy Spirit.

Do you feel exhausted from trying to be good enough? Does living a life that is pleasing to God feel impossibly hard?

Well, I have good news for you today. Jesus never once says, "Perform for Me to save yourself." Instead, He tenderly whispers, "Draw near to Me." (James 4:8) He wants us to learn from Him. He wants us to discover who He is and all that we have in Him. He wants us to cling to the precious promises He has given us and receive from Him all we need to live for Him today.

Dear Lord, help me to operate in the flow of Your power today. I believe You have given me everything I need to live for You. And I’m asking You to keep changing me, Lord, to look and think and love more and more like You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


The book of Ruth has it all: tragedy, a love story, adversity and a happy ending. It's like your favorite novel or movie. But perhaps the most striking aspect of the book of Ruth is how very human it is. It's the story of ordinary people who faced unavoidable struggles. Just like us, they had to navigate the challenges of everyday life while wondering if the Lord cared about what they were experiencing. In their most trying moments, they couldn't see God working behind the scenes. But as we read their story, we learn He was there all along. And we can live with that same assurance for our lives as well. Get our new study guide, Ruth: Finding God Faithful When You Feel Insecure and Uncertain, and join our study starting March 6 in the First 5 mobile app!



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2 Peter 1:5-6, "For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness ..." (ESV)

Based on 2 Peter 1:5-6, in what ways can you cooperate with and participate in the work Jesus is doing in your life? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!

© 2023 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
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Matthews, NC 28106