"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, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. 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, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
// 2 Peter 1:3-11
You’re sat beside a road and you hear a thunderous sound. Looking down the road, you see a company of runners off in the distance, headed your way. Your curiosity piques as their approach becomes imminent.
As they grow closer, you begin to distinguish their forms; they are robust and athletic, wearing fierce ‘game faces’. They inspire courage in you, and a longing to join a crew of such valorous champions. As the thunder of their pace begins to stomp past you, some catch you with their gazes. They shout, “Get up! Join us! Run with us!” You stir yourself from passivity and arise, stretching a little, as feet stampede past. More calls from the runners encourage you as you jog alongside them, timid about your place amongst them. Suddenly, someone reaches out and pulls you by the arm, right into the center. You pick up the pace they have set, and begin to run.
And run. And run. You’re running toward the mountains. You’re running to the mountain: the mountain of the Lord. You will ascend its hills and climb its craggy rock faces. You will become as one whose face is set like flint, set upon the prospect of beholding the King with your own eyes. Each step forward, each push toward more, encourages your heart that it is worth it—that the King is worth it, and being in His presence is the greatest prize.
Your heart fills with praise of Him, and it becomes strength in your legs, your knees, your ankles. Your mouth fills with the sound of His song, and your heart rumbles with the shout of His encouragement to you, beckoning you onward to His meeting place, to His heavenly throne sat on the peak of His mountain. You have become a worshiper.
Over the next 92 days, we will explore what it means to make Christ paramount in our worship and self-discipline. We will run with you. We will embolden you and will fight for your heart to awaken. We will strengthen you with words of courage, and will shout to you His praises. We will help set your pace, and will be your best cheerleaders. It will be hard. Changes will have to be made. But you always wanted to lose the flab, to toss aside those weights that hold you down, those nettling thoughts and those useless sins. We will help you do just that—we will help train you to push past your comforts and past your current sense of self. We will help you in becoming a true worshiper.
Join us for The Temple Project: Ascending the Mountain, and pursue knowledge of the Lord. We will spend the next three months exploring the implications of 2 Peter 1:3-11, and we encourage you to read it multiple times this summer as we think about training ourselves in godliness, like athletes readying themselves for the Olympics. Think with us on what it means to develop the eight qualities Peter highlights in that passage, and how those qualities will enable us to become worshipers in spirit and truth who will never stumble or fall.
True worshipers are true disciples, those who live disciplined lives, because worshipers train themselves for the greatest prize of all: “But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ” Philippians 3:7-8.