I had the privilege of being blessed by Pastor Daniel M. of the Rhema Covenant church this last Saturday. Pastor Dan had a great message on Peter when he denied Christ 3 times and explained that “It did not happen overnight”. There were things leading up to this part of Peter’s life that brought him to the point of denying Jesus. As Pastor Dan stated: Satan works on us in several ways to get what he wants. Pastor Dan explained 5 points on how Peter got here.
Here are the 5 points – but they may have more of my definition then Pastor Dan’s – He explained his topic in detail and I am going to try to paraphrase it with my thoughts (I do have some – LOL).
- Pride: Peter thought he would be strong and could not be swayed when it came to standing up for Jesus. This is his response when Jesus told him he would betray him 3 times. (Matthew 26:33 – Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.”) How many times do we believe that we will not fail and be tempted with sin?
- Falling asleep when we need to be awake: Jesus had asked Peter to follow him and stay alert while he prayed. Peter failed 3 times when Jesus needed him the most (Matthew 26: 40&41 – Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”) How many times to we fail to stay alert and pray when someone needs us the most.
- We use our Sword in the wrong way: Peter drew his sword and cut off the soldier’s ear and Jesus did a miracle to replace it. The sword we carry today is our Bible. (Matthew 26:51&52 with that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.) How many times do we use our Sword (Bible) the wrong way and condemn people instead of loving them.
- Follow Jesus at a Distance: After Jesus was arrested Peter followed at a distance instead of being Bold about his faith and standing next to Jesus. (Matthew 26:58 But Peter followed him at a distance, right up to the courtyard of the high priest. He entered and sat down with the guards to see the outcome.) I believe that this happens to us many times and we just do not realize we have distanced ourselves from Jesus. When it comes to being Bold about our faith we are silent so as not to make waves.
- When we have distanced ourselves from Jesus we seem to get involved with the wrong people: After Jesus was taken Peter began hanging out with the non-believers. (Matthew 26:69 Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. “You also were with Jesus of Galilee,” she said.) As Pastor Dan stated we need to surround ourselves with Faithful people who will help us stand for our beliefs. If we hang out with the wrong crowd we will be like Peter and fail Jesus.
You can see “It did not happen overnight” for Peter – there was a process that Satan used to make him fail. Satan used the same process on us…