We’ve all been there. Determined to carry out a course of action, wholeheartedly believing we’ll follow through. Whether it’s starting a ministry or forgiving someone who has wounded us, we confidently reply, “Yes, Lord, I am ready.”
One trait stands out about Peter: his impulsivity. His passionate proclamation was characteristic of him. He was resolved, self-confident, and certain he would follow Christ—even if it meant dying.
Upon Jesus’ arrest, Peter stood ready to defend Him. With his sword, Peter swiftly cut off a soldier’s ear. How impulsive. What self-confidence. Had he forgotten what Jesus told him? “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
Peter relied on his strength and sword for protection. He had no way of knowing how ill-prepared he was for the adversary’s onslaught. Resolve alone would not do. Peter had yet to learn this truth. He miscalculated the strength of the enemy and underestimated the love of Christ.
I’m a lot like Peter. A self-starter. We take pride in our ability to get things done. But I have learned that if left unguarded, a strength can become a weakness. Self-reliance and impulsivity have led me down paths I never should have taken—forcing me to acknowledge my weakness and my need for God.
If we want to overcome the enemy, we cannot do it in our own strength. We can’t afford to formulate a plan of action—no matter how impenetrable it may appear—and expect to win if we go it alone. We must lay down our weapons and our self-effort and rely on Christ.
Jesus knew Peter would betray Him and prayed for him in advance. God doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve. His knowledge of us is complete, and He loves us still. His power to save hasn’t diminished. Scripture says, “Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him because he always lives to intercede for them” (Hebrews 7:25).
Even when we fail, God lovingly restores us. Surrender your way of doing things, and look to Him for the power to overcome.
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