THAT FAMILIAR PULL
This morning was pretty much a normal day. The craziness of the start to our day was standard, dogs barking, one kid mad because the other has a half day and they don’t, and in the midst of it I managed to get some clothes on my body and some make up on my face before we walked out the door. I made my usual stop at Dunkin Donuts and grabbed a coffee before heading back home. On my drive I began to feel that pull again, the one that I feel so often, the pull to be a voice to those who have given up on God. Or is magnet more the right word? I want to be a magnet that pulls them out of the lie that they are in and back into the presence of God. The lie is this: because you have fallen or failed you are no longer of use to God. This becomes a wall between them and the Almighty God and they can no longer hear His voice. They decide they are out of the game, and it’s better to just focus on life here and now. This couldn’t be further from the truth. I believe that those who have fallen or failed have gained a tremendous amount of wisdom and understanding that needs to be handed on to others. But at the same time, I fully understand the internal struggle that keeps them where they are. See, just this morning, as I began to feel that old familiar pull again, I also began to hear the same words on the inside that say, “You blew it! You no longer have influence, you no longer deserve the respect of others. You have nothing, you are nothing, you might as well just give up!” Yes, I hear those words regularly. Some days I believe them, and their sting is very real. Most days, I’ll pick up the Word and begin to read about who I really am in Christ. Then I speak that truth from my mouth and choose to put aside the thoughts that try to derail me. I have something to offer, you have something to offer. The question is now, will we offer it. Will we choose to put aside what is telling us we cannot, and choose to look at the Word that tells us we can? Honestly, it really goes beyond “can”. We must. God has a purpose for us, it is all part of His greater plan. Every life has a part in the greater plan and vision. We need to include ours.
What if Peter had not decided to include his life in God’s plan? What would have happened? Just in case you think Peter was without failing, let me point out to you that he literally denied that he even knew Jesus…as Jesus was being taken away to his death! He intentionally betrayed Christ, and Jesus knew he was going to. But Jesus also knew that it was necessary in order for Peters heart to be humbled and prepared to do what God had planned for him.
John 13:36-38 – Simon Peter asked, “Lord, where are you going?” and Jesus replied, “You can’t go with me now, but you will follow me later.” “But why can’t I come now, Lord” he asked, “I’m ready to die for you.” Jesus answered, “Die for me? I tell you the truth, Peter – before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.”
Wow! Can you even imagine hearing those words from Jesus’ mouth? But they were true. Peter’s heart was not ready to really serve God. He was still placing the things of this world ahead of God, things like status and position. He had to get to a place where those things no longer mattered so he could step into his place in God’s plan.
THANK GOD HE DID
See, it was Peter that brought the plan of salvation to the gentiles. Without his ministry we would not be here right now. We would have no hope for eternal salvation. He is the one who told the gentiles that Jesus was the Messiah and that we could be saved from our sins if we just believe. But in order for him to take this information to the gentiles he had to let go of what others thought of him. He had to be completely free from the need for status or position. Why? Because for a Jew to interact with a gentile was unacceptable. But Peter leveled the playing field for us and we are now able to come to Christ. Oh, thank God we are able to come to Christ! Thank God for a humbled heart in Peter.
Thank God for a humbled heart in you, thank God that what would have prevented you from walking out God’s plan has now been removed, and your heart is prepared to do whatever He calls you to. Your falling or failing, whatever it is, has not disqualified you, it has actually qualified you. Now THAT is good news!