The Example of Peter

May 10, 2009 by Lisa Krempasky  
Filed under faith

I love the apostle Peter. He was passionate and real. He attempted big things, succeeded to great heights and had great failures. But he was never mediocre.

When Christ called Peter as a disciple he immediately gave up everything he had every known, threw down his nets and followed this guy he had never before met. Then when Jesus told him to launch his boat out into the deep to catch fish Peter immediately followed and did so. You know what’s amazing about this? Peter was a life long fisherman. He had been fishing this spot all night and caught nothing. Jesus was not a fisherman and had not been fishing this spot all night. Peter knew there were no fish there but he, in all his human wisdom, did not argue with Jesus. I want to be like that, submitting to the word of Jesus even if it does not make sense to my human mind.

Though he was zealous to follow God in every way, Peter still struggled with his humanness. He argued over who would be the greatest in the kingdom of God. He was a tool of the enemy trying to keep Jesus from His death. Though He followed Jesus with reckless abandon, when left to his own devices he still saw things with his eyes and not with his spirit. He saw things as they fit his little world and his ideas. But Jesus saw each detail in the perspective of all eternity. He saw that sometimes horrible things must happen so that God’s end purpose could be worked. He viewed human life not from a moment but from the lens of the entire life. Oh that God would give us that insight and faith.

Then Peter failed. He had been in close intimite contact with Jesus himself for 3+ years and in his best friend’s deepest hour of need Peter denied he ever even knew Him. Oh the pain to Jesus. But oh the pain to Peter. Can you imagine what it would have been like to live with yourself after that? The utter disgrace, humiliation and shame to know that you are the kind of person that could do that to your best friend. Oh man, that would be painful beyond belief.

But precious Jesus brought about restoration for Peter. As Peter had denied Him three times, Christ asked him three times if he loved Him. And after lovingly accepting Peter back, Christ commissioned him to “feed my sheep.”

God has a plan and a purpose for each of us. We have natural gifts and talents and they take us a certain distance. But in order to grow beyond our giftings we must reach that point of absolute surrender to God. We must reach the point where we submit what our humanity knows is true, where we submit all of our fears and failures and all of our giftings. God does not need us. But He wants us. When we let go and trust Him, He will transform us and blow us past the human limits of our natural giftings. And together we will change the world!

These thoughts are taken from Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray. It’s a most excellent book that everyone should read at least once in their lives.