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.

Guilt By Association

April 5, 2009 by Lisa Krempasky  
Filed under faith

There is a lot of guilt by association going on these days. Liberals prescribe motives and actions to conservatives. Conservatives do the same to liberals. Christians do it to atheists and atheists do it right back. It is a red herring and it is dividing us and it is wrong.

While it is true that you can generally prescribe tenants of the belief to a particular group, that is about as far as it goes. For instance, by definition atheists do not believe in God. However, it is not true that by definition they are bad people. There are definitely bad people who are atheists, but there are also bad people who do autrocities in the name of Christianity. Likewise there are good and pleasant and funny people who you would like as human beings who are atheists.

Please do not take this as my acceptance of atheist (or any other) belief. It is merely a recognition that we cannot impute motives or actions to an individual just because someone we associate them with takes those actions or has those motives…even if it is someone we associate them closely with. It is also a recognition that doing so is in direct contravention of God’s specific requirements that we not judge others lest we be judged.

Take the example of a family. There is a judge here in St. Louis that is Jimmy Hoffa’s daughter. That also makes her Jimmy Hoffa Jr’s sister. Those names conjure up specific images to many Americans. There is an immediate, and perhaps justified, rush to judgment when either male Hoffas are mentioned. But does that make the judge bad? Does that make her unfair? Corrupt? Of course not. She is none of those things. She is a good judge. Even though she lived years with men who conjure up many negatives, it is neither fair nor correct to impute things to her because of your views of her infamous family.

Why do I bring this up? God is after us individually and wholly. He is about the business of exposing our prejudices and biases to us so that we can be more fully like Him. We are at a time in this nation where it is not good enough to walk the Christian life we have always walked. As the old saying goes, the definition of insanity is doing things the way you have always done them and expecting different results.

Christianity can no longer be about us. It must be about God. It is time that we fall on our faces before the Almighty who loves us and gave Himself up for us and ask Him to gently reveal every area that keeps us from Him. We must yield our thoughts and our feelings. We must walk by faith and not by sight. And in doing so, in setting aside our rights and our presuppositions, we will find the peace and love of God that passes all understanding. In yielding to whatever His plan may be we will find true freedom, true power and true authority. And when we do that we will change the world. People will want what we have. When the atheist is your friend and you are walking in complete surrender to God you have knocked down barriers, maybe it is THE barrier that keeps them from God. Radical surrender is freedom. Radical submission is authority. Radical weakness is strength.

You Won’t Relent by Kim Walker

March 10, 2009 by Lisa Krempasky  
Filed under faith

God will not relent until He has 100% of our body, mind and spirit. He wants to bless us, yes He does. But more than that, He wants us to be sold out to Him and He will orchestrate our circumstances to make that happen. He will not relent. He is on a quest for you. He loves you and gave Himself up for you.

Remember when you first fell in love? Remember how the person was always on your mind? How you could hardly function when you were apart from them? That is how God feels about you. He is absolutely in love with you. You are always on His mind. And He aches when anything separates the two of you.

In the same way that this song is a cry from God not relenting until He has all of us, it is also a cry of our hearts. Lord, I will not relent until I have all of you. I am not satisfied knowing just parts and pieces of You. I am not satisfied creating You or imagining You in my finite imagination. I want to have all of You! I MUST have all of You! I will not relent until you show Yourself to me. I am desperate to know you Lord!

That is the kind of bold and hungry prayer that God answers. He is not some sicko that needs to be adored, but He is a Lover that deserves to be loved. Just as a husband responds to the adoration of his wife and loves her more and she then respects him more, the circle is complete in our relationship with God. The more we eagerly pursue Him, the more He will be found and the more we find of Him, the more we desire to eagerly pursue Him.

I won’t relent until you have it all. My heart is yours. My heart is yours. My heart is yours. Seek and ye shall find. Knock and the door shall be opened. Ask to be sold out to the Lover of Your Soul and you may not have a perfect or easy life. You may face hardship and persecution. But you will experience the best life you could have ever imagined. For your heart is His.