This morning I have been thinking about my faith. After I posted the Martin Luther King Jr quote this morning, it made me wonder how willing I am to take the first step when I need to. The real question I am asking myself is…am I being honest with myself about my faith?
Communication in any relationship is the key to success. What about the communication I have with myself? I’m not sure if you ever do this, but every once in a while I will talk to myself, sometimes I will encourage myself, sometimes I will put myself down, and sometimes I will even lie to myself. So today I am wondering if what I am telling myself about my faith is true.
I write a lot of words every week. I try to be encouraging, and I try to point anyone that reads my words to the Lord. I do this because I believe that life can only be found in the Lord, and I want to bring life to anyone I come in contact with.
Sometimes, like this morning, when I am encouraging people to get moving and to take steps of faith, I can look back and see the steps I have missed. I can look back and see times of fear that kept me stalled. Thinking about these “mis-steps” makes me wonder, am I being real with myself about my faith.
So here I am thinking about being truthful with myself, and my thoughts turned to Peter. Peter, the rock, the disciple, that was full of fire, and impulse, and too many words. That Peter! The one that really got the whole first century church going. Also, that Peter, who sat by the fire in the courtyard the night of Christ’s betrayal, and 3 times turned his back on Christ.
What did Peter tell himself about his faith? He said that he would never deny Christ. He knew his faith was strong. He loved Jesus. These things would never change. That is what Peter told himself.
Then the pressure of that night by the fire caught him off guard. Peter wasn’t prepared for this. Peter caved, and all of the things he had told himself collapsed. He didn’t have strong faith! If he did, this wouldn’t have happened. He didn’t love Jesus! If he did, he wouldn’t have denied that he knew him.
I can’t imagine what went through Peter’s mind that night and for the next 3 days. UNTIL…Christ broke the chains of death and hell, and for Peter, Christ broke the chains of failure.
Christ didn’t look at Peter and say,”I told you, your faith was weak. I can’t use people like you.” Not anything remotely like that. Christ had Peter, three times, affirm his love to Him. Once for each time that Peter denied Him. He then, basically, commissioned the Church to Peter saying, “Feed my sheep”. He also told Peter that his death would bring glory to God. His faith would hold.
I think that God sent me to look at Peter today because Peter is so much like me and probably like you. Peter talked too much and too quickly. Peter was at times impetuous and just plain stupid. I am all of those things. Peter also was frozen in fear and took a detour instead of walking up the dark steps. I have done that too.
In all of Peter’s mis-steps what I see is a man who faltered, but loved God, and grew to mis-step less and less. Peter would not have been an inspiration to me if Peter had run away from Christ because he messed up, or missed a step of faith. The thing that Peter always did was love Christ. This is what I want my faith to look like.
God knows that I might get tripped up when He asks me to walk a new way. He knows that I might be afraid and not follow through in faith. When this happens, the last thing I want to do is go back to God. After all, I failed Him. Not true! I have only failed Him, if I have failed to love Him. And just like Peter-that isn’t happening!
I learned a lot today!