Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Peter Mentality

I wrote this two years ago on Facebook....

John 13:36-38
36 Simon Peter asked, “Lord, where are you going?”
And Jesus replied, “You can’t go with me now, but you will follow me later.”
37 “But why can’t I come now, Lord?” he asked. “I’m ready to die for you.”
38 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.

I just finished reading a book today by Max Lucado called "Grace."  I'd like to pull out a quote real quick from there first.

"The promise was lost on Peter.  'Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble' (v.33 (((Matt 26))) ).  Not one of Peter's finer moments.  'Even if all...' Arrogant.  'I will never be made to stumble.'  Self-sufficient.  Peter's trust was in Peter's strength.  Yet Peter's strength would peter out.  Jesus knew it: 'Simon, Simon!  Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat.  But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren' (Luke 22:21-32).
Satan would attack and test Peter.  But Satan would never claim Peter.  Why?  Because Peter was strong?  No, because Jesus was.  "I have prayed for you.' Jesus' prayers hamstring Satan."  (p. 135, Chapter 11 - Heaven: Guaranteed)

Okay, I know that's a lot of information to start with, but trust me, it will all make sense.  So if you've read my previous two notes, you know by now I am really trying to get things in my life straightened out and trying to figure out exactly what I believe in and who exactly I am.  In my last note, I made a realization on a hypocrisy I've been having; I quote, "I have said that I want to suffer for God, yet when I suffer even a tiny bit I think He doesn't hear me or want anything to do with me anymore."  My new realization/revelation/or whatever you want to call it, still revolves around that area, but I think deeper than before.  Before I didn't just want to suffer for God.  I wanted to die as a martyr for God.  Torture?  Bring it.  If it meant I felt just a tiny bit of what Christ felt for me, I would be satisfied.  Messed up I know, I don't enjoy pain though with thoughts like that you would think I do wouldn't you?  I've realized for a couple yrs now that it'd be a lot easier for me though to die for Christ than to live for Him, so I've tried to Live for Him - but that's another discussion.  Anyway, I would ask God to please let me suffer for Him and when I die that I would die for Him.  Circumstances were happening that were getting out of control and I felt alone and so on - to the point of almost losing my faith completely; not because I was thinking God didn't exist.  It was purely all an emotional reason.  It grew from lonliness, to anger, to rage, to hate, to no longer really caring, or more like giving up and saying "Forget it, if you don't want me anymore you're not going to come back to me anyway so I might as well deal with it on my own again."  Believe me, I hated and still hate being where I'm at.  Very slowly my faith is being restored; it will take time.  But to bring the lesson I learned back around.  Like Peter, I told God, "I'll die for you, I'll suffer for you, I may fail you at times but I'm not going to be the person I was before - the person filled with hatred for others and most of all you.  Nothing can cause that again because I'm not that person anymore."  Though, my inner demons seemed to every now and then let me know she was still there...the monster...and not the good monster....the evil monster....the one I tried to kill off almost 9 yrs ago is still there, just incarcerated.  But more and more as this rage and hate has grown, that evil monster has been getting closer to breaking through the bars.  The beast inside me - the Oozaru (if you will) in me is raging to the point where I almost cannot keep it locked up and in control.  Only with God can my inner "Oozaru" not come out (in other words, if we're going to use Dragonball philosophy here, God would cut my tail off, which would cut-off my transformation into an Oozaru completely but that gets into a bunch of confusion and I'm trying to keep this at least somewhat simple).  But like I said, it's going very slowly.  But I was being arrogant just like Peter was.  "Sure others can't handle such a task, but I can!  I can die for you!  I can handle suffering and even torment/torture for you!"  Well, Peter ended up looking pretty stupid right after that, or I guess he had a severe case of a derp moment, or Jesus could've said, "I told you so."  Not only did Peter flee like the rest of the disciples, which he refused he would, he would also deny knowing Jesus, his bff, his bro, and how about this: the one who accepted and loved him for who he was despite all his crap and all his issues.  Despite social status or how much money he had, how smart he was or mental state.  The guy who maybe was the only person who reached out his hand to Peter and said, "Follow me."  Not once, not even twice, but three times!  Who predicted all of this?  Jesus.  Who denied that would all happen?  Why Apostle Ego of course!  Okay, maybe I'm being a bit hard on him, but you know what, I can be hard on him because Jesus had so much grace towards Peter that when He came back to life, he asked Peter, "Do you love me?" Three times, where Peter answered all three times "You know I love you."  This is huge here, because at this point, Peter's ego isn't just crushed, he probably still can't even look Jesus in the face after deny Him three times and then fleeing in His time of need.  Even though Jesus already forgave Peter, this was a way Jesus was able to show Peter, "Your denial's been cancelled out."  I am certain this was extremely humbling for Peter.
How Peter's story ties in what I learned, after describing my arrogance with God, I've realized I too have been Little Miss Ego (though, I wouldn't consider myself "little" still).  Romans 3:11-12 says, "
11 No one is truly wise;
    no one is seeking God.
12 All have turned away;
    all have become useless.
No one does good,
    not a single one.”

"They may turn away, but I will never turn away..."  In this case, arrogance is NOT bliss at all.  I have been trying to avoid the dangerous humility prayer because I know what it entails and it's definitely NOT fun!  I have tried to work on humility by myself - yea, really makes sense right?  I can work on becoming more humble on my own!  Ego score II  Humility score 0.  So I did pray the humility prayer today, yea, I know, I'm in for some more trouble, but I need to trust God that He will teach me, and Nick will take care of me too, that I do know!  My trust in the Lord isn't quite there yet, but the want is there at least.  I am trying to go back to Him....

No comments:

Post a Comment