I didn’t see it coming, but it snuck in quietly and deliberately, at a time when I was weary and vulnerable. At a time when nothing seemed to be going right, even though I was trying, I grew weary, and sin creeped in, and I let it. I had said, “Never”. And before I knew it, that never was my reality. And instead of stumbling, I was falling, diving…headfirst into that never.
And that’s the way the Snake does, he crawls in on his belly and whispers lies and tempts the eyes, and the flesh is weak and he knows your weaknesses and if you’re not careful you’re taking the fruit and you’re biting into it, and your world spins.
And you forgot that Jesus said to pray so you won’t be tempted…
Then He came and found them sleeping. “Simon, are you sleeping?” He asked Peter. “Couldn’t you stay awake one hour? Stay awake and pray so that you won’t enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Mark 14:38
Yes, He even had to remind His disciples who were right there with Him..
Peter, who He said He would build His rock on.
Peter, who broke bread with Him.
Peter, who witnessed His miracles.
Peter, who professed he would always follow Him.
Peter, who walked on water as long as he kept His eyes on Him.
Peter, who was the first to claim Him as the Messiah.
Peter, who said He would never deny Him.
Peter, who denied Him.
Peter, who wept bitterly.
Peter, whose spirit was willing, yet his flesh was weak.
And when the world stops spinning and you realize what you’ve done, you realize that fruit was pretty on the outside, but rotten on the inside, you realize that you denied Him, after you had confessed your love for Him, you realize if you had only kept your eyes on Him, you wouldn’t have started sinking in the first place, and you weep bitterly, like Peter, because you know in your weakness you failed Him– what do you do?
Do you let that sin that nearly destroyed you convince you that you’re no longer good enough? Do you believe the Serpent when he comes slithering back in to remind you and accuse you? When he tells you there’s no hope for you now? When he tells you that you’re a failure?
Don’t you think Peter felt like a failure? Peter, who had boasted he loved Him more than anyone. How many of us must know exactly how Peter felt the moment he heard that rooster crow?
But read what happened:
When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter,“Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”
Some of the first words Jesus spoke to Peter after His resurrection, were “Do you love me?” He knew the answer. He knew Peter’s heart. He knew Peter’s flesh was weak. He forgave him and He restored him. And He told him to follow Him. He gave him instuctions… “take care of my sheep, feed my lambs“.
And Peter was given grace, we all were given grace. He restored Peter, He restores us too. Peter had failed and we all fail, but it’s what you do afterwards..It’s what’s in your heart when He asks “Do you love me?”
And Peter’s hope is all of our hope, Peter went on to lead many to Christ. Peter is proof that no matter how you’ve gone astray, you can be forgiven. Peter is proof we’re all a work in progress and that no matter where you’ve been God has a greater plan, and He can still use you, He will still use you.
Don’t listen to the enemy when he tells you it’s unforgiveable, don’t listen when he tells you you’re a failure, don’t listen when he tells you you’re too old or you’re too young, or whatever lies he will fill your head with.
Just rise up, like Peter, and go follow Him.