In Luke 22:33, Peter made a declaration.
And he (Peter) said unto Him, Lord, I am ready to go with Thee, both into prison and to death.
I believe that as much as is humanly possible, Peter meant that.
He and the other disciples carried two swords with them (Luke 22:38) as they followed Jesus to the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus knew about the swords. There, while Jesus agonized in prayer, they slept.
When the soldiers came, and Judas stepped up to betray Jesus, Peter took one of those swords and he swung it. Evidently the man in front of him ducked, because he cut off the man’s ear instead of his head (John 18:10). Then Jesus told Peter to put the sword away, and Jesus healed the man’s ear.
I feel for Peter in these verses. He was in the right place at the right time, but he was operating under a faulty belief system.
Peter thought he had this covered. He believed he was ‘good to go’. After all, he knew Jesus. He loved Jesus.
But that faulty belief system – the belief that centered in self – tripped him up.
He was confident in his own ability, so he failed to pray (Mark 14:37, 38).
He was secure in his own strength and stature, so he swung the sword.
He was intent on stopping the show, but Jesus stopped him.
What he thought would be his greatest victory crashed and burned. Peter left the garden defeated and confused, and he ended up denying Jesus. That was not what he planned.
I can point my finger at Peter, or I can realize that Peter’s hard lesson is a lesson for me.
I have stepped out before without praying, confident in my own ability, and I, like Peter, have failed. Peter could not do Kingdom work in his own strength, and neither can I.
I can shout about my commitment to Jesus, but if I am not clinging to Him every moment of every day I WILL FAIL!
I must pray and connect with the Source of all Strength. I must depend on His wisdom. I must follow His plan, even when it does not match my own. Wasn’t that Jesus’ prayer in the garden – Not my will, but Thine be done?
So, I do not tsk tsk Peter’s failure. My heart goes out to him as I realize that I am just as vulnerable to failure as he was.
Only submission to the Holy Spirit and use of the full armor of God will get me through the pitfalls of this world. My sword is the Word of God, and I must study to be skilled in its use.
The moment that I think I’ve got this is the moment that my failure looms.
Mark 14:38 Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.
James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
Ephesians 6: 10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
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