Matthew 26:73-75 “And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee. Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew. And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.”
There are times in our life that define us.
Times that seemed the hardest to face and looking back made such an impression. For some, it is the visual memory that presses our mind. For others, it may be what we heard. Still, others might feel that emotion rising; wondering if we are ever going to be able to control it.
For some, it came without warning. Others crept up on is slowly. We saw it coming and found no way to avoid it.
Whatever it was; however it came; whatever brought it on, we knew it profoundly shaped our thoughts, our hearts and who we are and who we are becoming.
Peter was bold. He stood when others withdrew. Peter was the one to step out of the boat when he saw Jesus walking on water. He was the one to proclaim that Jesus was the Messiah boldly.
He was reckless. He was impetuous. He lopped off the ear of one of the servants to save Jesus from being taken that night.
I guess Peter epitomizes much of what we are not. We fear failure. We shrink from standing for Christ for fear of what others might think of us. Instead, we become more like the lost world than the very light it needs to find the way.
Gideon found that the greatest of armies are no match for 300 men used of God to prevail over more than a hundred thousand men.
Samson, when obedient, found that nothing could stop what God desired to do in and through him.
Joshua saw how Moses had followed God’s leading and modeled his leadership after the same.
We hear of the great men of God and how they stood, yet what of us? Can we compare the times, the culture, the people, or the situation and circumstance with which we find ourselves? The persecution of Christians is on the rise and will continue until we hear the trumpet sound to call us home.
So, why do we not stand?
I can only speak from experience. I fail to stand for Christ because I hold on to two words that cause fear to overtake my heart…
Two powerful words used by our enemy to stop us in our tracks; to silence us when the very words we might speak could save one from Hell.
‘What will they think of me?’
‘What if they reject the message or me?’
We become far more concerned with self-preservation than standing up for Christ.
What if Jesus shrunk from what He was called to do in the garden? instead of saying “Not my will but thine be done.” He got up and walked away; never to be heard from again?
It would be the saddest day for all humanity.
God would have broken His promise to us to send a Savior.
Thank God that is not true!
Jesus did come! He fully gave Himself on the cross for our salvation. Though rejected by the very people He came to save, He invites us to stand and proclaim that “Jesus saves!”
John 15:18 “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.”
1 Peter 2:21 “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:”
Know this child of God, it is that first step that is the hardest. Purpose in your heart today that you will go beyond your fear; go beyond whatever it is that holds you back.
Ask God to take you past your fear, and your doubt and speak up for Him.