WILL YOU DIE FOR ME?
One of the issues Peter feels he does not have a problem with Jesus and His vision for his life is loyalty. “I will die for you.” Yet, Jesus tells him he will deny Him three times before the cock crows. Peter must have been devastated by Jesus’ gripping insight into his heart. So, when Jesus is arrested, he grabs a sword to defend Him and cuts off the high priest’s slave’s ear. Jesus steps in and restores the man’s ear. Then all flee Jesus, even Peter.
Later that night, while Jesus stands trial, Peter is confronted by the truth that he is a friend of Jesus. Yet, he denies knowing Jesus three times rather vehemently. When he hears the cock crow as he says I do not know Him, he realizes what he has done and weeps for his failure.
Jesus knows our heart. Peter thought he would die for Jesus, but when the pressure to do so came, he denied Him. He was not as loyal as he thought. Yes, he was loyal, but not to the extent he would need to be if he would become the world changer Jesus had told him he would become. For Peter to develop into the world changer Jesus predicted he had to discover his lack of depth when it came to loyalty.
We too need to face our loyalty issues. God expects complete devotion and faithfulness in our love for Him. 99% is not the acceptable measure of God’s standard as opposed to man’s. Yes, God knows our heart and our weaknesses. He knows we will fail the loyalty test and has provided forgiveness for those who have a humble, contrite heart. If we will let Him, He will nurture our loyalty and bring us to where Peter went in his life. “Yes, Lord, I love you.”
Peter did love Jesus and would eventually suffer much and then die for Him. His strength and courage were limited, but when He was baptized in the Holy Spirit, his loyalty meter measured off the scale, because it was now empowered by God in him. It took the Holy Spirit filling him with the fullness of God to bring Peter to become the world changer Jesus raised up over three years of nurture. So, too we must be filled with the Spirit to become the world changer God sees in us. We will always fall short in our own sins, trust, and loyalty, but in the Spirit we can become all God has planned for us.
“Will you die for Me?” We all want to say yes, but only in the Spirit will that become a reality. The Spirit of God transforms and renews us to become the mighty oak of righteousness, so we walk in victory over sin, fear, and failure in faithfulness. He will cleanse us, increase our faith, and inspire such loyalty that nothing is impossible through Christ Who strengthens us. That is the life in the Spirit. That is the joy of serving and living for Christ. That is the love that will see us through the trials of life. “Yes, Lord, I will die for You!”